Experimental Cylinders – Experiments in Music Psychology around 1900 (2017)

Julia Kursell

About this exposition

This article asks how the availability of recording in the sound archive changed the way in which researchers and music listeners related to musical performance. I focus on a study of intonation that Otto Abraham carried out between 1906 and 1923 at the Phonogramm-Archiv in Berlin and that he published in a Festschrift for Carl Stumpf. Abraham conjectured that individuals experience their singing as correct, even when measurement demonstrates that they have actually deviated strongly from the values required by musical notation. As he was able to demonstrate through a series of recordings of singing individuals, this also holds for professional singers and those with absolute pitch. I suggest that the singing of one amusical subject was critical in bringing melodic contour, as a Gestalt quality of song, to the fore as an answer to Abraham's problem, because the recording allowed this individual to articulate his listening in addition to his singing.
typeresearch exposition
keywordsexperimental recording, Phonogramm-Archiv Berlin, melodic contour, Gestalt theory, Otto Abraham, Carl Stumpf, Journal of sonic studies, sound, Sonic Studies
last modified19/01/2017
share statusprivate
licenseAll rights reserved
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue13. Issue 13
connected toJournal of Sonic Studies

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id name copyright license
324592 o_4aa5f8bdbcc9aaff-1 Abraham All rights reserved
324591 o_ba97ff631901078f-1 Stumpf All rights reserved
324324 Kursell_Fig2 Stumpf All rights reserved
324321 Kursell_Fig2 Stumpf All rights reserved
324316 Kursell_Fig2 Stumpf All rights reserved
324311 Kursell_Fig3 Abraham All rights reserved
324294 Kursell_Fig3 Abraham All rights reserved
324277 Kursell_Fig2 Stumpf All rights reserved
324271 Kursell_Fig2 Stumpf All rights reserved
324270 Kursell_Fig2 Stumpf / Kursell All rights reserved
324266 Kursell_Fig1 Kursell All rights reserved
324250 sonicstudies-banner-964-3 JSS All rights reserved

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