Audio Communication Group

Cultural Data Analysis of Production Cultures in Classical Music

As the predecessor project "The Recording Studio as Discursive Space" (GZ: MA 7142/2-1), which was also funded by the DFG, was able to show, classical sound recording is not a sealed-off terrain that is only committed to the work or the artist. Rather, it participates in aesthetic and social changes. It also does so through the people involved in sound recording, who bring and/or acquire music cultural capital, participate in social discourse, and incorporate this into their philosophy of sound recording. Essential for a better theoretical understanding of the discursive structure and aesthetic concepts in classical music production, however, is not only the analysis of the communication between the people involved in a sound recording, but also a better understanding of the concrete modes of action in the course of the production process itself.

The project "Cultural Data Analysis of Production Cultures in Classical Music" therefore aims to lay the foundations for media production research in the field of classical music. On the one hand, this is to be achieved through job shadowing in recording studios in North America and in Great Britain: A comparison of the data obtained there with the results of the preliminary study aims at a deeper understanding of production cultures, their processes and the habitus of musicians and engineers in international comparison. It will be shown that the meaning attributed to the profession of 'engineer' is also socially constructed.

The concrete actions of the participating sound engineers in the course of the production process have also remained invisible up to now, since a description of the production steps can hardly be represented linguistically. The project outlined here therefore also aims to develop visualizations in the sense of an abstraction of the entire montage process.

Presumably, the work, i.e. the sound recording, is more multilayered than previously assumed: it is woven into production cultures that must be made visible with innovative methods so that they can be taken note of at all. The overarching goal of the project is to link the history of technology, knowledge, and media, with the intention of revealing strategies of acoustic knowledge production and thus contributing to a contemporary form of musical interpretation research.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG MA 7142/2-2, WE 4057/25-2


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