In this seminar we will discuss various concepts of experimentalism, practices of experimentation in both music and science, and its connections with technology. We will focus on the multiple actors and institutions of experimentalism as well as on their cultures of experimentation. By doing so, not only the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Miles Davis or Kraftwerk (just to mention a few) will be seen as a result of collaborations, but also musical instruments such as synthesizers will be regarded as material evidence of particular artistic, engineering, and acoustical cultures and practices of knowledge. The starting questions are the following: What are the meanings of experimentalism and experimentation in different artistic and scientific contexts? Does science and technology play a role in music making? Are musical instruments embedded in cultures and aesthetics of experimentation? What is the importance of sound engineers and producers in recording studios? How experimental is studio work? Ultimately, how experimental is music?
Twentieth-Century, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008.
Hui, Alix, The Psychophysical Ear: Musical Experiments, Experimental Sounds, 1840-1910, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2013.
Jackson, Myles W., Harmonious Triads: Physicists, Musicians and Instrument Makers in Nineteenth-Century Germany, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.
Piekut, Benjamin, Experimentalism Otherwise: The New York Avant-Garde and its Limits, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011.
Pinch, Trevor and Frank Trocco, Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.