Babbit on Electronic Music

“To proceed from an assertion of what music has been to an assertion of what music, therefore, must be, is to commit a familiar fallacy; to proceed from an assertion of the properties of the electronic medium to an assertion of what music produced by this medium therefore must be, is not only to commit the same fallacy (and thus do fallacies make strange bedfellows), but to misconstrue that compositional revolution of which the electronic medium has been the enabling instrument. For this revolution has effected, summarily and almost completely, a transfer of the limits of musical composition from the limits of the non-electronic medium and the human performer, not to the limits of this most extensive and flexible of media but to those more restrictive, more intricate, far less well understood limits; the perceptual and conceptual capacities of the human auditor.”

~ Milton Babbit, Perspectives of New Music