The Ancient Phonograph by Shane Butler

By Shane Butler

Long sooner than the discovery of musical notation, and lengthy sooner than that of the phonograph, the written notice used to be unmatched as a medium of the human voice. In The historic Phonograph, Shane Butler searches for strains of voices sooner than Edison, reconstructing a chain of old soundscapes from Aristotle to Augustine. right here the true voices of tragic actors, formidable orators, and making a song emperors mix with the imagined voices of lovesick nymphs, tormented heroes, and offended gods. The resonant international we stumble upon in old resources is at the start unexpected, populated via texts that talk and sing, frequently with out transparent distinction among the 2. yet Butler discovers a commonality that invitations a deeper knowing of why voices mattered then and why they've got mattered considering the fact that. With later examples that variety from Mozart to Jimi Hendrix, Butler deals an formidable try and reconsider the voice -- as an anatomical presence, a conceptual classification, and a resource of delight and sweetness. He conscientiously and severely assesses the strengths and bounds of modern theoretical ways to the voice by way of Adriana Cavarero and Mladen Dolar and makes a wealthy and provocative diversity of historic fabric to be had for the 1st time. The old Phonograph will attraction not just to classicists and to voice theorists yet to an individual with an curiosity within the verbal arts -- literature, oratory, tune -- and the character of aesthetic experience.

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