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The Gramophone and the Sound of the Real : Focusing on the Theory of Friedrich A. Kittler

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2015, 44(), pp.111-132
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : June 30, 2015

Hyun-Joo Yoo 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The invention of the gramophone ― which stores and plays beautiful music that meaninglessly disappears or the voice of a loved one ― is, like the motion picture; a the fulfillment of mankind's oldest dreams. However, according to the argumentation of Friedrich A. Kittler, the role of the gramophone does not end at this. The gramophone is what completely changed mankind's recording paradigm that lasted until the 19th century. Simultaneously, the gramophone revealed to mankind the existence of subconsciousness, becoming the moving force towards ‘the modern.’ Gramophone technology was used as a crucial physical base to divide and change the method of human perception of the late 19th and early 20th century. If the previous era had stored acoustic data by recording only sounds that had meaning to humans into letters, the gramophone which stored all sounds with no discrimination allowed meaningless sounds to be recognized for the first time. Thanks to these experiences, modern music that showed more concern towards the effect of the sound as a whole could be created, instead of music that focused more on the harmony of beautiful sounds. The new sound recording and playing techniques brought about a huge shift in the field of artistic music genres, and at the same time contributed to moving towards the modern age by binding with the spirit of the times. Additionally, the gramophone, the first machine which recorded and played with the same needle, replaced letters and musical scores which were the only methods of storing time in Western civilization. By allowing storage and operation possible at the same time, it formed a new era of modern digital media.

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