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Title: Histories of the Invisible: Technology Discourses in the Age of Phonography
Authors: de Lautour, Reuben
Advisors: Lansky, Paul
Trueman, Daniel
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Composition
Sound Studies
Technology and Culture
Subjects: Music
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In this dissertation I identify and examine various discursive strategies in a number of theoretical, aesthetic, and technical writings about music technologies, and assess their impact on related phonographic and musical practices. I examine sources from several polemical and divisive moments in the discursive history of the phonograph, namely: Popular science articles about the phonograph that appeared in various periodicals from the mid-1870s to the early 1890s; Articles concerning sound engineering research from scientific journals of the 1920s to 1930s; Aesthetic writings in audiophile journals of the 1920s-1950s; Popular histories of the phonograph; and a small number of influential writings by media theorists of the mid to late twentieth century. In contrast to many recent studies that frame these discourses in terms of the interaction of phonography as a technology versus music as a culture, my dissertation challenges the view that music technologies, in particular sound recording and reproduction devices, have influenced musical practice and culture in one way or another. Indeed, the dissertation shows that these kinds of approaches have had the unintended effect of creating and sustaining listening practices that are themselves "phonographic." The final chapter examines the influence of these phonographic listening practices on various branches of music scholarship and pedagogy.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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