The SIM project "Audio-visual perception of acoustic environments" on Scientiapublications.com
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The »Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung« (SIM) is a research institution for musicology with wide-reaching fields of activity. Situated in a building designed by Hans Scharoun at the ›Berlin Kulturforum‹ between the »Berliner Philharmonie« and the Sony-Center, the institute is a place of historical and theoretical reflection and at the same time a place where both music performance and its study are conveyed to a broad music-loving audience. For the latter purpose, the »Musikinstrumenten-Museum« (MIM) provides an ideal forum, hosting various events, from academic symposia to lecture recitals with Early Music performances on period instruments of the museum’s collection to interactive sound installations.

The »Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung« is an institution of the    Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.


A History of Electronic Musical Instruments

25 March - 27 August 2017

Is your smart phone a musical instrument? As young as the category of electronic musical instruments is, as deeply lasting is their impact on the world of music. The development of electronic and digital instruments raises fundamental questions about our idea of instruments: what actually is an »musical« instrument? What about the relation between the interpreter and the instrument? Are terms like »opus« or »composition« still suitable to describe adequately, what happens – or is about to happen – at the interface of artist and machine?

Our Museum for Musical Instruments of the State Institute for Music Research applies to the task of posing those and other questions in a comprehensive exhibition about the history of electronic instruments, which opens on Friday, March 24th and can be visited until June 25th this year.

Rare instruments and early attempts in the field of electronic instruments are shown as well as software-instruments, famous drum machines and visionary controllers.

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Buchlas 'Electric Music Box' ('Music Easel')
Photo by Christian Halten


Tempo Measurements in Piano Sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven

by Heinz von Loesch and Fabian Brinkmann

As part of a collaborative project between the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the Audiocommunication Group of the Technische Universität Berlin, over the course of the last few years we measured—bar by bar—tempi in the first movements of three of Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonatas (Appassionata Sonata, Sonata op. 2 No. 3, Hammerklavier Sonata) in interpretations from the 1920s through the 2000s. In so doing we examined a series of factors: Have the tempo and shaping of tempo (‘Tempogestaltung’) changed over time? Are there national or culture-specific traditions? Can inter-subjective tempo decisions be identified? How had the shaping of tempi by an individual artist developed over the years and decades? What is the relationship between interpretational practice and the recommendations in the editions prepared by celebrated interpreters?

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