Trevor Pinch, Karin Bijsterveld (eds.): The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies (2011)

18 July 2014, dusan

“Written by the leading scholars and researchers in the emerging field of sound studies, The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies offers new and fully engaging perspectives on the significance of sound in its material and cultural forms. The book considers sounds and music as experienced in such diverse settings as shop floors, laboratories, clinics, design studios, homes, and clubs, across an impressively broad range of historical periods and national and cultural contexts.

Science has traditionally been understood as a visual matter, a study which has historically been undertaken with optical technologies such as slides, graphs, and telescopes. This book questions that notion powerfully by showing how listening has contributed to scientific practice. Sounds have always been a part of human experience, shaping and transforming the world in which we live in ways that often go unnoticed. Sounds and music, the authors argue, are embedded in the fabric of everyday life, art, commerce, and politics in ways which impact our perception of the world. Through an extraordinarily diverse set of case studies, authors illustrate how sounds — from the sounds of industrialization, to the sounds of automobiles, to sounds in underwater music and hip-hop, to the sounds of nanotechnology — give rise to new forms listening practices. In addition, the book discusses the rise of new public problems such as noise pollution, hearing loss, and the “end” of the amateur musician that stem from the spread and appropriation of new sound- and music-related technologies, analog and digital, in many domains of life.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2011
ISBN 0199995818, 9780195388947
624 pages

Reviews: John F. Barber (Leonardo, 2012), Bruce Johnson (Popular Music, 2013), William Cheng (Journal of the American Musicological Society, 2014).

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Victor Coelho (ed.): Music and Science in the Age of Galileo (1992)

17 May 2014, dusan

Music and Science in the Age of Galileo features twelve essays by leading specialists in the fields of musicology, history of science, astronomy, philosophy, and instrument building that explore the relations between music and the scientific culture of Galileo’s time. The essays take a broad historical approach towards understanding such topics as the role of music in Galileo’s experiments and in the scientific revolution, the musical formation of scientists, Galileo’s impact on the art and music of his time, the scientific knowledge of instrument builders, and the scientific experiments and cultural context of Galileo’s father, Vincenzo Galilei. This volume opens up new areas in both musicology and the history of science, and twists together various strands of parallel work by musicians and scientists on Galileo and his time.”

Publisher Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1992
Reprinted by Springer, 1992
The Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science series, Volume 51
ISBN 9789048142187
247 pages

Review (Rhonda Martens, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 1997)

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Joscelyn Godwin: Athanasius Kircher: A Renaissance Man and the Quest for Lost Knowledge (1979)

30 June 2013, dusan

Athanasius Kircher (1602-80) stands out as one of the last all-encompassing minds, living in the age of Descartes and Newton, but expounding his knowledge in the light of a unified, spiritual world-view. For this true Renaissance man, the whole cosmos was a glorious theophany waiting to be explored.

Kircher was a Jesuit and an archeologist, a phenomenal linguist and an avid collector of scientific instruments and geographical exploration. He probed the secrets of the subterranean world, deciphered archaic languages, experimented with alchemy and music-therapy, optics and magnetism.

Egyptian mystery wisdom, Greek, Cabbalistic and Christian philosophy met on common ground in Kircher’s work; his sumptuous, encyclopaedic volumes were revered throughout Europe. His gigantic oeuvre is approached here through striking engravings – most of them reprinted for the first time – together with annotations and an introduction to Kircher’s life and work.

Publisher Thames & Hudson, 1979
Art and Imagination series
ISBN 0500810222, 9780500810224
96 pages

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