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A letter from an alumnus about music and Princeton

May 24, 2002

In the April 24 issue, Caroline Moseley writes fluently of Perry Cook’s computer science lab at Princeton and his efforts toward extending its domain into musical performance and other areas of the arts.

At one point, Moseley notes that "Cook holds what the computer science department and music department both believe to be the only such joint appointment in the country." While this may be true, at least at the teaching level, there are other interesting ventures in this dual field led by multiqualified academic personnel. For the past year or more, James Oliverios of the University of Florida’s music faculty has been the first director of UF’s Digital Worlds Institute. Its project "Dancing Beyond Boundaries" won the "most courageous and creative" award at last year’s Global Supecomputing Conference.

I confess, though to having mixed feelings about the real value of all this dazzling gadgetry to the art of music. PAW has reinforced a growing media fascination with cutting-edge stories, while I continue to yearn for explorations of the fine and performing arts themselves. I seem to recall that such articles used to be a mainstay of the magazine back in the 1960s and ’70s.

David M. Grundy ’58
Gainesville, Fla.

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