Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig's Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century Paris by David PantalonyAltered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig's Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century Paris by David Pantalony

Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig's Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century Paris

byDavid Pantalony

Paperback | March 14, 2012

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Rudolph Koenig was one of the more prolific and colourful instrument makers in the renowned nineteenth-century precision instrument trade of Paris. Beginning his career as a violin maker, in 1858 the young Prussian immigrant shifted his talents towards the growing field of acoustics. Altered Sensations is a portrait of his vibrant atelier, a place of construction, commerce and experiment. For over forty years it was also a popular meeting place for scientists, artisans, musicians and teachers. Using archival and collection research from across North American and Europe, David Pantalony has traced the material and social influences of this space on the development of modern acoustics. In particular, he has detailed the manner in which Koenig modified, extended, spread and challenged Hermann von Helmholtz's Sensations of Tone.

A large part of the research on Koenig comes from the actual products of his workshop which survive in museums and collections around the world. The second section of Altered Sensations provides a Catalogue Raisonné of Koenig's entire line of instruments, including their history, details from specific examples, locations, and references in the literature. This catalogue will serve as a practical guide for curators and researchers as well as a comprehensive overview of nineteenth-century acoustical practice.

Title:Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig's Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century ParisFormat:PaperbackDimensions:372 pages, 23.5 × 15.5 × 0.07 inPublished:March 14, 2012Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9400730616

ISBN - 13:9789400730618

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Table of Contents


Workshops in the history of science

Showroom: The business of instrument making

Laboratory: Instrument making and experimentation

Life as an instrument maker

Sound in history

Chapter 1 - Training

Journey to Paris

Vuillaume's violin workshop - 1851-1858

From violins to tuning forks

The scientific instrument trade in Paris

Chapter 2 - Hermann von Helmholtz and the Sensations of Tone

Hermann von Helmholtz

Physical acoustics - theory and instruments (tuning forks, tonometer, double siren)

Instruments as agents of change

Experimental results

Physiological acoustics - the piano as a model for the inner ear

Psychological acoustics - resonators as aids for hearing simple tones

The first sound synthesizer

A theory of harmony and music

Chapter 3 - Transformations in the workshop

Inside Parisian workshops

The phonautograph and the origins of graphical acoustics

Precision and graphical acoustics

The "Plaque tournante"at Rue Hautefeuille: Transforming Helmholtz's acoustics Demonstrating Helmholtz: Adam Politzer and Koenig at the Académie des Sciences Manometric flame capsule and optical acoustics

Chapter 4 - The market and its influences

The first year of business - from the workshop to the classroom

1862 London Exhibition

Selling Helmholtz's instruments

Function replaces beauty: 1867 Exposition in Paris.

Americans at the Fair. William B. Rogers, Alexander Graham Bell and MIT

The Parisian science monopoly and a Portuguese customer

Chapter 5 - Constructing a reputation, 1866-1879

Measuring the velocity of sound in the sewers of Paris

Creating vowel sounds out of wood, brass and steel

Seeing a voice: manometric vowel studies

Extending the tonometer one file mark at a time

Choosing the right steel

Bringing the workshop into combination-tone studies

Precision and livelihood under attack: the Koenig clock fork

Chapter 6 - Expanding the North American Market, 1871-1882.

Recovery from the turmoil of 1870-71

Third catalogue, 1873

Joseph Henry and the Smithsonian Institution

Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, 1876

James Loudon and the University of Toronto

"Cette ville de malheur"

Public lectures at Toronto

Chapter 7 - The Faraday of sound

Life at Quai d'Anjou: 1882-1901

The combination-tone controversy in England

Workshop as theatre

Heidelberg 1889: the German response

The dispute over timbre

Wave sirens

Back to vibrations

Ultrasonics and le domaine de la fantaisie

Conclusion - Beyond Sensations

Appendix 1. Key dates in Rudolph Koenig's life.

Catalogue Raisonné

I. The principal means for producing sound

II. Cause and nature of sound

III. Pitch of sounds

IV. Timbre of sound

V. Propagation of sound

VI. Simple vibrations of the different bodies

VII. Communications of vibrations - Vibrations of simple bodies - Compound vibrations in simple bodies

VIII. Phenomena due to the coexistance of two or more sounds in air

IX. Methods for studying sonorous vibrations without assistance of the ear

X. Apparatus for the mechanical representation of vibrations and wave movements

XI. Acoustic apparatus for practical use



Editorial Reviews

Pantalony's work offers historians of technology and science and STS scholars an invaluable study of Rudolph Koenig's nineteenth-century acoustical workshop. In so doing, he explores in exquisite detail the importance of musical-instrument making to the production of scientific instruments and the crucial influence of market forces on Koenig's work. Rather than merely limiting himself to written sources, Pantalony forges a historical narrative based on a reading of the instruments themselves, in a sense providing us with an archaeology of artifacts. He also deftly recounts how crucial Koenig's instruments were to the development of nineteenth-century acoustics. This book superbly fills a tremendous gap in the secondary literature.Myles W. Jackson, Professor of the History of Science, The Gallatin School, New York University