Thesis ID: CBB001560948

The Graphic Sound. An Archeology of Sound, Technology and Knowledge at 1900 (2008)


Tichindeleanu, Ovidiu (Author)

State University of New York at Binghamton
Tagg, John

Publication Date: 2008
Edition Details: Advisor: Tagg, John
Physical Details: 556 pp.
Language: English

***** "The Graphic Sound. An Archeology of Sound, Technology and Knowledge at 1900" is a study of the epistemic field of late nineteenth century Western Europe, in the wake of Michel Foucault's archeology of knowledge and Friedrich Kittler's media theory. I address the constitution of knowledge in relation to hearing and sound, and the relations between such knowledge formations, technology and power apparatuses during the Second Industrial Revolution (1871-1900) in France and Germany. The birth of modern media has brought the dispersion of discursive regimes which still defines the material possibilities of modern culture industries, split between the channels of visual, aural and textual media. What then, establishes the possibilities of common sense between what can be heard, seen and read? Following an overview of the recent theoretical literature on Sound Culture Studies and New German Media Theory, I show firstly that the spoken high idioms of French, German, and English are the recent product of disciplinary power mechanisms aiming to create a phonetically homogeneous space of discursivity. The repression of dialects produces new conditions of discursivity, making possible the emergence of experimental phonetics, dialectology and linguistic geography. A second point of insertion is the normalization of performed Western music, evidenced in the establishment of equal temperament and standard pitch as regulations governing musical performance. Modern colonialism and sound reproduction have brought the high idiom of Western music in contact with the radical difference of the Other's music. I follow the rationalization of this process in the first archives of "exotic" sound recordings, the Berlin Phonogram Archive, and consequent emergence of the new discipline of comparative musicology. Thirdly, I reopen Carl Stumpf's tone psychology, an investigation of the possibilities of pre-discursive thought focused on aural perception, compared with Wilhelm Dilthey's critique of historical reason. In conclusion, a new type of epistemic object appears at the point of dispersion of discourses. The emerging disciplines are based on difference, hybridity and non-signifying correspondences between aural, visual and textual regimens. The function of technology and biopolitical power mechanisms is to turn the anonymity of the empirical fact into a productive epistemic positivity. ***** References ***** * References (298) *****


Description Considers rise of high idioms in language, sound technology, the normalization of performed music, and Carl Stumpf's tone psychology. Cited in Diss. Abstr. Int. A 70/04 (2009).

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Authors & Contributors
Pantalony, David Alexander
Thompson, Emily Ann
Ash, Mitchell G.
Baumgartner, Wilhelm
Schaller, Helmut W.
Knobloch, Clemens
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Medizinhistorisches Journal
Physics in Perspective
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
The MIT Press
Verlag J. H. Röll
Springer Science + Business Media
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Toronto
Language and languages
Music theory
Stumpf, Carl
Helmholtz, Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von
Koenig, Karl Rudolph
Schoenberg, Arnold
Einstein, Albert
Fechner, Gustav Theodor
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
United States
Great Britain

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