Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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The Loudspeaker: Transformative and Tactile Aspects of the Object

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posted on 2021-11-13, 21:11 authored by Wright, Jason

Traditionally the loudspeaker has been viewed as a functional object. Whilst also serving as a design artifact and object of consumer fetishism, it is subject to the overriding purpose of the reproduction and replication of sound material. However, within sound-based arts, other understandings and uses of the loudspeaker are emerging. This object is now being recognised for its ability to transform sound, taking a proactive stance within sound-based arts. Through exploration of the psychoacoustic effects of the object, the loudspeaker’s ability to transform the musical object is being recognised. At the opposing pole, through physical interaction and exploiting physical aspects of the object, the loudspeaker becomes instrumental in creating its own musical objects.  My research delves into examples of sound and sonic art where the loudspeaker is exploited for its aural, physical and visual characteristics; where specific qualities of loudspeakers, as well as various transformations of the loudspeaker’s physical construction and function, are integral to a particular work. Whilst examining sound installation, sculpture and performance, I will also be unpacking the loudspeaker as an object that permeates everyday life, not least within a consumerist context, and how we have come to understand and listen to loudspeakers, looking at the effects this may have on our perception of sound and listening more generally.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

950101 Music

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


McKinnon, Dugal