Book Information

Book Binding: Paperback

Paperback ISBN: 9781910924761

eBook ISBN: 9781910924778

On Sale: 15th March, 2018

£8.99 Add to cart

Mad Skills: MIDI and Music Technology in the Twentieth Century
Ryan Alexander Diduck

Invented in the 1980s, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, aka MIDI, allowed professional musicians to add electronic instruments into the mix of records for the first time. This started a wave of new electronic instrument developments – most famously the synthesizer and sampler.

Part rigorous history, part insightful commentary, and part memoir, Mad Skills tells the story behind MIDI, through the twentieth century’s kaleidoscopic lens.

Guiding us across one hundred years of musical instruments, and the music made with them, it recounts the technical and creative innovations that led to the making of the most vital, long-standing, ubiquitous, and yet invisible music technology of our time.

Praise for Mad Skills:

“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

“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.” – Benjamin Tausig, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Stony Brook University

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