The wide-ranging texts in this book take as their premise the idea that sound is a subject through which popular culture can be analyzed in an innovative way. From an infant's gurgles over a baby monitor to the roar of the crowd in a stadium to the sub-bass frequencies produced by sound systems in the disco era, sound -- not necessarily aestheticized as music -- is inextricably part of the many domains of popular culture. Expanding the view taken by many scholars of cultural studies, the contributors consider cultural practices concerning sound not merely as semiotic or signifying processes but as material, physical, perceptual, and sensory processes that integrate a multitude of cultural traditions and forms of knowledge.
The chapters discuss conceptual issues as well as terminologies and research methods; analyze historical and contemporary case studies of listening in various sound cultures; and consider the ways contemporary practices of sound generation are applied in the diverse fields in which sounds are produced, mastered, distorted, processed, or enhanced. The chapters are not only about sound; they offer a study through sound -- echoes from the past, resonances of the present, and the contradictions and discontinuities that suggest the future.
ContributorsKarin Bijsterveld, Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer, Carolyn Birdsall, Jochen Bonz, Michael Bull, Thomas Burkhalter, Mark J. Butler, Diedrich Diederichsen, Veit Erlmann, Franco Fabbri, Golo Föllmer, Marta García Quiñones, Mark Grimshaw, Rolf Großmann, Maria Hanácek, Thomas Hecken, Anahid Kassabian, Carla J. Maier, Andrea Mihm, Bodo Mrozek, Carlo Nardi, Jens Gerrit Papenburg, Thomas Schopp, Holger Schulze, Toby Seay, Jacob Smith, Paul Théberge, Peter Wicke, Simon Zagorski-Thomas