Idiomatic Composition Practices for New Musical Instruments: Context, Background and Current Applications

Juan Vasquez Gomez, Koray Tahiroglu, Johan Kildal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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One of the reasons of why some musical instruments more successfully continue their evolution and actively take part in the history of music is partially attributed to the existing compositions made specically for them, pieces that remain and are still played over a long period of time. This is something we know, performing these compositions keeps the characteristics of the instruments alive and able to survive. This paper presents our contribution to this discussion with a context and historical background for idiomatic compositions. Looking beyond the classical era, we discuss how the concept of idiomatic music has influenced research and composition practices in the NIME community; drawing more attention in the way current idiomatic composition practices considered specic NIME aordances for sonic, social and spatial interaction. We present particular projects that establish idiomatic writing as a part of a new repertoire for new musical instruments. The idiomatic writing approach to composing music for NIME can shift the unique characteristics of new instruments to a more established musical identity, providing a shared understanding and a common literature to the community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the international conference on new interfaces for musical expression
PublisherInternational Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression - Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 15 May 201719 May 2017

Publication series

PublisherNew Interfaces for Musical Expression
ISSN (Electronic)2220-4806


ConferenceInternational Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression
Abbreviated titleNIME
Internet address


  • Idiomatic composition
  • repertoire for new musical instruments
  • NIME


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