Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-2qt69 Total loading time: 0.385 Render date: 2022-08-10T14:21:03.877Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

The Anthropomorphic Analogy: Humanising musical machines in the early modern and contemporary eras

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2018

Rebecca Cypess*
Affiliation:
Department of Music, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, 81 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Steven Kemper*
Affiliation:
Department of Music, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, 81 George St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA

Abstract

Since the late twentieth century, the development of cybernetics, physical computing and robotics has led artists and researchers to create musical systems that explore the relationship between human bodies and mechanical systems. Anthropomorphic musical robots and bodily integrated ‘cyborg’ sensor interfaces explore complementary manifestations of what we call the ‘anthropomorphic analogy’, which probes the boundary between human artificer and artificial machine, encouraging listeners and viewers to humanise non-musical machines and understand the human body itself as a mechanical instrument.

These new approaches to the anthropomorphic analogy benefit from historical contextualisation. At numerous points in the history of Western art music, philosophers, critics, composers, performers and instrument designers have considered the relationship between human musician and musical instrument, often blurring the line between the two. Consideration of historical examples enriches understandings of anthropomorphism in contemporary music technology.

This article juxtaposes the anthropomorphic analogy in contemporary musical culture with manifestations of anthropomorphism in early seventeenth-century Europe. The first half of the seventeenth century witnessed a flourishing of instrumentality of all sorts. Musical instruments were linked with the telescope, the clock, the barometer, the paintbrush, and many other instruments and machines, and these came to be understood as vehicles for the creation of knowledge. This flourishing of instrumental culture created new opportunities for contemplation and aesthetic wonder, as theorists considered the line between human being and machine – between nature and artifice. Manifestations of the anthropomorphic analogy in seventeenth-century conceptions of musical instruments help to contextualise and explain similar articulations of the anthropomorphic analogy in the present day.

Type
Articles
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Anthropomorphic Flutist Robot n.d. WF-4RVI. www.takanishi.mech.waseda.ac.jp/top/research/music/flute/wf_4rvi/index_2011_ENG.htm (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Ashanti, O. 2014. What Would the Word ‘Cyborg’ Mean, If It Were Invented Today? http://onyx-ashanti.com/2014/01/07/what-would-the-word-cyborgmean-if-it-were-invented-today-part-one/ (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Ashanti, O. 2016a. Of Patterns and Patternists: A Sonocybernetic Manifesto. http://onyx-ashanti.com/2016/03/16/of-patterns-and-patternists-introducing-sonocybernetics/ (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Ashanti, O. 2016b. Wreck Now- Sonocybin (OCD-Detroit Nov 2 2016). www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaFi_jUHS4s (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Bedini, S. 1964. The Role of Automata in the History of Technology. Technology and Culture 5(1): 2442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bongers, B. 2008. Electronic Musical Instruments: Experiences of a New Luthier. Leonardo Music Journal 17(1): 916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bourdieu, P. 1980. Le sens pratique. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit.Google Scholar
Braccelli, G. B. 1624. Bizzarie di varie figure di Giovanbatista Braccelli, pittore fiorentino. Livorno: s.n. Google Scholar
Bretan, M. and Weinberg, G. 2016. A Survey of Robotic Musicianship. Communications of the ACM 55(5): 100109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Christensen, T. 2013. The Sound World of Father Mersenne. In S. McClary (ed.) Structures of Feeling in Seventeenth-Century Cultural Expression. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
Clynes, M. and Kline, N. 1960. Cyborgs and Space. Astronautics 5(9): 2627 74–6.Google Scholar
Cypess, R. 2016. Curious and Modern Inventions: Instrumental Music as Discovery in Galileo’s Italy. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Cypess, R. 2017. ‘It Would Be Without Error’: Automated Technology and the Pursuit of Correct Performance in the French Enlightenment. Journal of the Royal Musical Association 142(1): 129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Davies, M. n.d. Compositions for Involuntary Strings. www.michaeladavies.net/cyborg_quartet.html (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Descartes, R. 1985. The Philosophical Writings of Descartes. trans. J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff and D. Murdoch 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Diruta, G. 1593. (part 1) and 1607 (part 2) Il Transilvano: Dialogo sopra il vero modo di sonar organi, et istromenti da penna. Venice: Giacomo Vincenti.Google Scholar
Donnarumma, M. 2012. Music for Flesh II: Informing Interactive Music Performance with the Viscerality of the Body System. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
Donnarumma, M. 2017. On Biophysical Music. In E. R. Miranda (ed.) Guide to Unconventional Computing for Music. London: Springer.Google Scholar
Donnarumma, M. n.d. Corpus Nil. http://marcodonnarumma.com/works/corpus-nil/ (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Emmerson, S. 2000. ‘Losing Touch?’: The Human Performer and Electronics. In S. Emmerson (ed.) Music, Electronic Media and Culture. Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Farmer, G. 1931. The Organ of the Ancients. London: New Temple Press.Google Scholar
Garber, D. 2002. Descartes, Mechanics, and the Mechanical Philosophy. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 26: 185204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gauvin, J. 2006. Artisans, Machines, and Descartes’s Organon . History of Science 44: 187216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gauvin, J. 2008. Habits of Knowledge: Artisans, Savants, and Mechanical Devices in Seventeenth-Century French Natural Philosophy. PhD diss., Harvard University.Google Scholar
Gauvin, J. 2011. Instruments of Knowledge. In D. M. Clarke and C. Wilson (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Godøy, R. 2006. Gestural-Sonorous Objects: Embodied Extensions of Schaeffer’s Conceptual Apparatus. Organised Sound 11(2): 149157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gordon, B. 2011. The Castrato Meets the Cyborg. The Opera Quarterly 27(1): 94122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gouk, P. 2006. The Role of Harmonics in the Scientific Revolution. Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Haraway, D. 1991. A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century. In Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Heap, I. 2017. The Making of Me the Machine. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_5TWQYgL5M (accessed 9 September 2017).Google Scholar
Hobbes, T. 1841. The Questions Concerning Liberty, Necessity, and Chance. In The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. ed. Sir W. Molesworth London: John Bohn.Google Scholar
Hoffman, G. and Weinberg, G. 2010. Shimon: An Interactive Improvisational Robotic Marimba Player. CHI ’10 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. New York: ACM.Google Scholar
Kassler, J. C. 1995. Inner Music: Hobbes, Hooke, and North on Internal Character. London: Athlone.Google Scholar
Kemper, S. and Cypess, R. forthcoming. Can Musical Machines Be Expressive? Views from the Enlightenment and Today. Leonardo. Epub ahead of print 20 June 2017. https://doi.org/10.1162/LEON_a_01477.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larmessin, N. n.d., c.1700? L’habit de musicien. Paris: Chez N. de L’Armessin.Google Scholar
Malet, A. 2005. Early Conceptualizations of the Telescope as an Optical Instrument. Early Science and Medicine 10(2): 237262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Marino, G. 1614. Dicerie sacre. Turin: Luigi Pizzamiglio.Google Scholar
Mitchell, T. and Heap, I. 2011. SoundGrasp: A Gestural Interface for the Performance of Live Music. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Oslo, Norway.Google Scholar
Mori, M. 2012. The Uncanny Valley, trans. K. F. MacDorman and N. Kageki. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, June, 98–100.Google Scholar
Moyer, A. 1992. Musica scientia: Musical Scholarship in the Italian Renaissance. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Ord-Hume, A. 1973. Clockwork Music: An Illustrated History of Mechanical Musical Instruments from the Musical Box to the Pianola, from Automaton Lady Virginal Players to Orchestrion. New York: Crown.Google Scholar
Praetorius, M. 1619. Syntagmis Musici Michaelis Praetorii C. Tomus secundus, De Organographia. [s.l.]: Autor.Google Scholar
Pressing, J. 1990. Cybernetic Issues in Interactive Performance Systems. Computer Music Journal 14(1): 1225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Riskin, J. 2003. The Defacating Duck, or, the Ambiguous Origins of Artificial Life. Critical Inquiry 29(4): 599633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Soehnlein, E. J. 1975. Diruta on the Art of Keyboard Playing: An Annotated Translation and Transcription of Il Transilvano, Parts I (1593) and II (1609). PhD diss., University of Michigan.Google Scholar
Solis, J. and Takanishi, A. 2011. Wind Instrument Playing Humanoid Robots. In J. Sorge and K. Ng (eds.) Musical Robots and Interactive Multimodal Systems. Springer, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Solis, J., Chida, K., Taniguchi, K., Hashimoto, S., Suefuji, K. and Takanishi, A. 2006. The Waseda Flutist Robot WF-4RII in Comparison with a Professional Flutist. Computer Music Journal 30(4): 1227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Takahashi, T. and Kishino, F. 1991. Hand Gesture Coding Based on Experiments Using a Hand Gesture Interface Device. SIGCHI Bull 23(2): 6774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tanaka, A. 2011. Sensor-Based Musical Instruments and Interactive Music. In R. T. Dean (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
van Orden, K. 2002. Descartes on Musical Training and the Body. In L. P. Austern (ed.) Musical Sensation and Sensuality. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Voskuhl, A. 2013. Androids in the Enlightenment: Mechanics, Artisans, and the Cultures of the Self. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weinberg, G. and Driscoll, S. 2006. Toward Robotic Musicianship. Computer. Music Journal 30(4): 2845.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wishart, T. 1986. Sound Symbols and Landscapes. In E. Emmerson (ed.) The Language of Electroacoustic Music. New York: Harwood Academic.Google Scholar
Woloshyn, A. 2009. Imogen Heap As Musical Cyborg: Renegotiations of Power, Gender and Sound. Journal on the Art of Record Production 4. http://arpjournal.com/imogen-heap-as-musical-cyborg-renegotiations-of-power-gender-and-sound/.Google Scholar
Zecher, C. 2007. Sounding Objects: Musical Instruments, Poetry, and Art in Renaissance France. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
1
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Anthropomorphic Analogy: Humanising musical machines in the early modern and contemporary eras
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Anthropomorphic Analogy: Humanising musical machines in the early modern and contemporary eras
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Anthropomorphic Analogy: Humanising musical machines in the early modern and contemporary eras
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *