1  Background

1.1  What is synthesis?

‘Synthesis’ is defined in the 2003 edition of the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary as ‘building up; putting together; making a whole out of parts’. The process of synthesis is thus a bringing together, and the ‘making a whole’ is significant because it implies more than just a random assembly: synthesis should be a creative process. It is this artistic aspect, which is often overlooked in favour of the more technical aspects of the subject. Although a synthesizer may be capable of producing almost infinite varieties of output, controlling and choosing them requires human intervention and skill.

This chapter introduces the concept of synthesis, and briefly describes the history. It includes brief overviews ...

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