My research is studying this emerging profession: its history, activity, dynamics, difficulties, human and cultural exchanges. It focuses on the source material conserved at various computer music centres, expecially at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris and at the CSC (Centro di Sonologia Computazionale) in Padova.
Old and often forgotten archival material (little known sources containing administrative documents, letters, memos); scientific literature produced by musical assistants and interviews with musical assistants are being researched. The methodology combines historic musicology with anthropologic methods based on oral history practice. The project involves an anonymous survey, designed to retrieve the information from professionals who have knowledge and skills in this field.
This research is funded by French CNRS (invited researcher CNRS INS2I at Ircam in Paris, Equipe Analyse des pratiques musicales du Laboratoire STMS Ircam-CNRS-UPMC) and by the University of Padova (research grant).
 Manuel Poletti, Tom Mays et Carl Faia, « Assistant musical ou producteur ? Esquisse d’un nouveau métier », Journées d’Informatique Musicale, 9e édition, Marseille, 29 – 31 mai 2002, p. 241-246 (http://jim.afim-asso.org/jim2002/articles/L29_Mays.pdf), p. 243.