Materializing Sound in Antiquity: Materials as a bodily and symbolic component of sound objects

Call for papers

Session organizers: Arnaud Saura-Ziegelmeyer (France) and Daniel Sánchez Muñoz (Spain)

Discussant: Stefan Hagel (Austria)


Materials used to make musical instruments or sound objects are essential in archaeomusicological studies. They allow us to assess the acoustic capacities of artefacts and to reconstruct the soundscapes of Antiquity. Bronze (and more generally metals), but also wood or terracotta have their own logic, and they raise a set of questions (conservation, restoration, lifespan, sound range).

Beyond their inherent acoustic properties, materials can also be addressed as components and indicators of practical and symbolic functions. Different issues can be tackled in this perspective: does a change in material induce a change in function? Can the use of a sound object be reduced to the material that composes it? Do materials have an influence on the place and the perception of the sound objects into the ancient Soundscape? Is the classification of archaeological finds through materials relevant and accurate?

This last question is especially relevant. Indeed, various classifications of instruments in Antiquity coexist. Presently, the classifications according to the materials are particularly challenging. This is the case, among others, of the Mesopotamian and Chinese classification of instruments.

From our knowledge, there is no dedicated contribution in archaeomusicology about materials as a bodily and symbolic component of sound objects. This workshop will provide an innovative contribution for future archaeomusicological research. Scholars from various fields (archaeology, ancient history, philology, etc.) are welcome to apply to this session. Submitted papers may focus on materials or sonorous objects, as well as on methodological (approaches, typology, organology, etc.) or historiographical questions raised by the theme. We accept papers from any field and culture included in the Antiquity (3rd millennium BCE – 6th century CE, Africa, Asia and Europe). The outcomes and discussions of this session will be published.

We also want to organize a brief concert in order to explore in a practical way the role of materials in the configuration of ancient instruments and sound objects. People presenting papers can join this event.

Keywords: Archaeomusicology, Soundscape archaeology, Organology, Materials, Musical Instruments, Sound Objects

Affiliated with the AMIG (Archaeomusicology Interest Group) and the ISGMA (International Study Group on Music Archaeology)

Submissions can only be done online.


Citer ce billet
Adeline Grand-Clément (2020, 10 janvier). Materializing Sound in Antiquity: Materials as a bodily and symbolic component of sound objects. Synaesthesia. Consulté le 30 mai 2024, à l’adresse

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