Skip to main content
×
×
Home
Call for Submissions

Volume 23, Number 2

Issue thematic title – New Wor(l)ds for Old Sounds

Date of publication: August 2018

Submission deadline: 15 September 2017

Issue co-ordinators: Erika Honisch (erika.honisch@stonybrook.edu) and Margaret Schedel (margaret.schedel@stonybrook.edu), Stony Brook University

Evidence for the ‘sonic turn’ in and beyond the humanities is everywhere: in the calls for papers of recent interdisciplinary conferences, in the popularity of sound-oriented blogs, in the formation of sound studies interest groups in academic professional societies, in the collaborations of electroacoustic composers with social scientists, and, not least, in the purview of Organised Sound itself. It is less evident—given the general emphasis in sound studies on contemporary sonic cultures and practices—that a significant line of inquiry focuses on the richly sonic past. Studies exemplifying this historicist impulse draw attention to the acoustic properties of ancient and early modern spaces, and those of more recent built environments (Blesser and Salter, 2007; Fisher, 2014); they search archival documents for the sounds of colonial encounter (Rath 2005) and the hubbub of England in the Victorian period and earlier (Picker 2003; Cockayne, 2007); they find traces of the noisy mediaeval city in manuscript illuminations (Dillon 2012); they document sound and its silencing to trace shifting urban identities and values (Bjisterveld 2008; Thompson, 2002); they investigate the properties of instruments and technologies, from monochords to metronomes, developed to chart interval space and measure musical time (Grant, 2014); they consider the collision of early recording technology with traditional Western musical aesthetics (Rehding, 2005). Collaborative digital projects recreate past sound worlds, embedding reconstructed sounds in 3D virtual space, as in Mylène Pardoen’s The Sounds of Eighteenth-Century Paris, or situating records (both aural and textual) of sound in specific locations, as with the ever-expanding London Sound Survey.

The interest in timbre, changing technologies, and acoustics that animates these projects also drives the work of practitioners and historians of electroacoustic music. Indeed, the vocabulary and methodologies developed by electroacoustic musicians to build a sonic lexicon, research the sounds of the past, and contextualise the impact of technology on sonic creativity are ideally suited to historically oriented sound studies.

The purpose of this themed issue of Organised Sound is to explore the many points of resonance between the questions raised by electroacoustic specialists and those taken up by scholars who work on the sounds of the pre-electric past. How can we build bridges between these two exciting fields? With this in mind, for the ‘New Wor(l)ds for Old Sounds issue, we invite contributions that experiment with the possibilities of applying the insights afforded by electroacoustic technologies, practices and vocabularies to sounds and spaces before the widespread adoption of electric sound in North America and Europe, roughly 1925. By its very etymology ‘electroacoustic’ implicates the electric; so while we could have simply proposed a crossover issue between sound studies and electroacoustic music, we have chosen instead to be deliberately provocative to encourage our authors and readers to expand their conception of the traditional scope of Organised Sound. We are interested in providing a forum for the projection of electroacoustic music studies to other pre-electric objects and, conversely, testing out methodologies as well as the relevance/applicability of historical knowledge to the current and future initiatives falling squarely within the journal’s subject domain, electroacoustic music studies.

More specifically, we wish to probe how electroacoustic language might be fruitfully used to discuss technologies, compositions, and listening practices before the advent of recording and electronically generated sound. What kinds of sounds emerge when we examine textual documents or historical musical instruments using a vocabulary of timbre informed by electroacoustic music? What do the re-creative possibilities of electroacoustic technology tell us about the obsolete or imaginary musical instruments described in music theory treatises (Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia Universalis, 1650); the utopian sound-houses described by Francis Bacon (The New Atlantis,1624); the ‘invisible music’ channelled into the palace of Christian IV of Denmark (Spohr, 2012); the acoustic properties of the cavernous Salle des Machines in Berlioz’s Paris? And on the other hand, how do pre-electric practices and technologies continue to inform current electroacoustic practices? Taken together, such questions invite a rethinking of the relationship between past and present conceptions of timbre, space, and sonic ecology, and the history of sound-based listening.

Contributors might take up the following questions:

  1. What is an electroacoustic vocabulary for the pre-electric sonic past?
  2. What can we learn if we apply new electroacoustic methodologies to examine familiar historical objects (musical texts, musical instruments, resonant spaces)?
  3. How are current electroacoustic practices shaped and informed by pre-electric musical technologies?
  4. How are current electroacoustic technologies used in the study of pre-electric music?
  5. Which electroacoustic technologies can be deployed to answer questions about the acoustic properties of colonial village greens, of Gothic cathedrals, of Baroque theatres, of the factories and mills of the Industrial Revolution?
  6. What do we learn when electroacoustic practitioners and historians take up questions that drive sound studies research (for example, the interest on aural cultures and listening communities) to shed light on the history and priorities of electroacoustic music?
  7. and….?

As always, submissions related to the theme are encouraged; however, those that fall outside the scope of this theme are also welcome. Articles which compare pre-electric and post-electric sound-worlds and sonic practices are encouraged but in order to be considered ‘on theme’ a substantial portion of the text must address the period before 1925.

We invite contributions from all disciplines, but particularly from electroacoustic music studies, history, sound studies, musicology and ethnomusicology, music theory, and history of science.  

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15 September 2017

SUBMISSION FORMAT:

Notes for Contributors and further details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published issues of Organised Sound or at the following url:

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayMoreInfo?jid=OSO&type=ifc (and download the pdf)

Properly formatted email submissions and general queries should be sent to: os@dmu.ac.uk, not to the guest editors.

Hard copy of articles and images and other material (e.g., sound and audio-visual files, etc. – normally max. 15’ sound files or 8’ movie files), both only when requested, should be submitted to:

  1.             Prof. Leigh Landy
  2.             Organised Sound
  3.             Clephan Building
  4.             De Montfort University
  5.             Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.

 Editor: Leigh Landy

Associate Editors: Ross Kirk and Richard Orton†

Regional Editors: Ricardo Dal Farra, Jøran Rudi, Margaret Schedel, Barry Truax, Ian Whalley, David Worrall, Lonce Wyse

International Editorial Board: Marc Battier, Manuella Blackburn, Joel Chadabe, Alessandro Cipriani, Simon Emmerson, Kenneth Fields, Rajmil Fischman, Eduardo Miranda, Rosemary Mountain, Tony Myatt, Jean-Claude Risset, Mary Simoni, Martin Supper, Daniel Teruggi

=====

References:

Bjisterveld, K.2008. Mechanical Sound: Technology, Culture and Public Problems of Noise in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Blesser, B. and L.-R. Salter. 2007. Spaces speak, are you listening? Experiencing aural architecture. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Cockayne, E. 2007. Hubbub: Filth, Noise & Stench in England 1600-1770.  New Haven: Yale University Press.

 Dillon, E. 2012.The Sense of Sound: Musical Meaning in France, 1260–1330. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

 Fisher, A. 2014. Music, Piety, and Propaganda: The Soundscapes of Counter-Reformation Bavaria. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

 Grant, R. 2014. Beating Time and Measuring Music in the Early Modern Era. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

 Picker, J. 2003. Victorian Soundscapes. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

 Rath, R. C. 2005. How Early America Sounded. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

 Rehding, A. 2005. ‘Wax Cylinder Revolutions’. Musical Quarterly 88 (2005): 123–160.

 Spohr, A.  2012. ‘This Charming Invention Created by the King’ – Christian IV and His Invisible Music. Danish Yearbook of Musicology 39: 13-33.

 Thompson, E. 2002. The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900–1933. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.


Volume 22, Number 3

Issue thematic title – Which words can we use related to sound and music?

Date of publication: December 2017

Submission deadline: 15 January 2017

Issue co-ordinator: Daniel Teruggi (dteruggi@ina.fr)

In late 2016 the full English translation of the Traité des Objets Musicaux by Pierre Schaeffer will be published by California University Press 50 years after its first appearance in French. This important milestone and the proximity to the 70th anniversary of the first Concert de bruits by Schaeffer in June 1948, which opened the road to musique concrète, offer a unique opportunity to analyse the way we talk about sound and music. One of the strong contributions of Schaeffer was to develop a vocabulary describing sound structure and behaviour, using terms applied to other senses to identify them thus setting the foundation for the analysis of sound in music and how our perception creates sense out of sound information.

Schaeffer opened the road to musical research and since then various theories, systems and environments for analysis have been proposed enriching the vocabulary and the approaches to the understanding of electroacoustic music and the function of sound within it. Today, we are rich in ideas and always looking for new ways to talk about sound and music putting in perspective the evolution of different currents of thought regarding thenature and use of sound and its incidence in musical and emotional perception.

Sound has always been the underlying component of music; however, sound today is seen as an invention process where the musician already expresses his or her musical intentions which condition the final results. There have been a number of attempts to classify sounds: either from a purely acoustical point of view or from a point of view of perception. There is also an intermediate mode, which is the description of the production process. However the important issues are: how do composers handle sounds in their representation and classification systems and what is the position ofsound in musical thought?

Regarding music, there exist analytical theories or approaches with a strong tendency over recent years to consider how sound material conditions the analytical method to be applied. In this context it is important to investigate the relation between sound and music, and how musicality is or is not dependant on the sound environment. How does perception adapt itself to continuously changing sound environments? How do emotion and pleasure develop and build lasting schemes in our memory?

Possible areas of interest include:

  • Are there sounds more adapted to music, or is any sound a musical candidate?
  • What is the influence of musique concrète on musical thought today?
  • How is sound considered in analysing music? Is it just a component or a conditioner of analysis? In other words, how does sound sound?
  • Can music be ‘only sound’? Do continuous sound patterns function as music for our perception?
  • Looking at different ways of talking about sound: traditional, scientific or morphological
  • How important is electroacoustic music analysis in education and dissemination?
  • Can musical essence survive in terms of poor sound reproduction devices or formats?

As always, submissions related to the theme are encouraged; however, those that fall outside the scope of this theme are always welcome.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 15 January 2017

SUBMISSION FORMAT:

Notes for Contributors and further details can be obtained from the inside back cover of published issues of Organised Sound or at the following url:

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayMoreInfo?jid=OSO&type=ifc (and download the pdf)

Properly formatted email submissions and general queries should be sent to: os@dmu.ac.uk, not to the guest editors.

Hard copy of articles and images and other material (e.g., sound and audio-visual files, etc. – normally max. 15’ sound files or 8’ movie files, both only when requested, should be submitted to:

Prof. Leigh Landy

Organised Sound

Clephan Building

De Montfort University

Leicester LE1 9BH, UK.

Editor: Leigh Landy

Associate Editors: Ross Kirk and Richard Orton†

Regional Editors: Ricardo Dal Farra, Jøran Rudi, Margaret Schedel, Barry Truax, Ian Whalley, David Worrall, Lonce Wyse

International Editorial Board: Marc Battier, Manuella Blackburn, Joel Chadabe, AlessandroCipriani, Simon Emmerson, Kenneth Fields, Rajmil Fischman, Eduardo Miranda,Rosemary Mountain, Tony Myatt, Jean-Claude Risset, Mary Simoni, Martin Supper, Daniel Teruggi