Mark J. Butler is Associate Professor of Music Theory and Cognition at Northwestern University and is the author of Unlocking the Groove: Rhythm, Meter, and Musical Design in Electronic Dance Music (Indiana University, 2006).
Playing with Something That Runs is an immaculate piece of popular musicology, with the potential to become one the cornerstone texts in our discipline. Its interdisciplinary approach provides an incredibly compelling insight into the performance and consumption of live EDM, and the companion website offers a great tool in bringing the discussions of recordings and performances to life through carefully curated audio and video examples. -- Toby Young , Dancecult.net This comprehensive, authoritative, and thoroughly up-to-date volume is without equal. I wish I had such a resource when I was learning Gothic (and teaching it). -- Wayne Harbert, Cornell University Not since the grammar of von der Gabelentz and Loebe of the first half of the 19th century has there beenAsuch a comprehensive account of the Gothic language. Of particular value are the emphasis on word-formation and syntax, and the generous bibliography. -- Patrick Stiles, University College London These reflections do not fail to pose many difficulties to the musical theory: where does the identity of the work lie? Is there a hierarchy between different versions of the same composition ? Why are some compositions not intended to be listened to publicly but only to provide the raw material of improvisation?...What is the relationship between human and technology? In asking these questions, Mark Butler invites us to go beyond many of the common places of musicology that have been settled since the nineteenth century as the objections between product and process, work and performance, composition and improvisation - and many othersaIt shows us that popular electronic music is the current place for an intense widening of the spectrum of possible on the future of musical creation, both in the field of avant-garde and mainstream music. -- Emmanuel Parent, L'Universite Rennes 2, Volume! Winner of the 2015 PMIG Outstanding Publication Award from the Society of Music Theory