Osiris 28: Music, Sound, and the Laboratory from 1750–1980 (2013)

14 November 2014, dusan

“The understanding of sound underwent profound changes with the advent of laboratory science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. New techniques of sound visualization and detection, the use of electricity to generate sound, and the emergence of computers radically reshaped the science of acoustics and the practice of music. The essays in this volume of Osiris explore the manifold transformations of sound ranging from soundproof rooms to psychoacoustics of seismology to galvanic music to pedaling technique. They also discuss more general themes such as the nature of scientific evidence and the development of instruments and instrumentation. In examining the reciprocity between music and science, this volume reaches a new register in the evolution of scientific methodology during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

Edited by Alexandra Hui, Julia Kursell, and Myles W. Jackson
Publisher University of Chicago Press, August 2013
ISBN 022605375X, 9780226053752
303 pages

Publisher
WorldCat

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Barry Truax: Acoustic Communication (1984)

13 February 2013, dusan

This book draws upon many traditional disciplines that deal with specific aspects of sound, and presents material within an interdisciplinary framework. It establishes a model for understanding all acoustic and aural experiences both in their traditional forms and as they have been radically altered in the 20th century, Digital technology has completely redefined the listening and consumption patterns of sound.

Publisher Ablex Publishing, Norwood/NJ
ISBN 0893912638, 9780893912635
244 pages

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Jonathan Sterne: MP3: The Meaning of a Format (2012)

6 January 2013, dusan

MP3: The Meaning of a Format recounts the hundred-year history of the world’s most common format for recorded audio. Understanding the historical meaning of the MP3 format entails rethinking the place of digital technologies in the larger universe of twentieth-century communication history, from hearing research conducted by the telephone industry in the 1910s, through the mid-century development of perceptual coding (the technology underlying the MP3), to the format’s promiscuous social life since the mid 1990s.

MP3s are products of compression, a process that removes sounds unlikely to be heard from recordings. Although media history is often characterized as a progression toward greater definition, fidelity, and truthfulness, MP3: The Meaning of a Format illuminates the crucial role of compression in the development of modern media and sound culture. Taking the history of compression as his point of departure, Jonathan Sterne investigates the relationships among sound, silence, sense, and noise; the commodity status of recorded sound and the economic role of piracy; and the importance of standards in the governance of our emerging media culture. He demonstrates that formats, standards, and infrastructures—and the need for content to fit inside them—are every bit as central to communication as the boxes we call “media.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, September 2012
Sign, Storage, Transmission series
ISBN 0822352877, 9780822352877
341 pages

review (Robert Barry, review31)
review (Hillegonda Rietveld, Times Higher Education)
review (Hua Hsu, Slate)
interview with the author (Eric Harvey, Pitchfork)

publisher
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