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Testing Hearing – The Making of Modern Aurality - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern Aurality

Viktoria Tkaczyk, Mara Mills, and Alexandra Hui


Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern Aurality argues that the modern cultural practices of hearing and testing have emerged from a long interrelationship. Since the early nineteenth century, auditory test tools (whether organ pipes or electronic tone generators) and the results of hearing tests have fed back into instrument calibration, human training, architecture, and the creation of new musical sounds. Hearing tests received a further boost around 1900 as a result of injury compensation laws and state and professional demands for aptitude testing in schools, conservatories, the military, a ... More

Keywords: hearing, listening, testing, music, science, industry, aurality, sound studies, media studies, history of science

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780197511121
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780197511121.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Viktoria Tkaczyk, editor
Professor for the History of Knowledge, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Mara Mills, editor
Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University

Alexandra Hui, editor
Associate Professor of History, Mississippi State University

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Testing Hearing

Alexandra Hui, Mara Mills, and Viktoria Tkaczyk

Part I Sorting and Screening Human Hearers: Testing the Culturally Molded Ear

Part II Designing Instruments, Calibrating Machines

4 Hearing Perfection

Emily I. Dolan

Part III Managing Sound, Assessing Space

7 To Hear as I Do

Jennifer Hsieh

Part IV World as Testbed: Testing Beyond Human Auditory Perception

11 Testing the Underwater Ear

Lino Camprubí and Alexandra Hui

12 This Is Not a Test

Benjamin Steege


On Testing

Hans-Jörg Rheinberger


Trevor Pinch

End Matter