Critical Panel on Georgina Born’s ‘On Musical Mediation: Ontology, Technology and Creativity’

City’s latest music research seminar saw staff, students and other London-based researchers engaging in a critical panel discussion of Georgina Born’s well known article, ‘On Musical Mediation: Ontology, Technology and Creativity’.

The evening began with a series of brief responses, which touched on a range of issues. Ikuko Inoguchi and Diana Salazar discussed the relevance of Born’s argument to practicing musicians and practice-based researchers, while Liam Cagney assessed the article as a work of music philosophy. Miranda Crowdus and Kyle Devine offered degrees of reflexivity, situating the article within Born’s oeuvre and as itself an artifact and agent of history and culture. Ian Pace used a wealth of historical examples to call into question several of Born’s generalisations about relationships between ontology and genre. Finally, in addition to chairing the panel Laudan Nooshin offered a response on creativity, stemming from her work on Iranian improvisation. The ensuing floor discussion was equally wide-ranging, covering topics from the practical to the philosophical.

A common thread weaving through much of the evening (and, indeed, much of the research and teaching in City’s Music Department) was the degree to which technological mediation influences our understanding of what music is — and what it might be.

For a link to Born’s article on the Twentieth-Century Music website, visit

— Kyle Devine