Dr. Jan-Peter Herbst

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Sound Innovations – Trends, developments, prognoses

Since the introduction of electrical practices of recording, reproducing and transmitting music in the 1920s, sound has become an important means of expression, determining the aesthetics of popular music styles and genres. Apparently, the history of popular music is marked by innovations in music technology and intended phases of nostalgic retro sounds.

This seminar discusses contemporary tendencies in popular music based on its sound with special regard to music aesthetics, cultural practices and economic strategies. It includes aspects of studio technology, the music industry, the media and music reception. Potential issues are: How can or will popular music develop in the future? Why does a particular sound become a “hit”? What vocal processing technologies will follow Autotune and Melodyne? What chances does digitalisation offer independent musicians and the industry?

Sound in the above sense will be understood as a promising method for analysing popular music and as an epistemological concept of musical perception and meaning. The seminar aims at exploring contemporary trends in the music industry, and at identifying future trends based on an historical and technological understanding.

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