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The Ondes Martenot Network in the Twenty-First Century: The Co-Construction of the Ondes Martenot and its Users

Schampaert, Dorien (2018) The Ondes Martenot Network in the Twenty-First Century: The Co-Construction of the Ondes Martenot and its Users. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The Ondes Martenot has typically been described in academic literature as an obsolete relic of electronic music history. Most sources providing an overview of the history of electronic music or electronic music instruments portray the Ondes Martenot as one of many technical novelties created during the Interbellum’s technology boom, and little more. Invented in the 1920s, the instrument has indeed enjoyed periods of relative success as well as obscurity. Yet, the Ondes Martenot has in recent years gained significant visibility in areas of classical, film and popular music. This thesis delves deeper into the processes behind this uptake, and to do so has explored the history of music instruments through approaches in Science and Technology Studies (STS). After uncovering a social network of users actively involved in securing its future, this thesis applies concepts from the Social Construction of Technology (SCOT) and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) analysing the relationship between the users and the instrument. Interviews with a range of user groups, from players and teachers to makers, repairers and researchers in the two main hubs of activity, Paris and Montreal, provide invaluable qualitative data that informs the bulk of the study. This thesis asserts, firstly, that the Ondes Martenot was never an obsolete instrument, and has entered the twenty-first century as a relatively stable technology. New user groups, technological advancements, the continuing expansion of the repertoire and professional Ondes Martenot teachers continue to strengthen the instrument’s network and secure its survival. Secondly, that an analysis of the Ondes Martenot network demonstrates the co-construction of users and technology. Users are heavily involved in the maintenance of the network, which shapes the instrument, and they are shaped by it in return. And thirdly, that concepts from SCOT and ANT can be combined to analyse the stabilisation of the Ondes Martenot network as it constructs an ever-shifting shared meaning of the instrument.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Ondes Martenot, electronic instruments, organology, musicology, electronic music history, music technology, STS, Science & Technology Studies, SCOT, Social Construction of Technology, ANT, Actor-Network Theory, user studies
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Music (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.778657
Depositing User: Dr Dorien Schampaert
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 12:15
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2020 12:50
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24298

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