Rethinking Music through Science and Technology Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Rethinking Music through Science and Technology Studies

ISBN 9780367200541
Published May 4, 2021 by Routledge
304 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume seeks to offer a new approach to the study of music through the lens of recent works in science and technology studies (STS), which propose that facts are neither absolute truths, nor completely relative, but emerge from an intensely collective process of construction. Applied to the study of music, this approach enables us to reconcile the human, social, factual, and technological aspects of the musical world, and opens the prospect of new areas of inquiry in musicology and sound studies.

Rethinking Music through Science and Technology Studies draws together a wide range of both leading and emerging scholars to offer a critical survey of STS applications to music studies, considering topics ranging from classical music instrument-making to the ethos of DIY in punk music. The book’s four sections focus on key areas of music study that are impacted by STS: organology, sound studies, music history, and epistemology. Raising crucial methodological and epistemological questions about the study of music, this book will be relevant to scholars studying the interactions between music, culture, and technology from many disciplinary perspectives.


Table of Contents

Foreword   Howard S. Becker
Introduction  Antoine Hennion and Christophe Levaux
I. Histories
1. Rameau and Harmony: Can Theory Make Reason of Music?
 Antoine Hennion
2. Sounding Standards: A History Concert Pitch, between Musicology and STS
 Fanny Gribenski
3. Is DIY a Punk Invention?: Learning processes, Recording Devices, and Social Knowledge 

François Ribac
4. Secure and Insecure Bases in the Performance of Western Classical Music
 Daniel Leech-Wilkinson
5. Deep Structure: The Generative Subject in Actor-Network Theory and Musicology
 Patrick Valiquet
II. Instruments
6. Sonic Imaginaries: How Hugh Davies and David Van Koevering Performed Electronic Music’s Future
James Mooney and Trevor Pinch
7. Following the Instruments: The Designers and Users of the Fairlight CMI
Paul Harkins
8. The Interface and Instrumentality of Eurorack Modular Synthesis
Eliot Bates
III. Technologies
9. Human Sounds and the Obscenity of Information
 David Trippett
10.  STS Confronts the Vocaloid: Assemblage Thinking with Hatsune Miku
Nick Prior
11. Similarity and Difference in Sound Studies (and elsewhere)
 Basile Zimmermann
IV. Practices
12.  Smartphones, Streaming Platforms, and the Infrastructuring of Digital Music Practices

Paolo Magaudda
13. Tracing the Music Actor-Network: Losing the Meaning of Musical Experience? The Limits of a Routinization of Science and Technology Studies Applied to Techniques and Knowledges of Music
 François Debruyne
14. Musicalized Images: Composing, Playing, Remixing, and Performing Net Art
Jean-Paul Fourmentraux

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Antoine Hennion is Professor at Mines ParisTech, and the former Director of the Centre for the Sociology of Innovation. He has written extensively on the sociology of music, media, and cultural industries.

Christophe Levaux is a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Liège, Belgium. His research focuses on approaches to 20th-century American music and Actor-Network Theory.