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STS 19_11_11 Pinch part1


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STS 19_11_11 Pinch part1

  1. 1. Trevor Pinch Science and Technology Studies Cornell University STS IN PRACTICE: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY FIELD AS SCIENCE AND CULTURE
  2. 2. Big Questions of Technology Studies <ul><li>How do Culture/Society and Technology Interact? As opposed to impact of technology on society </li></ul><ul><li>What leads to the acceptance of new technological innovations? </li></ul><ul><li>How do new markets arise? </li></ul><ul><li>How do technologies transform our forms-of-life? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Musical Instruments as Technologies <ul><li>“ Musical instrument design is one of the most sophisticated and specialized technologies that we humans have developed” - Bob Moog </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1985 – Stanford Patent on FM Synthesis <ul><li>Stanford University’s second most lucrative patent ever is for Frequency Modulated Synthesis </li></ul>
  5. 5. Technical Grammy Winners 2002 <ul><li>Robert Moog for Minimoog synthesizer </li></ul><ul><li>Steve Jobs for Technical Contributions to Music Recording Industry </li></ul>
  6. 6. Robert Moog 1934-2005
  7. 7. Moog Modular Synthesizer 1966
  8. 8. Old Rockers!
  9. 9. <ul><li>&quot;The door was open, we didn't have air conditioning or anything like that, it was late Spring and people would walk by, you know, if they would hear something, they would stand there, they'd listen and they'd shake their heads. You know they'd listen again – what is this weird shit coming out of the basement?“ – Bob Moog </li></ul>1963
  10. 10. BUCHLA SYNTH
  11. 12. Interpretative Flexibility <ul><li>Moog Modular Voltage Control Synthesizer with keyboards for use by every musician </li></ul><ul><li>Buchla Modular Voltage Control Synthesizer for use by experimental musicians and avant garde </li></ul>
  12. 14. The Importance of Keyboards <ul><li>“ The Keyboards were always there, and whenever someone wanted to take a picture, for some reason or other it looks good if you’re playing a keyboard. People understand that then you’re making music. You know [without it] you could be tuning in Russia” – Bob Moog </li></ul>
  13. 15. Closure <ul><li>The synthesizer over time became a keyboard instrument to be used by all sorts of musician </li></ul><ul><li>Moog became dominant design </li></ul><ul><li>Buchla relegated to niche market </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>Example of a user-guided refinement: </li></ul><ul><li>Portamento control on keyboard suggested by Wendy Carlos </li></ul>
  15. 17. Standardization and Ease of Use <ul><li>Moog standardized around volt-per-octave standard </li></ul><ul><li>In this way a piece of musical culture was built into the technology </li></ul><ul><li>Means easier to use than Buchla if you want to play conventional melodic music on keyboards </li></ul>
  16. 18. Moog Cultivated His Users <ul><li>Went on the road to install synthesizers </li></ul><ul><li>Brought musicians to his factory </li></ul><ul><li>Employed studio musicians and offered free tuition in his factory studio </li></ul><ul><li>Produced Electronic Music Review from his factory </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>“ All the people I did business with in the early days have remained collaborators and friends and customers throughout the years…They’ve been very valuable to me both as personal friendships and as guidance in refining synthesizer components”- Bob Moog </li></ul>
  18. 20. Who will be users and what will be use? <ul><li>Academic departments? For teaching and composition </li></ul><ul><li>Individually wealthy composers? For composition </li></ul><ul><li>New use emerged for coffee, coke, and beer commercials (later movies and TV mood music) </li></ul>
  19. 22. BUchla Box at TRIPS 1966
  20. 23. MONTEREY POPS 1967 <ul><li>The Doors, The Byrds, The Beatles </li></ul><ul><li>Psychedelic washes of sound </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. “Here Comes the Sun” </li></ul>