Pre-Acoustic Sound Studies

Pre-Acoustic Sound Studies

Auditory Cultures before 1800


A Symposion of the
Forskningsgrupper Sound & Senses
at the University of Copenhagen

Pre-Acoustic Sound Studies 2016


University of Copenhagen
Department of Arts & Cultural Studies
Karen Blixensvej 1
2300 Copenhagen

Room 16.3.07
(building 16, 3rd floor)


No fee (funded by the Forskningsgrupper Sound & Senses)


Often, the field of sound studies explores sound practices, listening experiences and auditory dispositives in relation to the academic discipline of acoustics. This has happened especially in relation to the discipline as developed in the 19th century, when acoustics became first established as part of the experimental cultures and national academic disciplines.

In this symposion we intend to travel further back in time, partly because it has not been researched nearly as intensively as the post-1800 centuries in sound studies; partly because we want to investigate if the middle ages, the renaissance, and early enlightenment present rather different ways of producing, experiencing and theorizing sound compared to the post-enlightenment and the achievements of national sciences in the 19th century.

The lectures and discussions will explore sound and listening practices, dispositives and experiences in an age when auditory knowledge was either concrete and rooted in the everyday or abstractly and mathematically conceptualized. It was not an age without sonic epistemologies, but with different ones that were already in place, applied, and somehow even dominant: on the marketplace, in religious edifices, in situations of domestic and military everyday life. Our three guests will explore with us the fields of sound in ecclesiastical milieus and of surveillance concepts. The individual lectures will be completed with more extensive listening sessions concerned with examples related to the presentations of our three guests.


Send a mail to: Rasmus Holmboe



Morten Michelsen & Holger Schulze (Copenhagen/DK)
Welcome & Introduction

Peter Woetmann Christoffersen (Copenhagen/DK):
The Solemn Sound:Sounding References to the Liturgy’s most Sacred Mysteries

Listening Session & Discussion


Andi Schoon (Bern/CH):
Enlightened Ear en Route.
From the Panacousticon to Transcultural Listening

Listening Session & Discussion


Rupert Till (Huddersfield/UK):
​Archaeoacoustics:Studying and Reconstructing the Acoustics of the Ancient Past

Listening Session & Discussion

Morten Michelsen & Holger Schulze (Copenhagen/DK)
Concluding Remarks