In August 2020, Bloomsbury Academic released my Music Composition in the 21st Century: A Practical Guide to the New Common Practice. The book is a series of essays that relate to the huge range of issues and practices composers need to confront and understand today, no matter what their ultimate style or voice. I’ve been refining it over the years in lectures and articles, and this is the fruit,…for better or worse! Topics include new forms of harmony; technology; sound art; improvisation; multidisciplinary collaboration; stylistic hybridization…and all the intersections between. It’s too early for reviews, but here are the “blurbers”:

Robert Carl picks up the past century's musical threads and weaves a rich tapestry by connecting them with the new trends impacting modern composition. His view of the cultural scene is essential for anyone hoping to understand 21st-century composition –
S. Andrew Granade, Professor of Musicology, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA

With profound insight and sense of history, Carl's Music Composition in the 21st Centuryexamines all aspects of 'new common practice' of music composition. An intriguing book for anyone who cares for exploring music composition in our own time.”
Ping Jin, Professor of Music, China Conservatory of Music, China

Robert Carl is one of those writers who is able to transcend both the pitfall of trying to be cool at the expense of being thorough, as well as the pitfall of trying to be academically airtight at the expense of being readable. Young American composers will want this book.
Joel Hoffman, Special Professor, China Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China, and Professor Emeritus, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, USA

Vital, personal, and as effortlessly informative as it is humorous, Robert Carl's Music Composition in the 21st Century is chock full of compelling opinions and clear definitions. From serialism and indeterminacy to minimalism and new media, Carl knits together the common threads of music using vastly different materials, celebrating multiplicities as a “practice of openness.” As he so aptly summarizes the scene, 'sophistication comes in many forms.' With Carl deftly leading the way, the unsuspecting reader will find much of the 21st-century music he addresses not only survivable but heartening and heartwarming. So read this book to expand your taste and embolden your ears!” –
John McDonald, Composer and Pianist, Professor of Music and Director of Graduate Music Studies, Tufts University, USA

You can buy directly from Bloomsbury:

Or Amazon: