Welcome to Spooky & the Metronome. I’m Deirdre Loughridge, a musicologist at Northeastern University. My research centers on histories of music and technology, and questions of music’s role in conceptions of “the human” and “nonhuman.” I was drawn to these topics of historical research in part by the many resonances with cultural debates and transformations taking place today. In my book Haydn’s Sunrise, Beethoven’s Shadow: Audiovisual Culture and the Emergence of Musical Romanticism (University of Chicago Press, 2016), I explore how a proliferation of optical technologies in the eighteenth century contributed to changing ways of listening to music and understanding its powers. My current book project, which I am working on at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, examines human vs. machine configurations in music, beginning with mid eighteenth-century formulations of “the human” in connection with music-making and extending to the recent rise of cyborg and posthumanist theories in the popular music press.
On this blog, I seek to amplify the resonances between musical past and present – to highlight repetitions and inheritances, to make them available to examination, evaluation and discussion. I invite you to add your voice here or on Twitter @ladyloughridge. Thank you for reading!