MATRIXSYNTH: New Book on the History and Impact of MIDI, "Mad Skills: MIDI and Music Technology in the 20th Century"

Monday, January 29, 2018

New Book on the History and Impact of MIDI, "Mad Skills: MIDI and Music Technology in the 20th Century"


Mad Skills: MIDI and Music Technology in the 20th Century is a new book from Ryan A. Diduck set to be released on March 13. It is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

The following is a quick intro from Ryan:

Growing from my PhD research at McGill University, under Jonathan Sterne's supervision, Mad Skills is a timely cultural history of MIDI — as you know, the most ubiquitous and yet invisible technology across the past thirty-five years of music making. In the book, I situate MIDI within a century's worth of innovation in musical instrument design, and chronicle the industrial and social forces that guided electronic music on toward its present trajectory. I'm honored that the revered British Ethnomusicologist Georgina Born wrote the book's foreword, and London-based Repeater Books will release Mad Skills in March 2018.

Here's what people are saying so far:

"Mad Skills is a history of electronic music technology, of scraps over standards, and of music's relationship to capital in the twentieth century. Through deep dives into archives, original interviews, and an aptitude for the Marxian archaeology of electronics, Diduck opens the black box of MIDI for all to see and hear." – Ben Tausig, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Stony Brook University.

'Most people have no idea what MIDI is, even though it undergirds and regulates a substantial swathe of the sounds they listen to and love. In Ryan Alexander Diduck’s deeply researched telling – a biography of a technology, with a caustic critical edge – MIDI takes on a personality of its own even as it standardizes global music-production to a hitherto unimaginable degree. Blending technical knowledge, business history, and cultural polemic, Mad Skills is a sharp study of a human invention that stamped its post-human character over an entire era of pop.' – Simon Reynolds, author of Retromania and Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture

"A deep/clear read on historical and SOCIAL development of machine music; wisdom about MIDI finally.
– Dan Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never"

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