Julia Kursell

Julia Kursell
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

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59
Publications
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113
Citations

Publications

Publications (59)
Chapter
Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination - edited by David Trippett August 2019
Article
This article examines the "Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv," founded after 1900 as part of the Institute of Psychology, University of Berlin. The Phonogramm-Archiv was connected to the emergence of several new disciplines and research domains, including experimental phonetics, Gestalt theory, music psychology, and comparative musicology. Of the archive'...
Article
Full-text available
This essay relocates Alexander J. Ellis’s translation of Hermann von Helmholtz’s book Die Lehre von den Tonempfindungen als physiologischeGrundlage für die Theorie der Musik (1863) in a broader context. It discusses Ellis’s various endeavors tomake knowledge available to those with limited access to it and, more specifically, his attempts at making...
Article
This article discusses how Hermann von Helmholtz’s inquiry into Ancient Greek and Persian musical scales contributed to musicological methodology and the formation of new musicological subfields and how his auditory physiology spurred an interest into the harmonium as an instrument for exploring tuning systems. In so doing he shifted the descriptio...
Article
The humanities and the sciences have a strongly connected history, yet their histories continue to be written separately. Although the scope of the history of science has undergone a tremendous broadening during the past few decades, scholars of the history of the humanities and the history of science still seem to belong to two separate cultures t...
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This contribution focuses on Hermann von Helmholtz's work on Renaissance composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Helmholtz used his scientific concept of distortion to analyze this music and, reversely, to find corroboration for the concept in his musical analyses. In this, his work interlocked with nineteenth-century aesthetic and scholarly ide...
Article
The understanding of sound underwent profound changes with the advent of laboratory science in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. New techniques of sound visualization and detection, the use of electricity to generate sound, and the emergence of computers radically reshaped the science of acoustics and the practice of music. The essays in this...
Article
In the mid-nineteenth century, Hermann von Helmholtz developed a new, mathematically formalized representation of the quality of tones, which he termed musikalische Klangfarbe. He did so at the price of excluding change from this representation and from the sounds he experimented with. Later researchers and composers discovered the cognitive and ae...
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The historiography of recording has done great service in enumerating technical devices. While in the beginning, the phonograph was immediately accepted as a scientific instrument, its commercial use soon dominated. Scientists, however, did not stop using the phonograph but rather integrated its new functions into their own work. This article trace...
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Roman Jakobson, who had left Russia in 1920 and in 1941 took refuge in the USA from the Nazis, was one of the main figures in post war linguistics and structuralism. Two aspects of his work are examined in this article. Firstly, Jakobson purifies his linguistic theory of pragmatic references. Secondly, he develops his own diplomatic mission of medi...
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The article juxtaposes Hermann von Helmholtz's work in the experimental physiology of hearing and Carl Stumpf's tone psychology, focusing on the problem of consonance and dissonance in music. It argues that the experimental set-up plays a major role in the approaches to hearing of both Helmholtz and Stumpf, shaping their redefinition of the musical...
Article
Hermann von Helmholtz and Carl Stumpf on Consonance and Dissonance. The article juxtaposes Hermann von Helmholtz's work in the experimental physiology of hearing and Carl Stumpf's tone psychology, focusing on the problem of consonance and dissonance in music. It argues that the experimental set-up plays a major role in the approaches to hearing of...
Article
The noise in the laboratory resembled a Futurist concert: now and again a siren would howl, while a pianist, interrupted by shouted commands, hammered on the same two keys of a piano. What the neurophysiologist Nikolai Bernstein1 was studying in his experiments at the State Institute for Musicology in Moscow was the “work movements during instrumen...
Article
The article offers a reading of the passages on Greek music theory in Hermann von Helmholtz's book On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music. Helmholtz understands the discussion of tonal systems in Greek theory to be a theory of tuning. According to Helmholtz, it is the capacity of the ear which guided Greek musici...
Article
The article offers a reading of the passages on Greek music theory in Hermann von Helmholtz's book On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music. Helmholtz understands the discussion of tonal systems in Greek theory to be a theory of tuning. According to Helmholtz, it is the capacity of the ear which guided Greek musici...
Article
In einer Musik, die ihren Rückhalt nicht mehr in überlieferten Formen sucht, verstehen sich Anfänge nicht von selbst. Richard Wagner hat sich dieser Schwierigkeit ästhetischer Formsetzung auf eine ebenso einfache wie elegante Weise entledigt. Das Vorspiel seiner Oper 'Das Rheingold' (1854) hört über 136 Takte hinweg nicht auf anzufangen. ... Der An...

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