Re-scaling Beethoven : Very long, very short

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review

View graph of relations

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2022


TitleRethinking the History of Technology-based Music
LocationUniversity of Huddersfield
PlaceUnited Kingdom
Period9 - 11 June 2022


The innovation of sound recording and reproduction technologies some 145 years ago spurred composers to imagined and indeed create works of extreme duration: very long– lasting days, years, or more – and conversely, very short– miniatures of a few seconds that nevertheless encapsulate 'large' expressions or denote a corpus of preexisting music. Comparing Inge's 9 Beet Stretch from 2002, and a section from Kreidler's Compression Sound Art from 2009, this paper reflects upon idea-based sonic art that explores duration. Listening to such works tests Karlheinz Stockhausen's notion of 'unified time structure’, as well as Pierre Schaeffer’s (1966) definition of a musical object as necessarily having an “overall temporal form” that allows “optimal memorisation”; especially, he claimed it could neither be “too short”, nor “too long”. In this perspective, we ask: what makes us understand a 'work of music' as a unitary whole? We use five perceptual constructs to discuss how duration affects the ontology of musical works. For very long musical pieces, we posit that the defining concepts are slowness, continuity, and repetition; and for very short pieces, they are recognisability and specificity. In conclusion, we propose that the principle that allows the serendipitous connection between Inge's and Kreidler's works is the overarching concept of iconicity: an extrinsic quality enabled by technologies of appropriation.

Research Area(s)

  • sound art, time, time-based art, time dilatation, stretching, compression, perception, cognition

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Re-scaling Beethoven: Very long, very short. / Lindborg, PerMagnus.
2022. Paper presented at Rethinking the History of Technology-based Music, Huddersfield, United Kingdom.

Research output: Conference Papers (RGC: 31A, 31B, 32, 33)32_Refereed conference paper (without host publication)peer-review