CULT SOUNDS                                                                                   

About Cult Sounds

Dr. Immanuel Brockhaus

Hochschule der K√ľnste Bern, Schweiz

University of Arts Bern, Switzerland


Universität Bern, Schweiz

University Bern, Switzerland

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An investigation about the origins, practical applications and effects of dominant individual sounds in popular music between 1960 and 2013.

It remains largely unexplained, what the defining sounds for popular music are and how they are created and developed. This investigation is based on two hypotheses: there are domi- nant sounds, which are directly related to technological change through electrification, digitalization and virtualization. Such sounds are significantly often created by improper, extreme or coincidental uses of instruments and technologies. This project views, collects, categorizes and examines the sound form of prototype sounds with regard to aspects of timbre application, innovative potential and sustainability. Finally, it aims to show possible future scenarios in relation to new sounds, instruments and playing techniques in the field of popular music.

An investigation of the origins, applications and effects of dominant individual sounds in popular music between 1960 and 2014.

It remains largely unexplained  what the defining sounds for popular music are and how they are created and developed. This research is based on three hypotheses:


There are dominant sounds, which are directly related to technological change through electrification, digitalization and virtualization. Such sounds are often created by improper, extreme or coincidental uses of instruments and technologies.


Individual sounds influence and form the sound of a song, band or genre.


Sounds pass through life-cycles and gain new meaning in  multi-local contextualization.


This research project collects, categorizes and examines the sound forms of prototypical sounds with regard to aspects of timbre application, innovative potential and sustainability. Finally, it aims to show possible future sound scenarios, instruments and playing techniques in the field of popular music.

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Cover Kultsounds

Research Symposium


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