Thomas Patteson: Instruments for New Music: Sound, Technology, and Modernism (2015)

25 November 2015, dusan

“Player pianos, radio-electric circuits, gramophone records, and optical sound film—these were the cutting-edge acoustic technologies of the early twentieth century, and for many musicians and artists of the time, these devices were also the implements of a musical revolution. Instruments for New Music traces a diffuse network of cultural agents who shared the belief that a truly modern music could be attained only through a radical challenge to the technological foundations of the art. Centered in Germany during the 1920s and 1930s, the movement to create new instruments encompassed a broad spectrum of experiments, from the exploration of microtonal tunings and exotic tone colors to the ability to compose directly for automatic musical machines. This movement comprised composers, inventors, and visual artists, including Paul Hindemith, Ernst Toch, Jörg Mager, Friedrich Trautwein, László Moholy-Nagy, Walter Ruttmann, and Oskar Fischinger. Patteson’s fascinating study combines an artifact-oriented history of new music in the early twentieth century with an astute revisiting of still-relevant debates about the relationship between technology and the arts.”

Publisher University of California Press, Nov 2015
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 4.0 license.
ISBN 9780520963122 (EPUB), 9780520963122 (PDF)
250 pages

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EPUB
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Friedrich Kittler: The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence (2013/2014) [DE, EN]

15 December 2014, dusan

“Few German scholars in the past 50 years have had such a lasting impact on the cultural situation of our time, including its academic institutions, as Friedrich Kittler. It is in large part due to his writings that the radio, the gramophone, and the computer are not just objects of cultural fascination, but also of philosophical reflection.

This volume contains a collection of essays written by Kittler over the course of 40 years which serve as a testament to the enormous breadth, intensity, and the singular creativity of his thought.”

German edition
Edited and with an Afterword by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Publisher Suhrkamp, Berlin, 2013
ISBN 9783518732984
432 pages

English edition
Translated by Erik Butler
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2014
ISBN 9780804792622
400 pages

Publisher: DE, EN
Worldcat: DE, EN

Die Wahrheit der technischen Welt (EPUB), EPUB (German)
The Truth of the Technological World (EPUB), EPUB (English)

More from Kittler

Jonathan Sterne: The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (2003)

19 February 2014, dusan

The Audible Past explores the cultural origins of sound reproduction. It describes a distinctive sound culture that gave birth to the sound recording and the transmission devices so ubiquitous in modern life. With an ear for the unexpected, scholar and musician Jonathan Sterne uses the technological and cultural precursors of telephony, phonography, and radio as an entry point into a history of sound in its own right. Sterne studies the constantly shifting boundary between phenomena organized as “sound” and “not sound.” In The Audible Past, this history crisscrosses the liminal regions between bodies and machines, originals and copies, nature and culture, and life and death.

Blending cultural studies and the history of communication technology, Sterne follows modern sound technologies back through a historical labyrinth. Along the way, he encounters capitalists and inventors, musicians and philosophers, embalmers and grave robbers, doctors and patients, deaf children and their teachers, professionals and hobbyists, folklorists and tribal singers. The Audible Past tracks the connections between the history of sound and the defining features of modernity: from developments in medicine, physics, and philosophy to the tumultuous shifts of industrial capitalism, colonialism, urbanization, modern technology, and the rise of a new middle class.

A provocative history of sound, The Audible Past challenges theoretical commonplaces such as the philosophical privilege of the speaking subject, the visual bias in theories of modernity, and static descriptions of nature. It will interest those in cultural studies, media and communication studies, the new musicology, and the history of technology.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2003
ISBN 082233013X, 9780822330134
450 pages
via nutzenberg

Review (James P. Kraft, The American Historical Review)
Review (Karin Bijsterveld, Technology and Culture)

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PDF (low quality scan, no OCR, 40 MB)
EPUB (added on 2014-1-21)