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ISEK - Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft Populäre Kulturen

Sounds and Tones as cultural property?

Resarch Group: The Constituting of Cultural Property: Actors, Discourses, Contexts, Rules


05.2008 to 10.2011


Prof. Dr. Thomas Hengartner


Dr. Johannes Müske


Sounds and tones are omnipresent, even though they often are trace (or track)less elements of our sensory surroundings, our perceptions and order. As they are largely closed off from being preserved – the exception being provided by song or music – they have also barely been consciously perceived as an element of cultural property.
The questions and analytic interest of this sub-project are therefore situated at several different levels:
The scope or range of the concept of cultural property. An examination of the discussions thus far conducted on sounds and tones as a constitutive element of cultural property is meant to illuminate how wide the scope or range of this concept can, or should, be.
Cultural property seen as a phenomenon of a technologized information society. The question of the role of technology and media in negotiating cultural property is particularly relevant to audio stocks, but it is also a dimension that cuts across all the sub-projects.
Negotiating cultural property in an institutional environment of (media)-archives. Very few institutions declare themselves responsible for acoustics and its archiving. The analysis here would be how cultural property is negotiated and “administered” at a meso-level.
Case Studies of acoustic culture. Surveying and analyzing specific cases of sounds or tones that have become part of cultural property is meant to illuminate how they have become cultural signs, or rather, how they have become elements of the cultural heritage.

Eintrag in der Forschungsdatenbank der UZH

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