A panel on “Epistemologies of sound in the 19th ct.” during the first day of the Royal Musical Association Conference in Liverpool.
“This panel aims to develop our understanding of the dialogue between nineteenth-century music and natural science, examining in particular three emergent epistemologies for ‘sound’: mathematical analysis; vibrational communication; sentient listening. The three corresponding papers engage the topic of sonic materiality from different perspectives, outlining how a growing nineteenth-century interest in acoustics, sounding properties of matter, and theories of sensation reflect a changing understanding of what sound was. On one hand, we show how discourses of sound moved beyond the realm of music and art, becoming firmly situated within the broader enterprise of the study of nature. On the other hand, we deepen reflection of how musical thought and creation is grounded in local contexts of scientific and technological experimentation, communication, and embodied performance. By demonstrating how integrated the century’s musical and scientific cultures were and challenging the centrality of visual historical approaches, this panel seeks to open up new sonic approaches to understanding nineteenth-century intellectual history.”
More information on the conference here.