John M. Picker: Victorian Soundscapes (2003)

26 April 2013, dusan

“Far from the hushed restraint we associate with the Victorians, their world pulsated with sound. This book shows how, in more ways than one, Victorians were hearing things. The representations close listeners left of their soundscapes offered new meanings for silence, music, noise, voice, and echo that constitute an important part of the Victorian legacy to us today. In chronicling the shift from Romantic to modern configurations of sound and voice, Picker draws upon literary and scientific works to recapture the sense of aural discovery figures such as Babbage, Helmholtz, Freud, Bell, and Edison shared with the likes of Dickens, George Eliot, Tennyson, Stoker, and Conrad.”

Publisher Oxford University Press, 2003
ISBN 0195151917, 9780195151916
220 pages


PDF, PDF (updated on 2017-3-2)

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, NC, September 2012
Sign, Storage, Transmission series
ISBN 0822352877, 9780822352877
341 pages

Reviews: Robert Barry (review31), Hillegonda Rietveld (Times Higher Education), Hua Hsu (Slate).
Interview with the author: Eric Harvey (Pitchfork).


PDF (updated on 2021-4-9)

Tony Gibbs: The Fundamentals of Sonic Art & Sound Design (2007)

18 September 2010, dusan

The Fundamentals of Sonic Art & Sound Design introduces a subject that will be new to many: sonic arts. The application of sound to other media (such as film or video) is well known, and the idea of sound as a medium in its own right is also widely accepted. However, the idea that sound could also be a distinct art form by itself is less well established and often misunderstood.

The Fundamentals of Sonic Arts & Sound Design introduces, describes and begins the process of defining this new subject and provides a starting point for anyone who has an interest in the creative uses of sound.

The book explores the worlds of sonic arts and sound design through their history and development, and looks at the present state of these extraordinarily diverse genres through the works and words of established artists. It discusses the wide range of practices that currently come under the heading of ‘sonic art’, as well as the technologies that are used and the impact that they have upon the work.

* Introduces students to the diverse disciplines of sonic art and sound design, examining the relevant technologies and approaches to recording, performance and display.
* Describes the history and development of sonic art as a distinct subject.
* Supported by a variety of examples, quotations and interviews with artists, as well as student resources, suggested reading and listening.

Publisher AVA Publishing, 2007
Fundamentals (Ava) Series / AVA academia
ISBN 2940373493, 9782940373499
175 pages

google books

PDF (updated on 2012-8-3)