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In 2015, the Science Museum, with the University of Nottingham and Royal College of Music, arranged three workshops to explore potential themes and contents for future exhibitions about science, technology and music. This article reports and reflects on the proceedings.
The Art and Science of Acoustic Recording: Re-enacting Arthur Nikisch and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra’s landmark 1913 recording of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
In 2014, at the Royal College of Music, an orchestra recorded on to wax discs using a horn and mechanical technology from the acoustic era of sound recording. This article examines the processes, practices and outcomes of the sessions and reflects on the musicians’ experiences.
The Hugh Davies Collection: live electronic music and self-built electro-acoustic musical instruments, 1967–1975
The author describes and contextualises the Hugh Davies Collection (HDC) – a collection of self-built electro-acoustic musical instruments and other electronic sound apparatus formerly owned by the English experimental musician, instrument inventor, and live electronic music pioneer Hugh Davies (1943–2005).
This essay analyses representations of the ammoniaphone across nineteenth century advertising and the medical and musical press, and situates these representations within the broader Victorian fascination with the supremacy of Italian opera singers and the emergent corporeal anxieties of late nineteenth century consumer culture.
What if sounds were museum objects? Via an experimental curatorial practice, the author proposes a revised definition of the 20th century musical term ‘sound object,’ proposing it as the basis for a museological conception of sounds as heritage.
Oramics to electronica: investigating lay understandings of the history of technology through a participatory project
In this article we go behind the scenes in the production of the Science Museum’s Oramics to Electronica: Revealing Histories of Electronic Music exhibition (2011–2016) to examine its genesis and reflect upon its implications.