Sound Instruments, Sonic Cultures: An Interdisciplinary Conference


Modernity has witnessed an accelerating proliferation of sound instruments—devices that allow humans to purposefully produce, capture, observe, manipulate, broadcast or otherwise interact with sound. Sound instruments include all musical instruments, acoustic and electronic, as well as scientific, medical, and military instruments that operate sonically, from the tuning forks and resonators, to Geiger-Muller counters and ultrasound scanners. Sound recording and playback devices are sound instruments—record, CD, MP3 players, tape recorders, loudspeakers, etc.—as are studio and live sound technologies like mixing desks, compressors, reverb units, computers and software devices such as Autotune, and guitar effects pedals. Radio and television sets are sound instruments, as are terrestrial and mobile
telephones, as are hearing aids. The list goes on.

The development of sound instruments has been paralleled by the development of sonic cultures—cultures of listening, of creative production and consumption, of scientific and medical practice, of scholarship and heritage, of designing, building, and testing sound instruments. Sonic cultures can develop in response to, or through the use and/or creation of sound instruments. A sonic culture exists wherever a social group orients its activities around a particular set of practices that has to do with sound, listening/hearing (or non-hearing), and/or the use or creation of sound instruments.


£ 735

Lead Student

Jean-Baptiste Masson

Other student organisers

Marta Donati (Sheffield) Rachel Garratt (Leeds) Edward Wilson-Stephens (Leeds)

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