‘A Towering Virtue of Necessity’: Computer Music at Vietnam-Era Stanford

Cyrus C.M. Mody*, Andrew J. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Stanford, more than most American universities, transformed in the early Cold War into a research powerhouse tied to national security priorities. The budgetary and legitimacy crises that beset the military-industrial-academic research complex in the 1960s thus struck Stanford so deeply that many feared the university itself might not survive. We argue that these crises facilitated the rise of a new kind of interdisciplinarity at Stanford, as evidenced in particular by the founding of the university''s computer music center. Focusing on the multivocal technology of computer music, we investigate the relationships between Stanford''s broader institutional environment and the interactions among musicians, engineers, administrators, activists, and funders in order to explain the emergence of one of the most creative and profitable loci for Stanford''s contributions to industry and the arts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-277
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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