The Music History and Theory Study Group Presents:

Elizabeth Hopkins

University of Chicago

Electronic Voices:

Science, Signification, and Mid-Century Soundscapes

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Logan 028


This chapter argues that during the onset of The Space Age the affirmation of life inherent in voice and breath reflected a contemporary phenomenology of space that created a slippage between the cradle of the home and the cosmos. In the first section, I describe how this slippage was undergirded by the transmission of sounds from satellites and reinforced by commodity scientism. In the second section I consider some of the gendered aesthetics of space lounge music in combination with architectural trends and philosophies to suggest an imbrication of maternal guardianship, sensuality, and capitalist expansionism through its use of musical neologisms offset by established codes.

…and a note to readers:

Many thanks to the workshop readers for your comments and suggestions! As you can see, this draft is still very much a work in progress, with more theoretical explication/interpretation on the way. I am interested to hear how the existing framework holds up, if sections are over-stated/heavy-handed, and whether there are too many pictures 😉

Special thanks to Dan Wang for serving as respondent

Persons who believe they may require accommodations to participate fully in this event should contact the coordinator, Bradley Spiers at, in advance.

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