Pyrophones and other Thermophones – a new class of musical instruments?

Date/Time: Thu 05 Oct / 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room E561, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music

Music Research Seminar

Pyrophones and other Thermophones – a new class of musical instruments?

In recent fieldwork in Northeast India we have found an aerophone driven by fire, the wa kăpung dyo. In this sound tool fire provides energy to a bamboo tube to produce sound. This is known in physics as thermoacoustics. Other sound producing instruments driven by thermoacoustic effects are known from a Japanese ritual and a 19th century French “pyrophone”. I will present and explain examples of different kinds of thermoacoustic sound devices (audio-visual and live). Since none of them has been recognised in a classification system of musical instruments I will argue for establishing the new class of thermophones in the Hornbostel-Sachs classification of musical instruments.

Jürgen Schöpf: I am trained in all kinds of musicologies that were available in Germany in the 1990s, and took courses in linguistics and cultural anthropology. My work is centered around classical Ethnomusicology and Systematic Musicology that analyses music, with a specialty in organology. I have also worked commercially as a recording engineer for European classical and baroque music. An intensive six year work phase with the Phonogrammarchiv of the Austrian Academy of Sciences taught me archival work and ethics as well as analog audio digitisation and restauration techniques. Soundscape studies and contemporary music have also been an area of my publications.

For further information, please contact Adrian McNeil on 50785.

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