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.
In this audacious book, Ana María Ochoa Gautier explores how listening has been central to the production of notions of language, music, voice, and sound that determine the politics of life. Drawing primarily from nineteenth-century Colombian sources, Ochoa Gautier locates sounds produced by different living entities at the juncture of the human and nonhuman. Her "acoustically tuned" analysis of a wide array of texts reveals multiple debates on the nature of the aural. These discussions were central to a politics of the voice harnessed in the service of the production of different notions of personhood and belonging. In Ochoa Gautier's groundbreaking work, Latin America and the Caribbean emerge as a historical site where the politics of life and the politics of expression inextricably entangle the musical and the linguistic, knowledge and the sensorial.
Beloved as the city of light, Paris in the nineteenth century sparked the acclaim of poets and the odium of the bourgeois with its distinctive sounds. Street vendors bellowed songs known as the Cris de Paris that had been associated with their trades since the Middle Ages; musicians itinerant and otherwise played for change; and flâneurs-writers, fascinated with the city's underside, listened and recorded much about what they heard.
Aimée Boutin tours the sonic space that orchestrated the different, often conflicting sound cultures that defined the street ambience of Paris. Mining accounts that range from guidebooks to verse, Boutin braids literary, cultural, and social history to reconstruct a lost auditory environment. Throughout, impressions of street noise shape writers' sense of place and perception of modern social relations. As Boutin shows, the din of the Cris contrasted economic abundance with the disparities of the capital, old and new traditions, and the vibrancy of street commerce with an increasing bourgeois demand for quiet. In time, peddlers who provided the soundtrack for Paris's narrow streets yielded to modernity, with its taciturn shopkeepers and wide-open boulevards, and the fading songs of the Cris became a dirge for the passing of old ways.
Brazilian popular music is widely celebrated for its inventive amalgams of styles and sounds. Cariocas, native residents of Rio de Janeiro, think of their city as particularly conducive to musical mixture, given its history as a hub of Brazilian media and culture. In Contemporary Carioca, the ethnomusicologist Frederick Moehn introduces a generation of Rio-based musicians who collaboratively have reinvigorated Brazilian genres, such as samba and maracatu, through juxtaposition with international influences, including rock, techno, and funk. Moehn highlights the creativity of individual artists, including Marcos Suzano, Lenine, Pedro Luís, Fernanda Abreu, and Paulinho Moska. He describes how these artists manage their careers, having reclaimed some control from record labels. Examining the specific meanings that their fusions have in the Carioca scene, he explains that musical mixture is not only intertwined with nationalist discourses of miscegenation, but also with the experience of being middle-class in a country confronting neoliberal models of globalization. At the same time, he illuminates the inseparability of race, gender, class, place, national identity, technology, and expressive practice in Carioca music and its making. Moehn offers vivid depictions of Rio musicians as they creatively combine and reconcile local realities with global trends and exigencies.
Recent pieces by NPR, the BBC, and Forbes have called attention to the power of voice—positing that “your voice is the secret to getting hired” and that “voice can accelerate or hold back a career.” While it has become clearer that such things as pitch and intonation can be tied to assumptions about one’s gender, race/ethnicity, and class, studying voice as a socially constructed artifact carries with it unique challenges. In response, Culturally Speaking: The Rhetoric of Voice and Identity in a Mediated Culture presents an innovative approach to studying the spoken voice in media, showing how racial and gendered oppression bubble beneath the surface of American culture’s most recognized speaking voices, spreading invisible messages about which kinds of vocal identities are privileged and which kinds should be silenced.
Through her analysis of prominent voices in American culture—including Morgan Freeman, Tina Fey, Barack Obama, Adele, Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, and George Lopez—Amanda Nell Edgar argues that voices carry a residue of the particular cultural environments in which they are formed, and that these environments can be traced and analyzed to add a sonic dimension to our understanding of race and gender as rhetorically situated identities—pushing back against the often-unnoticed systems of sound-based discrimination.
Throughout American history, patterns of political intent and impact have linked the wide range of dance movements performed in public places. Groups diverse in their cultural or political identities, or in both, long ago seized on dancing in our streets, marches, open-air revival meetings, and theaters, as well as in dance halls and nightclubs, as a tool for contesting, constructing, or reinventing the social order. Dancing Revolution presents richly diverse cases studies to illuminate these patterns of movement and influence in movement and sound in the history of American public life. Christopher J. Smith spans centuries, geographies, and cultural identities as he delves into a wide range of historical moments. These include: the God-intoxicated public demonstrations of Shakers and Ghost Dancers in the First and Second Great Awakenings; creolized antebellum dance in cities from New Orleans to Bristol; the modernism and racial integration that imbued twentieth-century African American popular dance; and public movement's contributions to hip hop, anti-hegemonic protest, and other contemporary transgressive communities’ physical expressions of dissent and solidarity. Multidisciplinary and wide-ranging, Dancing Revolution examines how Americans turned the rhythms of history into the movement behind the movements.
Digital Sound Studies
Mary Caton Lingold, Darren Mueller, and Whitney Trettien, editors Duke University Press, 2018 Library of Congress AZ105.D55 2018
The digital turn has created new opportunities for scholars across disciplines to use sound in their scholarship. This volume’s contributors provide a blueprint for making sound central to research, teaching, and dissemination. They show how digital sound studies has the potential to transform silent, text-centric cultures of communication in the humanities into rich, multisensory experiences that are more inclusive of diverse knowledges and abilities. Drawing on multiple disciplines—including rhetoric and composition, performance studies, anthropology, history, and information science—the contributors to Digital Sound Studies bring digital humanities and sound studies into productive conversation while probing the assumptions behind the use of digital tools and technologies in academic life. In so doing, they explore how sonic experience might transform our scholarly networks, writing processes, research methodologies, pedagogies, and knowledges of the archive. As they demonstrate, incorporating sound into scholarship is thus not only feasible but urgently necessary.
Contributors. Myron M. Beasley, Regina N. Bradley, Steph Ceraso, Tanya Clement, Rebecca Dowd Geoffroy-Schwinden, W. F. Umi Hsu, Michael J. Kramer, Mary Caton Lingold, Darren Mueller, Richard Cullen Rath, Liana M. Silva, Jonathan Sterne, Jennifer Stoever, Jonathan W. Stone, Joanna Swafford, Aaron Trammell, Whitney Trettien
Hearing Things is a meditation on sound’s work in literature. Drawing on critical works and the commentaries of many poets and novelists who have paid close attention to the role of the ear in writing and reading, Angela Leighton offers a reconsideration of literature itself as an exercise in hearing.
An established critic and poet, Leighton explains how we listen to the printed word, while showing how writers use the expressivity of sound on the silent page. Although her focus is largely on poets—Alfred Tennyson, W. B. Yeats, Robert Frost, Walter de la Mare, Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Jorie Graham, and Alice Oswald—Leighton’s scope includes novels, letters, and philosophical writings as well. Her argument is grounded in the specificity of the text under discussion, but one important message emerges from the whole: literature by its very nature commands listening, and listening is a form of understanding that has often been overlooked. Hearing Things offers a renewed call for the kind of criticism that, avoiding the programmatic or purely ideological, remains alert to the work of sound in every literary text.
Heart Of The Sound
Marybeth Holleman University of Utah Press, 2004 Library of Congress F912.P97H65 2004 | Dewey Decimal 917.983
"You can’t step in the same river twice—although I once believed I could. I believed that the pieces of my life I had chosen, those I held close to my heart, would, once chosen and held, remain the same."—from the book
How does one recover from disaster? That question is at the heart of Marybeth Holleman’s lyrical, elegiac response to the repercussions of the Exxon Valdez oil spill that devastated Alaska’s Prince William Sound in 1989. Twining together the destruction of an ecosystem and the disintegration of her marriage, Holleman explores the resiliency of nature—both wild and human—and the ways in which that resiliency is tested. Like the oil that remains pooled beneath rocks years after the tanker spill, the emotional wounds of the past lie just below the surface. Recovery and restoration from the pain wrought by human hands does not come easily.
If much of nature writing is about the heart’s search for an unspoiled, perfect landscape, The Heart of the Sound is about what happens when the return-to-paradise fantasy is over and paradise is lost. In language rich with passion and hard-won insight, Holleman creates a captivating picture of a woman who found her Eden in the sweeping fjords of Alaska only to lose it to ecological tragedy. But somewhere within that loss, she finds herself.
In 1929 and 1930, during the Hollywood studios' conversion to synchronized-sound film production, white-controlled trade magazines and African American newspapers celebrated a "vogue" for "Negro films." "Hollywood's African American Films" argues that the movie business turned to black musical performance to both resolve technological and aesthetic problems introduced by the medium of "talking pictures" and, at the same time, to appeal to the white "Broadway" audience that patronized their most lucrative first-run theaters. Capitalizing on highbrow associations with white "slumming" in African American cabarets and on the cultural linkage between popular black musical styles and "natural" acoustics, studios produced a series of African American-cast and white-cast films featuring African American sequences. Ryan Jay Friedman asserts that these transitional films reflect contradictions within prevailing racial ideologies--arising most clearly in the movies' treatment of African American characters' decisions to migrate. Regardless of how the films represent these choices, they all prompt elaborate visual and narrative structures of containment that tend to highlight rather than suppress historical tensions surrounding African American social mobility, Jim Crow codes, and white exploitation of black labor.
Keywords in Sound
David Novak and Matt Sakakeeny, editors Duke University Press, 2015 Library of Congress QC225.15.K499 2015
In twenty essays on subjects such as noise, acoustics, music, and silence, Keywords in Sound presents a definitive resource for sound studies, and a compelling argument for why studying sound matters. Each contributor details their keyword's intellectual history, outlines its role in cultural, social and political discourses, and suggests possibilities for further research. Keywords in Sound charts the philosophical debates and core problems in defining, classifying and conceptualizing sound, and sets new challenges for the development of sound studies.
Contributors. Andrew Eisenberg, Veit Erlmann, Patrick Feaster, Steven Feld, Daniel Fisher, Stefan Helmreich, Charles Hirschkind, Deborah Kapchan, Mara Mills, John Mowitt, David Novak, Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier, Thomas Porcello, Tom Rice, Tara Rodgers, Matt Sakakeeny, David Samuels, Mark M. Smith, Benjamin Steege, Jonathan Sterne, Amanda Weidman
Focusing on expressions of popular culture among blacks in Africa, the United States, and the Carribean this collection of multidisciplinary essays takes on subjects long overdue for study. Fifteen essays cover a world of topics, from American girls’ Double Dutch games to protest discourse in Ghana; from Terry McMillan’s Waiting to Exhale to the work of Zora Neale Hurston; from South African workers to Just Another Girl on the IRT; from the history of Rasta to the evolving significance of kente clothl from rap video music to hip-hop to zouk.
The contributors work through the prisms of many disciplines, including anthropology, communications, English, ethnomusicology, history, linguistics, literature, philosophy, political economy, psychology, and social work. Their interpretive approaches place the many voices of popular black cultures into a global context. It affirms that black culture everywhere functions to give meaning to people’s lives by constructing identities that resist cultural, capitolist, colonial, and postcolonial domination.
From bell ringing to fireworks, gongs to cannon salutes, a dazzling variety of sounds and soundscapes marked the China encountered by the West around 1800. These sounds were gathered by diplomats, trade officials, missionaries, and other travelers and transmitted back to Europe, where they were reconstructed in the imaginations of writers, philosophers, and music historians such as Jean-Philippe Rameau, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, and Charles Burney. Thomas Irvine gathers these stories in Listening to China, exploring how the sonic encounter with China shaped perceptions of Europe’s own musical development.
Through these stories, Irvine not only investigates how the Sino-Western encounter sounded, but also traces the West’s shifting response to China. As the trading relationships between China and the West broke down, travelers and music theorists abandoned the vision of shared musical approaches, focusing instead on China’s noisiness and sonic disorder and finding less to like in its music. At the same time, Irvine reconsiders the idea of a specifically Western music history, revealing that it was comparison with China, the great “other,” that helped this idea emerge. Ultimately, Irvine draws attention to the ways Western ears were implicated in the colonial and imperial project in China, as well as to China’s importance to the construction of musical knowledge during and after the European Enlightenment. Timely and original, Listening to China is a must-read for music scholars and historians of China alike.
Outside of music, the importance of sound and listening have been greatly overlooked in Latin American history. Visual media has dominated cultural studies, affording an incomplete record of the modern era. This edited volume presents an original analysis of the role of sound in Latin American and Caribbean societies, from the late nineteenth century to the present. The contributors examine the importance of sound in the purveyance of power, gender roles, race, community, religion, and populism. They also demonstrate how sound is essential to the formation of citizenship and nationalism.
Sonic media, and radio in particular, have become primary tools for contesting political issues. In that vein, the contributors view the control of radio transmission and those who manipulate its content for political gain. Conversely, they show how, in neoliberal climates, radio programs have exposed corruption and provided a voice for activism.
The essays address sonic production in a variety of media: radio; Internet; digital recordings; phonographs; speeches; carnival performances; fireworks festivals, and the reinterpretation of sound in literature. They examine the bodily experience of sound, and its importance to memory coding and identity formation.
This volume looks to sonic media as an essential vehicle for transmitting ideologies, imagined communities, and culture. As the contributors discern, modern technology has made sound ubiquitous, and its study is therefore crucial to understanding the flow of information and influence in Latin America and globally.
Wallace Stevens dedicated his poetry to challenging traditional notions about reality, truth, knowledge, and the role of language as a means of representation. Rosu demonstrates that Stevens's experimentation with sound is not only essential to his poetics but also profoundly linked to the pragmatist ideas that informed his way of thinking about language. Her readings of Stevens's poems focus on revealing the dynamic through which meaning emerges in language patterns—a dynamic she calls "images of sound."
Rosu argues that the formal aspects of poetry are deeply ingrained in cultural realities and are, in fact, generated by their context. The sound pattern pervading Stevens's poems at once addresses and violates the reader's assumptions about the functioning of language and, along with them, ideas about reality, knowledge, and subjectivity. Sound is thus the starting point of an argument concerned with Stevens's epistemology and poetics—the way his poems insist on a movement past or through a normal poetic representation of the world to gesture toward a reality that lies outside or beyond systems of representation.
The relationship between sound and meaning isolated and analyzed in The Metaphysics of Sound in Wallace Stevens is firmly situated among critical debates concerning the poet's aesthetic and philosophical convictions. Rosu claims that Stevens's poetry is not ultimately about the powerlessness of language, nor is it a deconstructive enterprise of destabilizing culturally consecrated truths; rather it achieves meaning most frequently through patterns of sound. Sound helps Stevens make a deeply philosophical point in a language unavailable to philosophers.
This unique anthology assembles primary documents chronicling the development of the phonograph, film sound, and the radio. These three sound technologies shaped Americans' relation to music from the late nineteenth century until the end of the Second World War, by which time the technologies were thoroughly integrated into everyday life. There are more than 120 selections between the collection's first piece, an article on the phonograph written by Thomas Edison in 1878, and its last, a column advising listeners "desirous of gaining more from music as presented by the radio." Among the selections are articles from popular and trade publications, advertisements, fan letters, corporate records, fiction, and sheet music. Taken together, the selections capture how the new sound technologies were shaped by developments such as urbanization, the increasing value placed on leisure time, and the rise of the advertising industry. Most importantly, they depict the ways that the new sound technologies were received by real people in particular places and moments in time.
Many images of Nazi propaganda are universally recognizable, and symbolize the ways that the National Socialist party manipulated German citizens. What might an examination of the party’s various uses of sound reveal? In Nazi Soundscapes, Carolyn Birdsall offers an in-depth analysis of the cultural significance of sound and new technologies like radio and loudspeaker systems during the rise of the National Socialist party in the 1920s to the end of World War II. Focusing specifically on the urban soundscape of Düsseldorf, this study examines both the production and reception of sound-based propaganda in the public and private spheres. Birdsall provides a vivid account of sound as a key instrument of social control, exclusion, and violence during Nazi Germany, and she makes a persuasive case for the power of sound within modern urban history.
The contributors to Negotiated Moments explore how subjectivity is formed and expressed through musical improvisation, tracing the ways the transmission and reception of sound occur within and between bodies in real and virtual time and across memory, history, and space. They place the gendered, sexed, raced, classed, disabled, and technologized body at the center of critical improvisation studies and move beyond the field's tendency toward celebrating improvisation's utopian and democratic ideals by highlighting the improvisation of marginalized subjects. Rejecting a singular theory of improvisational agency, the contributors show how improvisation helps people gain hard-won and highly contingent agency. Essays include analyses of the role of the body and technology in performance, improvisation's ability to disrupt power relations, Pauline Oliveros's ideas about listening, flautist Nicole Mitchell's compositions based on Octavia Butler's science fiction, and an interview with Judith Butler about the relationship between her work and improvisation. The contributors' close attention to improvisation provides a touchstone for examining subjectivities and offers ways to hear the full spectrum of ideas that sound out from and resonate within and across bodies.
Contributors. George Blake, David Borgo, Judith Butler, Rebecca Caines, Louise Campbell, Illa Carrillo Rodríguez, Berenice Corti, Andrew Raffo Dewar, Nina Eidsheim, Tomie Hahn, Jaclyn Heyen, Christine Sun Kim, Catherine Lee, Andra McCartney, Tracy McMullen, Kevin McNeilly, Leaf Miller, Jovana Milovic, François Mouillot, Pauline Oliveros, Jason Robinson, Neil Rolnick, Simon Rose, Gillian Siddall, Julie Dawn Smith, Jesse Stewart, Clara Tomaz, Sherrie Tucker, Lindsay Vogt, Zachary Wallmark, Ellen Waterman, David Whalen, Pete Williams, Deborah Wong, Mandy-Suzanne Wong
David L. Morton examines the process of invention, innovation, and diffusion of communications technology, using the history of sound recording as the focus. Off the Record demonstrates how the history of both the hardware and the ways people used it is essential for understanding why any particular technology became a fixture in everyday life or faded into obscurity. Morton’s approach to the topic differs from most previous works, which have examined the technology’s social impact, but not the reasons for its existence. Recording culture in America emerged, Morton writes, not through the dictates of the technology itself but in complex ways that were contingent upon the actions of users.
Each of the case studies in the book emphasizes one of five aspects of the culture of recording and its relationship to new technology, at the same time telling the story of sound recording history. One of the misconceptions that Morton hopes to dispel is that the only important category of sound recording involves music. Unique in his broad-based approach to sound technology, the five case studies that Morton investigates are :
The phonograph record
Recording in the radio business
The dictation machine
The telephone answering machine, and
Readers will learn, for example, that the equipment to create the telephone answering machine has been around for a century, but that the ownership and use of answering machines was a hotly contested issue in the telephone industry at the turn of the century, hence stifling its commercial development for decades. Morton also offers fascinating insight into early radio: that, while The Amos and Andy Show initially was pre-recorded and not broadcast live, the commercial stations saw this easily distributed program as an economic threat: many non-network stations could buy the disks for easy, relatively inexpensive replaying. As a result, Amos and Andy was sold to Mutual and went live shortly afterward.
In On Site, In Sound Kirstie A. Dorr examines the spatiality of sound and the ways in which the sonic is bound up in perceptions and constructions of geographic space. Focusing on the hemispheric circulation of South American musical cultures, Dorr shows how sonic production and spatial formation are mutually constitutive, thereby pointing to how people can use music and sound to challenge and transform dominant conceptions and configurations of place. Whether tracing how the evolution of the Peruvian folk song "El Condor Pasa" redefined the boundaries between national/international and rural/urban, or how a pan-Latin American performance center in San Francisco provided a venue through which to challenge gentrification, Dorr highlights how South American musicians and activists created new and alternative networks of cultural exchange and geopolitical belonging throughout the hemisphere. In linking geography with musical sound, Dorr demonstrates that place is more than the location where sound is produced and circulated; it is a constructed and contested domain through which social actors exert political influence.
Phonographies explores the numerous links and relays between twentieth-century black cultural production and sound technologies from the phonograph to the Walkman. Highlighting how black authors, filmmakers, and musicians have actively engaged with recorded sound in their work, Alexander G. Weheliye contends that the interplay between sound technologies and black music and speech enabled the emergence of modern black culture, of what he terms “sonic Afro-modernity.” He shows that by separating music and speech from their human sources, sound-recording technologies beginning with the phonograph generated new modes of thinking, being, and becoming. Black artists used these new possibilities to revamp key notions of modernity—among these, ideas of subjectivity, temporality, and community. Phonographies is a powerful argument that sound technologies are integral to black culture, which is, in turn, fundamental to Western modernity.
Weheliye surveys literature, film, and music to focus on engagements with recorded sound. He offers substantial new readings of canonical texts by W. E. B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison, establishing dialogues between these writers and popular music and film ranging from Louis Armstrong’s voice to DJ mixing techniques to Darnell Martin’s 1994 movie I Like It Like That. Looking at how questions of diasporic belonging are articulated in contemporary black musical practices, Weheliye analyzes three contemporary Afro-diasporic musical acts: the Haitian and African American rap group the Fugees, the Afro- and Italian-German rap collective Advanced Chemistry, and black British artist Tricky and his partner Martina. Phonographies imagines the African diaspora as a virtual sounding space, one that is marked, in the twentieth century and twenty-first, by the circulation of culture via technological reproductions—records and tapes, dubbing and mixing, and more.
Pink Noises brings together twenty-four interviews with women in electronic music and sound cultures, including club and radio DJs, remixers, composers, improvisers, instrument builders, and installation and performance artists. The collection is an extension of Pinknoises.com, the critically-acclaimed website founded by musician and scholar Tara Rodgers in 2000 to promote women in electronic music and make information about music production more accessible to women and girls. That site featured interviews that Rodgers conducted with women artists, exploring their personal histories, their creative methods, and the roles of gender in their work. This book offers new and lengthier interviews, a critical introduction, and resources for further research and technological engagement.
Contemporary electronic music practices are illuminated through the stories of women artists of different generations and cultural backgrounds. They include the creators of ambient soundscapes, “performance novels,” sound sculptures, and custom software, as well as the developer of the Deep Listening philosophy and the founders of the Liquid Sound Lounge radio show and the monthly Basement Bhangra parties in New York. These and many other artists open up about topics such as their conflicted relationships to formal music training and mainstream media representations of women in electronic music. They discuss using sound to work creatively with structures of time and space, and voice and language; challenge distinctions of nature and culture; question norms of technological practice; and balance their needs for productive solitude with collaboration and community. Whether designing and building modular synthesizers with analog circuits or performing with a wearable apparatus that translates muscle movements into electronic sound, these artists expand notions of who and what counts in matters of invention, production, and noisemaking. Pink Noises is a powerful testimony to the presence and vitality of women in electronic music cultures, and to the relevance of sound to feminist concerns.
In The Race of Sound Nina Sun Eidsheim traces the ways in which sonic attributes that might seem natural, such as the voice and its qualities, are socially produced. Eidsheim illustrates how listeners measure race through sound and locate racial subjectivities in vocal timbre—the color or tone of a voice. Eidsheim examines singers Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, and Jimmy Scott as well as the vocal synthesis technology Vocaloid to show how listeners carry a series of assumptions about the nature of the voice and to whom it belongs. Outlining how the voice is linked to ideas of racial essentialism and authenticity, Eidsheim untangles the relationship between race, gender, vocal technique, and timbre while addressing an undertheorized space of racial and ethnic performance. In so doing, she advances our knowledge of the cultural-historical formation of the timbral politics of difference and the ways that comprehending voice remains central to understanding human experience, all the while advocating for a form of listening that would allow us to hear singers in a self-reflexive, denaturalized way.
Radio is a medium of seemingly endless contradictions. Now in its third century of existence, the technology still seems startlingly modern; despite frequent predictions of its demise, radio continues to evolve and flourish in the age of the internet and social media. This book explores the history of the radio, describing its technological, political, and social evolution, and how it emerged from Victorian experimental laboratories to become a near-ubiquitous presence in our lives.
Alasdair Pinkerton’s story is shaped by radio’s multiple characters and characteristics—radio waves occur in nature, for instance, but have also been harnessed and molded by human beings to bridge oceans and reconfigure our experience of space and time. Published in association with the Science Museum, London, Radio is an informative and thought-provoking book for all enthusiasts of an old technology that still has the capacity to enthuse, entertain, entice, and enrage today.
Remapping Sound Studies
Gavin Steingo and Jim Sykes, editors Duke University Press, 2019 Library of Congress B105.S59R46 2019
The contributors to Remapping Sound Studies intervene in current trends and practices in sound studies by reorienting the field toward the global South. Attending to disparate aspects of sound in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Micronesia, and a Southern outpost in the global North, this volume broadens the scope of sound studies and challenges some of the field's central presuppositions. The contributors show how approaches to and uses of technology across the global South complicate narratives of technological modernity and how sound-making and listening in diverse global settings unsettle familiar binaries of sacred/secular, private/public, human/nonhuman, male/female, and nature/culture. Exploring a wide range of sonic phenomena and practices, from birdsong in the Marshall Islands to Zulu ululation, the contributors offer diverse ways to remap and decolonize modes of thinking about and listening to sound.
Contributors Tripta Chandola, Michele Friedner, Louise Meintjes, Jairo Moreno, Ana María Ochoa Gautier, Michael Birenbaum Quintero, Jeff Roy, Jessica Schwartz, Shayna Silverstein, Gavin Steingo, Jim Sykes, Benjamin Tausig, Hervé Tchumkam
In Sensing Sound Nina Sun Eidsheim offers a vibrational theory of music that radically re-envisions how we think about sound, music, and listening. Eidsheim shows how sound, music, and listening are dynamic and contextually dependent, rather than being fixed, knowable, and constant. She uses twenty-first-century operas by Juliana Snapper, Meredith Monk, Christopher Cerrone, and Alba Triana as case studies to challenge common assumptions about sound—such as air being the default medium through which it travels—and to demonstrate the importance a performance's location and reception play in its contingency. By theorizing the voice as an object of knowledge and rejecting the notion of an a priori definition of sound, Eidsheim releases the voice from a constraining set of fixed concepts and meanings. In Eidsheim's theory, music consists of aural, tactile, spatial, physical, material, and vibrational sensations. This expanded definition of music as manifested through material and personal relations suggests that we are all connected to each other in and through sound. Sensing Sound will appeal to readers interested in sound studies, new musicology, contemporary opera, and performance studies.
In this book, Emily Wilbourne boldly traces the roots of early opera back to the sounds of the commedia dell’arte. Along the way, she forges a new history of Italian opera, from the court pieces of the early seventeenth century to the public stages of Venice more than fifty years later.
Wilbourne considers a series of case studies structured around the most important and widely explored operas of the period: Monteverdi’s lost L’Arianna, as well as his Il Ritorno d’Ulisse and L’incoronazione di Poppea; Mazzochi and Marazzoli’s L’Egisto, ovvero Chi soffre speri; and Cavalli’s L’Ormindo and L’Artemisia. As she demonstrates, the sound-in-performance aspect of commedia dell’arte theater—specifically, the use of dialect and verbal play—produced an audience that was accustomed to listening to sonic content rather than simply the literal meaning of spoken words. This, Wilbourne suggests, shaped the musical vocabularies of early opera and facilitated a musicalization of Italian theater.
Highlighting productive ties between the two worlds, from the audiences and venues to the actors and singers, this work brilliantly shows how the sound of commedia performance ultimately underwrote the success of opera as a genre.
Atjeh was a kingdom in northern Sumatra which had a long history of rebellion and unrest. As a Mulim Sultanate from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, Atjeh engaged in internal political struggle. Since the nineteenth century, Atjeh has been under Dutch, Japanese, or Indonesian control - domination to which the Atjeh never passively yielded. In Shadow and Sound James Siegel arges that the Atjehnese view of history, as expressed in the language of their epic poetry, is based not on the fixing of historical fact, but on a flow of words that is actually immune to the past.
Siegel traces the Atjehnese treatment of history through two epics and a folktale. In his interpretation he goes beyond the idea tht texts such as these are semi-accurate historical documents to show tht tempo, rhythm, rhyme, and melody replace the significance of the content. Furthermore, he uncovers which Atjehnese frameworks - native genres ranging from dream interpretation to conventions of braggadocio
- illuminate their own sense of history.
Siegel first translates one of the important remaining epics on a historical topic, the Hikajat Potjoet Moehamat, and provides an analysis based on the narratve, prosodic structure and his observation of the recitation of epics. He then translates and analyzes two other pieces: a tale entitled Si Meuseukin's Wedding and another epic, the last popular one, Hikajat Prang Sabil. Finally he indicates how a similar treatment of history continues in present-day Atjeh. The analyses demonstrate that in the context of centuries of violence and disruption the Atjehnese have maintained an ability to speak of the past in such ways that it is turned into triumph, not by dwelling on heroic victories but by controlling language.
Siegel's way of looking at the relationship between history and literature will be valuable not only in anthropology but in literary history and comparative studies in literature and politics as well.
Hailed for its dramatic expressionist visuals, film noir is one of the most prominent genres in Hollywood cinema. Yet, despite the "boom" in sound studies, the role of sonic effects and source music in classic American noir has not received the attention it deserves. Siren City engagingly illustrates how sound tracks in 1940s film noir are often just as compelling as the genre's vaunted graphics.
Focusing on a wide range of celebrated and less well known films and offering an introductory discussion of film sound, Robert Miklitsch mobilizes the notion of audiovisuality to investigate period sound technologies such as the radio and jukebox, phonograph and Dictaphone, popular American music such as "hot" black jazz, and "big numbers" featuring iconic performers such as Lauren Bacall, Veronica Lake, and Rita Hayworth. Siren City resonates with the sounds and source music of classic American noir-gunshots and sirens, swing riffs and canaries. Along with the proverbial private eye and femme fatale, these audiovisuals are central to the noir aesthetic and one important reason the genre reverberates with audiences around the world.
From Edison’s invention of the phonograph through contemporary field recording and sound installation, artists have become attracted to those domains against which music has always defined itself: noise, silence, and environmental sound. Christoph Cox argues that these developments in the sonic arts are not only aesthetically but also philosophically significant, revealing sound to be a continuous material flow to which human expressions contribute but which precedes and exceeds those expressions. Cox shows how, over the course of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, philosophers and sonic artists have explored this “sonic flux.”
Through the philosophical analysis of works by John Cage, Maryanne Amacher, Max Neuhaus, Christian Marclay, and many others, Sonic Flux contributes to the development of a materialist metaphysics and poses a challenge to the prevailing positions in cultural theory, proposing a realist and materialist aesthetics able to account not only for sonic art but for artistic production in general.
Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age critically analyzes a range of sounds on vocal and musical recordings, on the radio, in film, and in cartoons to show how sounds are used to persuade in subtle ways. Greg Goodale explains how and to what effect sounds can be "read" like an aural text, demonstrating this method by examining important audio cues such as dialect, pausing, and accent in presidential recordings at the turn of the twentieth century. Goodale also shows how clocks, locomotives, and machinery are utilized in film and literature to represent frustration and anxiety about modernity, and how race and other forms of identity came to be represented by sound during the interwar period. In highlighting common sounds of industry and war in popular media, Sonic Persuasion also demonstrates how programming producers and governmental agencies employed sound to evoke a sense of fear in listeners. Goodale provides important links to other senses, especially the visual, to give fuller meaning to interpretations of identity, culture, and history in sound.
First published in French in 1998, revised in 2010, and appearing here in English for the first time, Michel Chion's Sound addresses the philosophical, interpretive, and practical questions that inform our encounters with sound. Chion considers how cultural institutions privilege some sounds above others and how spurious distinctions between noise and sound guide the ways we hear and value certain sounds. He critiques the tenacious tendency to understand sounds in relation to their sources and advocates "acousmatic" listening—listening without visual access to a sound’s cause—to disentangle ourselves from auditory habits and prejudices. Yet sound can no more be reduced to mere perceptual phenomena than encapsulated in the sciences of acoustics and physiology. As Chion reminds us and explores in depth, a wide range of linguistic, sensory, cultural, institutional, and media- and technologically-specific factors interact with and shape sonic experiences. Interrogating these interactions, Chion stimulates us to think about how we might open our ears to new sounds, become more nuanced and informed listeners, and more fully understand the links between how we hear and what we do.
Why are poems important? What do people mean when they use the word prosody? How does a poem read and sound? How does a poem's shape--its form--help to create its meaning? Sound and Form in Modern Poetry provides useful answers to these questions for readers of poetry. Through careful attention to the poems of modern masters, the book offers an accessible guide to the way today's poems really work, and to the way they are linked in style to poems of earlier times.
Poet, critic, and editor Robert McDowell has updated this classic text in the light of the poetic and critical developments of the last three decades. Segments on Dickinson, Robinson, Frost, Jeffers, and Lowell, among other poets, have been greatly expanded, and Ashbery, Creeley, Ginsberg, Hall, Kees, Kumin, Levertov, Levine, O'Hara, Plath, Rich, Simpson, and Wilbur added, among others. The epilogue discusses a new generation of poets whose works will likely be read well into the next century-- among others, Thomas M. Disch, Rita Dove, Dana Gioia, Emily Grosholz, Mark Jarman, Molly Peacock, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Timothy Steele, Mary Swander, and Marilyn Nelson Waniek.
Over the last ten years, the most inspiring topic of conversation and argument among poets and their readers has been the resurgence of narrative and traditional forms. The new Sound and Form in Modern Poetry is a seminal text in this discussion, examining not only this movement but all of the important developments (Dadaism, Surrealism, Imagism, Language Poetry, and the Confessional School) that have defined our poetry in the twentieth century and have set the stage for poetry's continued life in the twenty-first. The original Sound and Form in Modern Poetry enjoyed extensive classroom use as a text; the revised version promises to be even more accessible, and more essential, for years to come.
The late Harvey Gross was Professor of Comparative Literature, State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Robert McDowell is publisher and editor of Story Line Press, and is also poet, critic, translator, fiction writer, and essayist.
In this original and interdisciplinary work, Jing Tsu advances the notion of “literary governance” as a way of understanding literary dynamics and production on multiple scales: local, national, global. “Literary governance,” like political governance, is an exercise of power, but in a “softer” way - it begins with language, rather than governments. In a globalizing world characterized by many diasporas competing for recognition, the global Chinese community has increasingly come to feel the necessity of a “national language,” standardized and privileging its native speakers. As the national language gains power within the diasporic community, members of the diaspora become aware of themselves as a community. Eventually, they move from the internal state of awakened identity to being recognized as a community, and finally exercising power as a community. But this hegemony of the “national language” is constantly being challenged by different, nonstandard language uses, including various Chinese dialects, multiple registers, contested alphabet usage, and Chinese men and women who write in foreign languages. “Literary governance” reflects both the consensus-building power and the inherent divisiveness of these debates about language and is useful as a comparative model for thinking about not only Sinophone, Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone literatures, but also any literary field that is currently expanding beyond the national.
This thirtieth anniversary edition of Sound and Sentiment makes Steven Feld's landmark, field-defining book available to a new generation of scholars and students. A sensory ethnography set in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, among the Kaluli people of Bosavi, Sound and Sentiment introduced the anthropology of sound, or the cultural study of sound. After it was first published in 1982, a second edition, incorporating additional field research and a new postscript, was released in 1990. The third edition includes all of the material from the first two editions, along with a substantial new introduction in which Feld discusses Bosavi's recent history and reflects on the challenges it poses for contemporary theory and representation.
Sound has always been an integral component of the moviegoing experience. Even during the so-called “silent era,” motion pictures were regularly accompanied by live music, lectures, and sound effects. Today, whether we listen to movies in booming Dolby theaters or on tiny laptop speakers, sonic elements hold our attention and guide our emotional responses. Yet few of us are fully aware of the tremendous collaborative work, involving both artistry and technical wizardry, required to create that cinematic soundscape.
Sound, the latest book in the Behind the Silver Screen series, introduces key concepts, seminal moments, and pivotal figures in the development of cinematic sound. Each of the book’s six chapters cover a different era in the history of Hollywood, from silent films to the digital age, and each is written by an expert in that period. Together, the book’s contributors are able to explore a remarkable range of past and present film industry practices, from the hiring of elocution coaches to the marketing of soundtrack records.
Not only does the collection highlight the achievements of renowned sound designers and film composers like Ben Burtt and John Williams, it also honors the unsung workers whose inventions, artistry, and performances have shaped the soundscapes of many notable movies. After you read Sound, you’ll never see—or hear—movies in quite the same way.
Sound is a volume in the Behind the Silver Screen series—other titles in the series include Acting; Animation; Art Direction and Production Design; Cinematography; Costume, Makeup, and Hair; Directing; Editing and Special Visual Effects; Producing; and Screenwriting.
James A. Steintrager and Rey Chow, editors Duke University Press, 2019 Library of Congress QC225.7.S68 2018
Is a sound an object, an experience, an event, or a relation? What exactly does the emerging discipline of sound studies study? Sound Objects pursues these questions while exploring how history, culture, and mediation entwine with sound’s elusive objectivity. Examining the genealogy and evolution of the concept of the sound object, the commodification of sound, acousmatic listening, nonhuman sounds, and sound and memory, the contributors not only probe conceptual issues that lie in the forefront of contemporary sonic discussions but also underscore auditory experience as fundamental to sound as a critical enterprise. In so doing, they offer exciting considerations of sound within and beyond its role in meaning, communication, and information and an illuminatingly original theoretical overview of the field of sound studies itself.
Contributors. Georgina Born, Michael Bull, Michel Chion, Rey Chow, John Dack, Veit Erlmann, Brian Kane, Jairo Moreno, John Mowitt, Pooja Rangan, Gavin Steingo, James A. Steintrager, Jonathan Sterne, David Toop
Boosting the bass guitar, blending the vocals, overdubbing percussion while fretting over shoot-outs in the street. Grumbling about a producer, teasing a white engineer, challenging an artist to feel his African beat. Sound of Africa! is a riveting account of the production of a mbaqanga album in a state-of-the-art recording studio in Johannesburg. Made popular internationally by Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, mbaqanga's distinctive style features a bass solo voice and soaring harmonies of a female frontline over electric guitar, bass, keyboard, and drumset. Louise Meintjes chronicles the recording and mixing of an album by Izintombi Zesimanje, historically the rival group of the Mahotella Queens. Set in the early 1990s during South Africa’s tumultuous transition from apartheid to democratic rule, Sound of Africa! offers a rare portrait of the music recording process. It tracks the nuanced interplay among South African state controls, the music industry's transnational drive, and the mbaqanga artists' struggles for political, professional, and personal voice.
Focusing on the ways artists, producers, and sound engineers collaborate in the studio control room, Meintjes reveals not only how particular mbaqanga sounds are shaped technically, but also how egos and artistic sensibilities and race and ethnicity influence the mix. She analyzes how the turbulent identity politics surrounding Zulu ethnic nationalism impacted mbaqanga artists' decisions in and out of the studio. Conversely, she explores how the global consumption of Afropop and African images fed back into mbaqanga during the recording process. Meintjes is especially attentive to the ways the emotive qualities of timbre (sound quality or tone color) forge complex connections between aesthetic practices and political ideology. Vivid photos by the internationally renowned photographer TJ Lemon further dramatize Meintjes’ ethnography.
In The Sound of the Dove, Beverly Bush Patterson explores one of the oldest traditions of American religious folksong: unaccompanied congregational singing in Appalachian Primitive Baptist churches. Using interviews, field observations, historical research, song transcriptions, and musical analysis, Patterson explores the dynamic relationship between singing and theology in these churches, the genesis of their musical practices, and the unexpectedly significant role of women in their conservative congregations. An hour-long audio recording of Primitive Baptist singing is available separately.
The residents of The Sound of Holding Your Breath could be neighbors, sharing the same familiar landscapes of twenty-first-century Appalachia—lake and forest, bridge and church, cemetery and garden, diner and hair salon. They could be your neighbors—average, workaday, each struggling with secrets and losses, entrenched in navigating the complex requirements of family in all its forms.
Yet tragedy and violence challenge these unassuming lives: A teenage boy is drawn to his sister’s husband, an EMT searching the lake for a body. A brother, a family, and a community fail to confront the implications of a missing girl. A pregnant widow spends Thanksgiving with her deceased husband’s family. Siblings grapple with the death of their sister-in-law at the hands of their brother. And in the title story, the shame of rape ruptures more than a decade later.
Accidents and deaths, cons and cover-ups, abuse and returning veterans—Natalie Sypolt’s characters wrestle with who they are during the most trying situations of their lives.
Why did Gerald Ford speak in public once every six hours during 1976? Why did no president spreak in Massachusetts during one ten-year period? Why did Jimmy Carter conduct public ceremonies four times more often than Harry Truman? Why are television viewers two-and-a-half times more likely to see a president speak on the nightly news than to hear him speak?
The Sound of Leadership answers these questions and many more. Based on analysis of nearly 10,000 presidential speeches delivered between 1945 and 1985, this book is the first comprehensive examination of the ways in which presidents Truman through Reagan have used the powers of communication to advance their political goals. This communication revolution has produced, Roderick P. Hart argues, a new form of governance, one in which public speech has come to be taken as political action. Using a rhetorical appraoch, Hart details the features of this new American presidency by carefully examining when and where presidents spoke in public during the last four decades and what they said. Even though presidents have been speaking more and more, Hart reveals, they have been saying less and less. Rather than leading the nation, the modern president usually offers only the hollow "sound" of leadership. Written with great flair and acuteness, The Sound of Leadership will become a standard guide to the voices of modern presidential politics.
Don Cusic presents gospel music as part of the history of contemporary Christianity. From the psalms of the early Puritans through the hymns of Isaac Watts and the social activism of the Wesleys, gospel music was established in eighteenth-century America. With the camp meetings songs of the Kentucky Revival and the spirituals and hymns that stemmed from the Civil War and beyond, gospel music grew through the nineteenth century and expanded through new technologies in the twentieth century.
Philip Metres stakes a claim for the cultural work that poems can perform—from providing refuge to embodying resistance, from recovering silenced voices to building a more just world, in communities of solitude and solidarity. Gathering a decade of his writing on poetry, he widens our sense of poetry as a way of being in the world, proposing that poems can offer a permeability to marginalized voices and a shelter from the imperial noise and despair that can silence us. The Sound of Listening ranges between expansive surveys of the poetry of 9/11, Arab American poetry, documentary poetry, landscape poetry, installation poetry, and peace poetry; personal explorations of poets such as Adrienne Rich, Khalil Gibran, Lev Rubinstein, and Arseny Tarkovsky; and intimate dialogues with Randa Jarrar, Fady Joudah, and Micah Cavaleri, that illuminate Metres’s practice of listening in his 2015 work, Sand Opera.
Sound—one of the central elements of poetry—finds itself all but ignored in the current discourse on lyric forms. The essays collected here by Marjorie Perloff and Craig Dworkinbreak that critical silence to readdress some of thefundamental connections between poetry and sound—connections that go far beyond traditional metrical studies.
Ranging from medieval Latin lyrics to a cyborg opera, sixteenth-century France to twentieth-century Brazil, romantic ballads to the contemporary avant-garde, the contributors to The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound explore such subjects as the translatability of lyric sound, the historical and cultural roles of rhyme,the role of sound repetition in novelistic prose, theconnections between “sound poetry” and music, between the visual and the auditory, the role of the body in performance, and the impact of recording technologies on the lyric voice. Along the way, the essaystake on the “ensemble discords” of Maurice Scève’s Délie, Ezra Pound’s use of “Chinese whispers,” the alchemical theology of Hugo Ball’s Dada performances, Jean Cocteau’s modernist radiophonics, and an intercultural account of the poetry reading as a kind of dubbing.
A genuinely comparatist study, The Sound of Poetry/The Poetry of Sound is designed to challenge current preconceptions about what Susan Howe has called “articulations of sound forms in time” as they have transformed the expanded poetic field of the twenty-first century.
In this anthology of poetry and fiction, ten Native Americans of California Indian ancestry illuminate aspects of their respective native cultures in works characterized by a profound love of place and people, as well as by anger over political oppression and social problems
Sound of the Ax brings together for the first time over four hundred aphorisms and twenty-six aphoristic poems by one of America’s most essential poets of the twentieth century. Many readers are familiar with the trenchant nature of William Stafford’s poems, with lines such as “Justice will take us millions of intricate moves” and “Your job is to find what the world is trying to be,” but have never had the opportunity to read a sustained selection from the thousands of wise, witty, and penetrating statements he created in over forty years of daily writing in his journal. In keeping with Stafford’s varied interests, the aphorisms in Sound of the Ax explore many topics—war and peace, involvement, aging, appearances, fear, egotism, writing, nature, animals, suffering, faith, living an ethical life, and so on—with his incisive view. The poems are either made up entirely or primarily aphorisms, and range from the well-known “Things I Learned Last Week” to some never before collected. Readers will find much to enjoy and to think about here, and will return over and over to Sound of the Ax for inspiration, pleasure, and wisdom from an author noted for his integrity and mindful living.
A groundbreaking approach to sound in sci-fi films offers new ways of construing both sonic innovation and science fiction cinema
Including original readings of classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, and Blade Runner, The Sound of Things to Come delivers a comprehensive history of sound in science fiction cinema. Approaching movies as sound objects that combine cinematic apparatus and consciousness, Trace Reddell presents a new theory of sonic innovation in the science fiction film.
Reddell assembles a staggering array of movies from sixty years of film history—including classics, blockbusters, B-movies, and documentaries from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union—all in service to his powerful conception of sound making as a speculative activity in its own right. Reddell recasts debates about noise and music, while arguing that sound in the science fiction film provides a medium for alien, unknown, and posthuman sound objects that transform what and how we hear.
Avoiding genre criticism’s tendency to obsess over utopias, The Sound of Things to Come draws on film theory, sound studies, and philosophies of technology to advance conversations about the avant-garde, while also opening up opportunities to examine cinematic sounds beyond the screen.
In Sounding Composition Steph Ceraso reimagines listening education to account for twenty-first-century sonic practices and experiences. Sonic technologies such as audio editing platforms and music software allow students to control sound in ways that were not always possible for the average listener. While digital technologies have presented new opportunities for teaching listening in relation to composing, they also have resulted in a limited understanding of how sound works in the world at large. Ceraso offers an expansive approach to sonic pedagogy through the concept of multimodal listening—a practice that involves developing an awareness of how sound shapes and is shaped by different contexts, material objects, and bodily, multisensory experiences. Through a mix of case studies and pedagogical materials, she demonstrates how multimodal listening enables students to become more savvy consumers and producers of sound in relation to composing digital media, and in their everyday lives.
In his new travelogue, Foster Church guides adventurers—lifelong residents of the Northwest and visitors alike—to the small communities beyond the state’s well-known urban center.
As in his previous book, Discovering Main Street: Travel Adventures in Small Towns of the Northwest, Church employs the finesse of his Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalism. He also shares his passion for encouraging tourists down less traveled paths—paths that curve beside valleys and wheat fields, travel along orchards and straits, and abut mountains and rivers.
Once inside these small towns, local flavors abound. Church reveals how each community’s unique character informs its hospitality and culture: In Morton, the abandoned Roxy movie theater was re-opened to host lectures and live performances. In the town of Palouse, a once-lonesome farming community in the Washington wheat country is now home to antiques shops and art galleries, and in Pomeroy, a pioneering legacy is celebrated in a lively annual festival.
With maps, photographs, and recommendations for more than thirty-five towns in all corners of the state, Turning Down the Sound vastly expands the resources available for readers and travelers keen on encountering what Church calls American tourism’s last frontier: its small towns.
The most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the musical instruments of native people in Northeastern North America, Visions of Sound focuses on interpretations by elders and consultants from Iroquois, Wabanati, Innuat, and Anishnabek communities. Beverley Diamond, M. Sam Cronk, and Franziska von Rosen present these instruments in a theoretically innovative setting organized around such abstract themes as complementarity, twinness, and relationship. As sources of metaphor—in both sound and image—instruments are interpreted within a framework that regards meaning as "emergent" and that challenges a number of previous ethnographic descriptions. Finally, the association between sound and "motion"—an association that illuminates the unity of music and dance and the life cycles of individual musical instruments—is explored.
Featuring over two hundred photographs of instruments, dialogues among the coauthors, numerous interviews with individual music makers, and an appended catalogue of over seven hundred instrument descriptions, this is an important book for all ethnomusicologists and students of Native American culture as well as general readers interested in Native American mythology and religious life.
Beginning in the early 1980s Aboriginal Australians found in music, radio, and filmic media a means to make themselves heard across the country and to insert themselves into the center of Australian political life. In The Voice and Its Doubles Daniel Fisher analyzes the great success of this endeavor, asking what is at stake in the sounds of such media for Aboriginal Australians. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research in northern Australia, Fisher describes the close proximity of musical media, shifting forms of governmental intervention, and those public expressions of intimacy and kinship that suffuse Aboriginal Australian social life. Today’s Aboriginal media include genres of country music and hip-hop; radio requests and broadcast speech; visual graphs of a digital audio timeline; as well as the statistical media of audience research and the discursive and numerical figures of state audits and cultural policy formation. In each of these diverse instances the mediatized voice has become a site for overlapping and at times discordant forms of political, expressive, and institutional creativity.