Abbate, C. (2004). Music: Drastic or gnostic?
Critical Inquiry, 30(3), 505–536.
Added by: sirfragalot 18 May 2016 12:03:01 Europe/Copenhagen
Abbate interprets Jankélévitch's work as "emphasizing an engagement with music as tantamount to an engagement with the phenomenal world and its inhabitants."
"Adorno described Schubert's music as a seismograph .. a suave metaphor ... Seismographs measure earthquakes, yet also record the earth’s murmured groans and imperceptible shifts below the threshold of perception with acuity that far outdoes the human senses. But more than this, their product—the trace they leave on paper, the product perceptible to our senses—is no amplification or direct transportation, not simply motion for motion. The product is motion translated into another medium: graphic inscriptions on paper that will remain abstract or illegible as long as they are taken as themselves."
"Real music is a temporal event with material presence that can be held by no hand. So why assume that musical sound made in time by the labor of performance is well served by recourse to a philosophical tradition that indeed deconstructs presence, but does so easily because it traffics exclusively in metaphysical objects? [paraphrasing and quoting Gumbrecht:] a critical discourse accounting for the “movement, immediacy, and violence” in events being “born to presence” prove more fertile. What Gumbrecht calls meaning culture and presence culture do not gain legitimacy by excluding each other. One of them is perpetually in danger of appearing illegitimate in the academy—presence culture. Yet meaning culture—scholarship’s privileged culture—is inadequate to deal with certain aesthetic phenomena, events like performed music in particular."
See Gumbrecht, “Form without Matter vs. Form as Event,” pp. 586–87. Here too, as in Jankélévitch, a hint of medieval theology makes an appearance.
"What seems important and worth noting, what does matter, and what characterizes devils and angels alike, is the paradox at work in the system. Hermeneutics argues for music’s efficacy in a particular way, seeing musical configurations either as sonic media for embedded signification or, more subtly, as points of departure wherein cultural or poetic associations are released in listeners during their contemplation of the work, upending their sense of self in the process. And yet hermeneutics relies upon music’s aura and strangeness, its great multiplicity of potential meanings, the fact that music is not a discursive language, that musical sounds are very bad at contradicting or resisting what is ascribed to them, that they shed associations and hence connotations so very easily, and absorb them, too. Hermeneutics fundamentally relies on music as mysterium, for mystery is the very thing that makes the cultural facts and processes that music is said to inscribe or release (therein becoming a nonmystery) seem so savory and interesting. Music’s ineffability—its broad shoulder—is relied upon so thoroughly and yet denied any value and even denied existence. This is the mysticism that will demonize mystery at every turn."
"More than forty years ago, Vladimir Jankélévitch made what is still one of the most passionate philosophical arguments for performance, insisting that real music is music that exists in time, the material acoustic phenomenon. Metaphysical mania encourages us to retreat from real music to the abstraction of the work . . . it is in the irreversible experience of playing, singing, or listening that any meanings summoned by music come into being. Retreating to the work displaces that experience, and dissecting the work’s technical features or saying what it represents reflects the wish
not to be transported by the state that the performance has engendered in us."
See Vladimir Jankélévitch, Music and the Ineffable, trans. Carolyn Abbate (Princeton, N.J., 2003), p. 77; hereafter abbreviated MI. A similar emphasis on doing characterizes Christopher Small’s ethnography of music making, Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening (Hanover, N.H., 1998).
"[why is] the academic discourse devoted to music ... comfortable with the metaphysical and abstract and uninterested in the systems that bring music into ephemeral phenomenal being."
Bull, M., & Back, L. (Eds). (2003).
The auditory culture reader. Oxford: Berg.
Added by: sirfragalot 14 May 2016 11:14:31 Europe/Copenhagen
The editors implicitly acknowledge that sound studies has yet to be defined in their hope that the chapters of the anthology should "provide an integrated picture of what sound studies should look like"
Pinch, T., & Bijsterveld, K. (2012). New keys to the world of science. In T. Pinch & K. Bijsterveld (Eds),
The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (pp. 3–35). New York: Oxford University Press.
Added by: sirfragalot 13 May 2016 14:17:18 Europe/Copenhagen
"now that technologies of transduction are everywhere, we would like to foreground their appropriation and consequences in science, society, and culture as important topics for study."
"Trandsuction turns sound into something accessible to other senses."
"technologies for storing, manipulating, and transferring sound and music ... and new ways of measuring, conceptualizing, and controlling sound"
interaction with sound and the role of technology in aiding or enhancing that interaction (e.g. stethoscopes and hearing aids/prostheses).
Sound studies is interdisciplinary. A number of disciplines and areas are involved including:
sound and soundscape design
anthropology of the senses
history of everyday life
science & technology studies
anthropology of medicine and the body
Pinch, T., & Bijsterveld, K. (2004). Sound studies: New technologies and music.
Social Studies of Science, 34(5), 635–648.
Added by: sirfragalot 13 May 2016 11:04:33 Europe/Copenhagen
"What S&TS can contribute is a focus on the materiality of sound, its embeddedness not only in history, society, and culture, but also in science and technology and its machines and ways of knowing and interacting."
"Sound Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary area that studies the material production and consumption of music, sound, noise, and silence, and how these have changed throughout history and within different societies"
Sterne, J. (2012). Sonic imaginations. In J. Sterne (Ed.),
The Sound Studies Reader (pp. 1–17). London: Routledge.
Added by: sirfragalot 13 May 2016 14:30:26 Europe/Copenhagen
studies is a name for the interdisciplinary ferment in the human sciences that takes sound as its analytical point of departure or arrival. By analyzing both sonic practices and the discourses and institutions that describe them, it redescribes what sound does in the human world, and what humans do in the sonic world."
Sterne uses the term 'sound students' to describe those who "produce and transform knowledge about sound and in the process reflexively attend to the (cultural, political, environmental, aesthetic. . .) stakes of that knowledge production".
"Does sound refer to a phenomenon out in the world which ears then pick up? Does it refer to a human phenomenon that only exists in relation to the physical world? Or is it something else? The answer to the question has tremendous implications for both the objects and methods of sound studies."
"Sound studies' challenge is to think across sounds, to consider sonic phenomena in relationship to one another—
as types of sonic phenomena rather than as things-in-themselves—whether they be music, voices, listening, media, buildings, performances, or another other [sic] path into sonic life."
Sound studies is an academic field in the humanities and social sciences defined by combination of object and approach. Not all scholarship about or with sound is "sound studies," just as not all scholarship about society is Sociology, not all scholarship with a concept of culture is cultural studies or Anthropology, not all scholarship that works with concepts of languages is Linguistics. The inside/outside description is useful for characterization, but is not useful in the first instance of the judgment of relevance or quality.
Sound students recognize sound as a problem that cuts across academic disciplines, methods and objects, though the field's institutional existence will vary as it moves across different national university cultures (and all disciplines begin begin as interdisciplines).
Sound studies work reflexively attends to its core concepts and objects.
Sound studies work is conscious of its own historicity. Sound students are aware that they are part of an ongoing conversation about sound that spans eras, traditions, places, and disciplines; they are also aware of the specific histories of inquiring about and writing about sound in their home disciplines.
Sound studies has an essential "critical" element, in the broadest sense of critique. It may also take on characteristics of a producer, policy, technical, political, artistic or training discourse. But without critique, it is art, technical discourse, science, cultural production or training practices "about sound," and not sound studies (though such work will often be of great interest to sound students).