From Xenakis’s UPIC to Graphic Notation Today



ISBN: 9783775747417 Category:

ZKM / Hertz-Labor, Peter Weibel, Ludger Brümmer, Sharon Kanach


UPIC, which stands for Unité Polyagogique Informatique: As technical as this term may seem at first, this apparatus is magical. For it is about nothing less than the translation of visuality in the form of drawings into sound and composed music. The digital wonder machine was created in the late 1970s by the composer Iannis Xenakis together with an interdisciplinary research team. Its value as a musical instrument is even surpassed by its historical role as a driving force for the development of digital music. The publication traces the resulting technical, social, institutional and educational significance. Interviews with contemporary witnesses as well as texts by scientists and artists provide a comprehensive insight with the rich visual material. Via QR-Code you can also create your own sound picture of UPIC compositions.

Additional information

Weight 1200 g
Dimensions 15.5 x 22.2 cm
Publisher name Hatje Cantz Verlag
Publication date 27 October 2020
Number of pages 672
Format Hardback
Dimensions 15.5 x 22.2 cm
Weight 1200 g


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IANNIS XENAKIS (1922-2001) can also be described as a "sound architect". Before the composer dedicated himself to music, he studied engineering in Athens. It is therefore not surprising that mathematical, geometrical and architectural principles underlie many of his pieces.