By David Pantalony
Rudolph Koenig used to be one of many extra prolific and vibrant software makers within the popular nineteenth-century precision software exchange of Paris. starting his profession as a violin maker, in 1858 the younger Prussian immigrant shifted his skills in the direction of the becoming box of acoustics. Altered Sensations is a portrait of his brilliant atelier, a spot of development, trade and test. For over 40 years it used to be additionally a favored assembly position for scientists, artisans, musicians and academics. utilizing archival and assortment examine from throughout North American and Europe, David Pantalony has traced the fabric and social impacts of this house at the improvement of recent acoustics. particularly, he has distinct the way within which Koenig transformed, prolonged, unfold and challenged Hermann von Helmholtz's Sensations of Tone.
A huge a part of the learn on Koenig comes from the particular items of his workshop which continue to exist in museums and collections world wide. the second one component of Altered Sensations offers a listing Raisonné of Koenig’s whole line of tools, together with their background, info from particular examples, destinations, and references within the literature. This catalogue will function a realistic advisor for curators and researchers in addition to a accomplished assessment of nineteenth-century acoustical perform.
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Additional info for Altered Sensations: Rudolph Koenig’s Acoustical Workshop in Nineteenth-Century Paris
61 As mentioned earlier, Savart had worked with Vuillaume and Marloye. The scientist Jules Lissajous collaborated with instrument makers Secretan and Lerebours to design a standard tuning fork in the late 1850 s. Organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll worked with instrument maker Gustave Froment, scientist Léon Foucault and astronomer Le Verrier to produce an apparatus to measure the speed of sound. 62 Makers, however, had to contend with strong competition between each other. Marloye and Koenig did not have serious competitors in acoustics – Marloye was the first specialist and he dominated the field until his retirement in 1854, and Koenig quickly came to dominate the acoustics niche from 1859 onwards – but both makers did have to compete with other disciplines for space in the physical cabinets of growing departments.
35 A just as rigorous set of ideals impelled violin makers to strive for the highest set of standards, well beyond appearances. Even inside the violin, not seen be players or dealers, had to be refined and smoothed with the same standards as the outside. ”36 These values and traditions carried with them strong emotions and individual pride. The immersion in tough, tedious work created a deep, personal connection to the products. ”37 This personal dimension would be a central trait that Koenig brought from violins to tuning forks.
36 These values and traditions carried with them strong emotions and individual pride. The immersion in tough, tedious work created a deep, personal connection to the products. ”37 This personal dimension would be a central trait that Koenig brought from violins to tuning forks. Heron-Allen put it thus: Until he has pursued the art no one can imagine the fascination of violin-making, – the thousand pains the player never dreams of, the thousand touches the uninitiated eye never appreciates, the exquisite work of the interior which no eyes save those of the maker and repairer, ever will be priviledged to see.