Creative performance and technology evolution: an example of analysis

Simonetta Sargenti1,2

1Conservatorio Guido Cantelli, italy

2GATM, Gruppo Analisi e Teoria Musicale, Italy



Performance is the heart of any musical production. The whole history of music, arises from performative experiences, however in the context of Western cultured music a particular relevance is attributed to the score. The role of performance has been re-evaluated since the second half of the twentieth century in particular through the technological evolution. This also produced a development of theoretical studies that have re-evaluated the performance even in the context of cultured musicology. (Berry, Cook). Furthermore, this last historical phase, the year 2020, due to the pandemic a further increase in the importance of performance has occurred. However the centrality of performance if it takes advantage of technological evolution does not always correspond to a tools availability for everyone.

Aims and methods
A different development of the sustainability of technological tools that make the role of the performer a main role, it is present for example in several works belonging historical repertoire of the 20th century. Interesting examples can be: Solo by Karlheinz Stockhausen and A Pierre dell’azzurro silenzio inquietum by Luigi Nono, in which a decisive role is given to the performer through live electronics sound processing. Both these works have undergone a different evolution demonstrable with a brief analysis of the instrumental score and of the live electronics part. While Solo has reached a very advanced level of democratization of the performance’s tools A Pierre still needs greater complexity and costs to be performed. I will show here with some examples this different evolution. The examples proposed highlight:

  1. the central role of the performer
  2. the development of sustainable tools for performance and the need for further evolution of technological tools. By sustainability I mean the availability of tools for everyone at no particular cost.

If performance is currently a creative event also supported by the use of technologies that allow real-time transformation on the one hand and remote performance on the other, then the role of the performance is increasingly central. A future perspective should therefore be a progressive sustainability of the tools that allow the development of such creativity that concerns both: the extension of sustainability to artistic production and to teaching tools.

Keywords: performance, technology, sustainability



Simonetta Sargenti was born in Milano. Graduated in violin, composition and electronic music she’s active as performer, composer and teacher. As composer she’s interested to application of technologies and interactives tools to music composition. As performer she realised XX and XXI century’s works. She is teacher of Music Analisys and History of Music and she’s active as researcher in Music Theory and Music Analisys. Partner of GATM (Gruppo Analisi e Teoria Musicale) she obtained the Master’s degree in Analisys and Music Theory in which now she’s teaching Analisys of Electroacoustic Music. She held Masterclasses in Music Analisys in different institutions (Univeritade Catholica Portuguesa, Porto, University of Tecnology , Kaunas, Conservatorio Superior de Musica, Malaga) Actually she’s teacher at the Conservatorio Guido Cantelli (Novara, Italy) and coordinator of Department of Composition Music History and Didactics.