Recent work at the crossroads of music, science and sound studies has highlighted the benefits of studying music in light of the history of science and technology, and the reciprocal relevance of music as an object for scholars in this field. Reflecting the unequal scholarly interest in this trend across academic traditions, research has mostly focused on Germany, England and the US. This methodological bias has tended to occlude critical transnational aspects of the history of musical, scientific and technological encounters in the modern era, calling for a renewed approach that takes into account circulations of knowledge, actors and objects on a more global scale. This seminar series aims at sketching such a comprehensive approach, and expanding the horizons embraced by existing scholarship, by emphasizing the importance of new research materials.
In order to track these forgotten encounters, the seminar series will focus on objects—musical instruments, sound recording devices, science textbooks, measuring tools etc. Following these objects will lead speakers to explore multiple spaces, disciplines, and social worlds: scientific labs, composers’ and instrument makers’ workshops, churches, concert halls, recording studios, etc. Each presentation will also provide reflections about data and methods available for forthcoming sound, music and science studies. In so doing, the seminar series will offer both inquiries on relatively unexplored objects, such as the tuning fork and sonograph, and reexaminations of familiar figures in sound studies, considered from new angles, in different settings—for example, the microphone, considered as a liturgical accessory or a companion for ethnomusicological field research.
In addition to musicology and history of science, the seminar will multiply viewpoints on sound objects by gathering scholars from various disciplines (ie. acoustics, computer science, physics, comparative literature, social studies of science), as well as professionals in related fields (i.e. sound engineers, composers, performers, museum curators).
Organizers: NicolasDonin (STMS-Ircam/CNRS/Ministère de la Culture/Sorbonne Université), FannyGribenski (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin), JillianRogers (University College Cork)
June 8 | Mics in the wild
Interventions: Emmanuelle Olivier (Centre Georg Simmel, EHESS), Amandine Pras (University of Lethbridge), Xavier Bisaro (Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance and François Rabelais University, Tours), André Timponi (CRAL, EHESS) and Laura Zattra (IRCAM/IReMus)
Discussion: Frédérique Aït-Touati (CRAL, EHESS)