In the Era of Computers, Internet and Multimedia, are we still Teaching Composers to become Chapel-Masters?

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  • Rodolfo Coelho de Souza University of São Paulo



The ongoing paradigm shift from traditional methods of teaching music composition towards new approaches based on computer technology for sound production is the main focus of the article. The paper reviews the evolution of teaching methods throughout the Classical, Romantic and Modern periods, demonstrating how certain standard practices from former ages, based on the professional profile of the Chapel-Master, become theoretical golden principles for subsequent periods. After the French Revolution the traditional method of individual practical exchange between master and disciple was upgraded at the Conservatory. Classes for groups of students required a new approach based on theory abstraction. Although none of these teaching methods have been abandoned up today, a new paradigm appears when the tools of computer technology became widespread. An unpredictable equilibrium between the traditional methods and the new techniques of computer-assisted or computer-generated music composition tends to emerge.


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Biografia do Autor

Rodolfo Coelho de Souza, University of São Paulo

Full professor at the Music Department of the University of São Paulo, School of Philosophy, Sciences and Humanities of Ribeirão Preto. Advisor of Graduate Studies at the Music Department of the School of Communications and Arts of the University of São Paulo. From 2000 to 2005 he was professor at the Arts Department of the Federal University of Parana. He graduated in Engineering by the Polytechnical School of the University of São Paulo (1976), earned a Master in Musicology by ECA-USP (1994) e a DMA in Musical Composition by the University of Texas at Austin (2000). At the Music Department of FFCLRP-USP, he directs the Lateam - Laboratory of Musical Theory and Analysis. He is the President of TeMA - Brazilian Association of Musical Theory and Analysis for the period 2019-20, and was the first editor of the journal Musica Theorica, published by TeMA. E-mail:


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Como Citar

de Souza, R. C. (2020). In the Era of Computers, Internet and Multimedia, are we still Teaching Composers to become Chapel-Masters?. Revista Vórtex, 8(1), 1–14.