1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art

Edited By Marcel Cobussen, Vincent Meelberg, Barry Truax Copyright 2017
    502 Pages
    by Routledge

    502 Pages
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art presents an overview of the issues, methods, and approaches crucial for the study of sound in artistic practice. Thirty-six essays cover a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to studying sounding art from the fields of musicology, cultural studies, sound design, auditory culture, art history, and philosophy. The companion website hosts sound examples and links to further resources.

    The collection is organized around six main themes:

    • Sounding Art: The notion of sounding art, its relation to sound studies, and its evolution and possibilities.

    • Acoustic Knowledge and Communication: How we approach, study, and analyze sound and the challenges of writing about sound.

    • Listening and Memory: Listening from different perspectives, from the psychology of listening to embodied and technologically mediated listening.

    • Acoustic Spaces, Identities and Communities: How humans arrange their sonic environments, how this relates to sonic identity, how music contributes to our environment, and the ethical and political implications of sound.

    • Sonic Histories: How studying sounding art can contribute methodologically and epistemologically to historiography.

    • Sound Technologies and Media: The impact of sonic technologies on contemporary culture, electroacoustic innovation, and how the way we make and access music has changed.

    With contributions from leading scholars and cutting-edge researchers, The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art is an essential resource for anyone studying the intersection of sound and art.

    General Introduction (Marcel Cobussen, Vincent Meelberg, and Barry Truax)

    Part 1: Sounding Art

    Introduction (Marcel Cobussen)

    1. But Is It (Also) Music? (Leigh Landy)

    2. Defining Sound Art (Laura Maes and Marc Leman)

    3. Sound Leads Elsewhere (Douglas Kahn)

    4. Dams, Weirs, and Damn Weird Ears: Post-Ergonal Sound (Seth Kim-Cohen)

    5. Sound Words and Sonic Fictions: Writing the Ephemeral (Salomé Voegelin)

    6. Field Recording Centered Composition Practices: Negotiating the "Out-there" with the "In-here" (John Levack Drever)

    7. Soundwalking, Sonification and Activism (Andrea Polli)

    Part 2: Acoustic Knowledge and Communication

    Introduction (Marcel Cobussen)

    8. Why I Make Music with Natural Sounds (David Rothenberg)

    9. > Image > Memory > Sound > Text > (John Wynne)

    10. Institutionalized Sound (Frances Dyson)

    11. Sonification and Music, Music and Sonification (Paul Vickers)

    12. String Theory. Denis Diderot’s Philosophy of Sound and Everything (Veit Erlmann)

    13. Music to the Eyes: Intersensoriality, Culture, and the Arts (David Howes)

    Part 3: Listening and Memory

    Introduction (Barry Truax)

    14. That Passing Glance: Sounding Paths Between Memory and Familiarity (Katharine Norman)

    15. The Art and Science of Sensory Memory Walking (Helmi Järviluoma)

    16. Postphenomenology: Sound Beyond Sound (Don Ihde)

    17. Auditory Capital, Media Publics and the Sounding Arts (Kate Lacey)

    18. Sonic Subjectivities (Ruth Herbert)

    19. Pieces of Music as Memory Capsules (Tiina Männistö-Funk)

    Part 4: Acoustic Spaces, Identities, and Communities

    Introduction (Vincent Meelberg)

    20. Acoustic Space, Community, and Virtual Soundscapes (Barry Truax)

    21. Towards an Art of Impregnation (Jean-Paul Thibaud)

    22. Restless Acoustics, Emergent Publics (Brandon LaBelle)

    23. Sounding Art Climate Change (Matthew Burtner)

    24. Unsettling Performances, Soundwalks and Loudspeakers: Gender in Electroacoustic Music and Other Sounding Arts (Hannah Bosma)

    25. Developing a Cognitive Heuristic Model of Sound Art (Linda-Ruth Salter and Barry A. Blesser)

    Part 5: Sonic Histories

    Introduction (Vincent Meelberg)

    26. Whistling for the Hell of It (Hillel Schwartz)

    27. Shakespeare as Sound Artist (Bruce R. Smith)

    28. History, Archaeology, and De-anthropocentrism in Sound Art (Mandy-Suzanne Wong)

    29. Weimar Activism: Walter Benjamin’s Work for Radio (Erik Granly Jensen)

    30. Mapping Sounding Art: Affect, Place, Memory (Norie Neumark)

    Part 6: Sound Technologies and Media

    Introduction (Barry Truax)

    31. What Would Be a Digital Sound? (Aden Evens)

    32. Algorithms, Affect, and Aesthetic Listening (David Cecchetto)

    33. Performance with Technology: Extending the Instrument – From Prosthetic to Aesthetic (Simon Emmerson)

    34. Distributed Sounding Art – Practices in Distributing Sound (Franziska Schroeder and Pedro Rebelo)

    35. The Art of a New Technology: Early Synthesizer Sounds (Trevor Pinch)

    36. The Privatization of Sound Space (Mark Grimshaw)


    Marcel Cobussen is Professor in Music Philosophy and Auditory Culture at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium. He is co-founding editor of the open access online Journal of Sonic Studies.

    Vincent Meelberg is Senior Lecturer and researcher in the Department of Cultural Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and at the Academy for Creative and Performing Arts in Leiden and The Hague. He is co-founding editor of the Journal of Sonic Studies.

    Barry Truax is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, where he taught courses in acoustic communication and electroacoustic composition, specializing in soundscape composition.

    "This is a wonderfully compiled and innovative volume, drawing upon a stellar range of contributors to break necessary new ground in sounding art. By listening outward and not just inward, the authors explore the ways sound is woven into our daily practices, from the video games we play to a simple walk through the city. This volume speaks not just to sound practitioners but to anyone with an inquisitiveness as to the role the sonic plays in our lives."

    —Michael Bull, Professor of Sound Studies, University of Sussex

    "What is sound? Or the relationship between sound art and music? How does sound shape space and organize bodies? This valuable and wide-ranging compendium of essays by artists, composers, musicologists, philosophers, historians, and sound designers addresses all of these questions and more, examining the aesthetic, communicative, ethical, social, and political circulation of sound in our world. The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art richly contributes to the growing field of ‘sound studies’ and vastly expands its purview."

    —Christoph Cox, Professor of Philosophy, Hampshire College

    "This is the book I’ve been waiting for, the book that breaks up the old-fashioned discussion of the differences and values of art, sound, music, and noise. Its international scope opens the mind to the vastness and importance of what we hear and how we listen, discovering new and surprising ways to become a conscious listener and sound thinker."

    —Christina Kubisch, composer and sound artist