Request Inspection Copy

If you are an Academic or Teacher and wish to consider this book as a prescribed textbook for your course, you may be eligible for a complimentary inspection copy. Please complete this form, including information about your position, campus and course, before adding to cart.

* Required Fields

To complete your Inspection Copy Request you will need to click the Checkout button in the right margin and complete the checkout formalities. You can include Inspection Copies and purchased items in the same shopping cart, see our Inspection Copy terms for further information.

Any Questions? Please email our text Support Team on


Email this to a friend

* ALL required Fields

Order Inspection Copy

An inspection copy has been added to your shopping cart

Music after the Fall: Modern Composition and Culture since 1989

by Tim Rutherford-Johnson University of California Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 368 pages
AU$59.99 NZ$64.34
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
add to your cart
Music after the Fall is the first book to survey contemporary Western art music within the transformed political, cultural, and technological environment of the post-Cold War era. In this book, Tim Rutherford-Johnson considers musical composition against this changed backdrop, placing it in the context of globalization, digitization, and new media. Drawing connections with the other arts, in particular visual art and architecture, he expands the definition of Western art music to include forms of composition, experimental music, sound art, and crossover work from across the spectrum, inside and beyond the concert hall.

Each chapter is a critical consideration of a wide range of composers, performers, works, and institutions, and develops a broad and rich picture of the new music ecosystem, from North American string quartets to Lebanese improvisers, from electroacoustic music studios in South America to ruined pianos in the Australian outback. Rutherford-Johnson puts forth a new approach to the study of contemporary music that relies less on taxonomies of style and technique than on the comparison of different responses to common themes of permission, fluidity, excess, and loss

List of illustrations

1. 1989 and After
2. Mediation and the Marketplace
3. Permission: Freedom, Choice, and the Body
4. Fluidity: Digital Translations, Displacements, and Journeys
5. Mobility: Worldwide Flows, Networks, and Archipelagos
6. Superabundance: Spectacle, Scale, and Excess
7. Loss: Ruins, Memorials, and Documents
8. Recovery: Gaps between Past and Present

Appendix 1: Recommended Listening
Appendix 2: Further Reading

"Music After the Fall is sharp, provacative and always on the money. The listening list alone promises months of fresh discovery, the main text a fresh new way of navigating the world of sound." 
Tim Rutherford-Johnson is a London-based music journalist and critic. He was the contemporary music editor at Grove Music Online and edited the most recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Music. He has taught at Goldsmiths College and Brunel University, and since 2003 he has written about new music for his blog, The Rambler.