Graduate Work-in-Progress: Battle of the Bands: Instruments, Mechanical Cultures, and Sonic Metaphors of Nineteenth-Century French Empire

Tuesday, November 1 at 4:30 PM
Color image of younger white man with brown hair dressed casually leaning against a brick wall with hands in his pockets

Clark Hall Room 206
11130 Bellflower Road

In his talk Samuel Nemeth, PhD candidate in the Department of Music, examines an 1845 Parisian military music performance contest—a “Battle of the Bands”—and how the Belgian inventor Adolphe Sax’s “victory” in the contest highlighted his novel brass instruments, the Saxhorns. New machines, including musical instruments such as the Saxhorns, lay at the intersection between nineteenth-century French musical and technological cultures, where new inventions generated tension between human and machine, nature and mechanism. Additionally, the collectivity and mobility inherent in Sax’s ensemble served as a sonic metaphor of France’s colonial ambition.