Last updated March 2008

a subjectively filtered, chaotic and hopefully growing list of books, articles, magazines on paper and on the web concerned with theoretical and aesthetic approaches to sound. With the emphasis on sound(art) rather than academic music theory. In No Particular Order!

I accept no responsibility for mistakes in this information, nor can I help you get copies. try the library or see addresses of publishers, or addresses of some shops below. Tips and recomendations are welcome though, mail me at justin "at"

O N W E B T H E O R Y .

soundsite is an Australian project with theoretical stuff and lots of links to other places...

Dont Rhine has some interesting articles on the economy of ambient music and sound in general.

The World Forum for Acoustic Ecology have a site with many pages of, and links to, sound-art related material.

E S S A Y S / A N T H O L O G I E S , E T C..

author: Marta García Quiñones, Franco Fabbri, Jonathan Sterne, Josep Martí, Anahid Kassabian, Ola Stockfelt

title: La Música que no se escucha

publisher: Orquestra del Caos, Barcelona. 2008

isbn: ?

description: essays on "background music" - ambient listening, muzak, in relation to public space, radio, politics, composition. In Spanish.

author: Andrés Antenbi Pablo González, Miguel Alonso Cambrón, Jaume Ayats, José Manuel Berenguer, Manuel Delgado, Noel García López, Clara Garí, Daniel López Gómez.

title: Espacios Sonoros, Technopolitica y vida cotidiana - aproximaciones a una antropologia sonora

publisher: Orquestra del caos, Barcelona 2005

isbn: ?

description: Noise, sound in relation to the politics of everyday life. spanish and catalan

author: josé antonio sarmiento (editor)

title: Zaj. Concierto de teatro musical

publisher: Sensxperiment 2007

isbn: 978-84-935581-8-5

description: a reconstruction of a concert of music-theatre in book form. Zaj (seminal spanish music group with Walter Marchetti, Ramón Barce and Juan Hidalgo) performed works by themselves and John Cage in 1964. The book has photographs, descriptions of the pieces and in some cases, the scores themselves. Spanish text.

author: Walter Zimmerman

title: Desert Plants conversations with 23 American Musicians

publisher: ARC Canada, 1976

isbn: 0-88985-009-7

description: Interviews with Feldman, Wolfe, Cage, Corner, Glass, Reich, Ashley, Lucier, La Barbara, Oliveros, Rosenboom, Teitelbaum, Austin, Tenny, Nancarrow, Young, Palestine, Morrow, List, Rzewski, Mc Guire, Partch. phew!

author: Brandon LaBelle / Christof Migone

title: Writing Aloud - The sonics of Language

publisher: Errant Bodies Press 2001

isbn: 0-9655570-3-0

description: Many essays and projects on sound and language incl.. Dunn, Whitehead, Robert, Amirkhanian, Dawn, Lucier,LaBelle, Plantenga, Marchetti, Acconci, etc. etc.. includes CD. in English

author: Llorenc Barber / Chema de Francisco

title: el placer de la eschucha

publisher: ardora ediciones, Madrid 2003

isbn: 84-88020-36-8

description: Interviews with Llorenc Barber about his work (including his bell-concerts, the groups Actum & Taller de Musica Mundana) with many anecdotes on experimental music in spain since the late sixties. in Spanish.

author: Andersen, Bauer, Erharter, Neset, Mokkelbost, Hiorthoy

title: Sonic North

publisher: Office for Contemporary Art, Norway. 2005

isbn: 82-92495-03-7

description: essays / interviews about experimental music, sound and noise in Norway. incl. Maja Ratke, Lasse Marhaug, Rune Kristoffersen.

author: Sider, Freeman, Sider

title: Soundscape The School of Sound Lectures 1998-2001

publisher: Wallflower Press. London / New York. 2003

isbn: 1-903364-59-0

description: lectures from the school of sound symposia (mostly on sound in film & tv) contributions from among others, Michel Chion, Manfred Eicher, Walter Murch, Laura Mulvey, David Lynch.

author:Rick Altman (editor)

title: Sound theory / sound practice

publisher: Routledge, NY / AFI film readers. 1992.

isbn: 0-415-90457-9

description: essays on film sound. theoretical, historical and "neglected domains" by e.g. Chion, Altman, Lawrence, Truppin.

author: Michel Chion

title: La Voix au Cinéma

publisher: Cahiers du cinéma, Paris 1982

isbn: 286642-004-7

description: relation of image to the voice, roles of the voice in cinema. Chion introduces many useful theoretical concepts for analyzing sound in all his books.

author: Michel Chion

title: Le Son au Cinéma

publisher: Cahiers du cinéma, Paris 1985

isbn: 286642-023-3

description: relation of image to sound track, concepts of film music, acousmatic sound, sound effects.

author: Michel Chion

title: Audio-Vision, sound on screen

publisher: Edititions Nathan, Paris, 1990 & Columbia UP, New York 1994


description: an expansion on and bringing together of themes in the other (Cahiers du Cinema) books. Also brought up-to-date with recent technical and formal developments like Dolby Surround.

author: Avital Ronell

title: The Telephone Book. (technology, schizophrenia, electric speech)

publisher:Uni. of Nebraska Press: Lincoln US and London UK. 1989.

isbn: 0-8032-8938-3

description: a classic. schizo-analysis of the telephone, speech, sound, Bell, Heidegger and technology in general.

author: Achim Wollscheid

title: the terrorized term

publisher: selektion 1996 Hohenstaufenstr. 8 60327 Frankfurt/M Germany

isbn: 3-00-000280-4

description: coll. of writings on sound / art and media. difficult translation (for me!).

author: Dan Lander, Micah Lexier (editors)

title: Sound by Artists

publisher:Art Metropole, Toronto.

isbn: 0-920956-23-8

description: a collection of artists writings including... Cage, Viola, Neuhaus, Kubisch, Bruinsma, Monahan, Lucier, Whitehead, Schafer, Lockwood, Westerkamp, Marclay. ESSENTIAL READING.

author:René van Peer

title: Interviews with Sound Artists

publisher:Het Apollohuis, Eindhoven NL (Apollo Art About no. 3)

isbn: 90-71638-18-9

description: interview with Joe Jones, Richard Lerman, Jean Weinfeld, Martin Riches, Yakehisa Kosugi, Horst Rickels, Johan Goedhart, Terry Fox, Christina Kubisch, Jim Pomeroy, Walter Fähnrich, Yoshi Wada, Paul Panhuysen. Most interviews took place in 1987. published 1993.

author: Jacques Attali

title: Noise. The Political Economy of Music

publisher: Manchester Univ. Press (UK), 1985

isbn: 0-7190-1470-0

description: still-provocative de-autonomising of music

author: John Blacking

title: How Musical is Man?

publisher: Faber and Faber, London 1976

isbn: 0 571 10803 2

description: Analysing african music, Blacking argues that all music is folk music; it is socially constructed AND it serves to organise social forms.

author: Simon Frith

title: Performing Rites. On the value of popular music.

publisher: Oxford Univ. Press. 1996

isbn: 0-19-3163320

description: concentrates on reception as the method of creating value and meaning in Pop.

author: Dan Graham

title: Rock My Religion

publisher: MIT Press, 1993

isbn: 0-262-07147-9

description: writings on art and architectural projects, but also on Punk.

author: Hanif Kureishi and John Savage (editors)

title: The Faber book of Pop

publisher: Faber and Faber

isbn: 0-571-16992-9

description: anthology of (journalistic) writings on pop music from 1942 - 1994.

author: David Toop

title: Ocean of Sound

publisher: Serpent's Tail, London/NY 1995

isbn: 1-85242-382-x

description: articles, interviews and anecdotes woven together into a lyrical personal analysis of the dissolving of genre borders in 20th C Music.

author: Kodwo Eshun

title: More Brilliant than the Sun

publisher: Quartet, London 1998

isbn: 0-7043-8025-0

description: sonic fiction - the intersection of sci-fi and sound. Machine music, groove, jazz, dub, funk, technology, cyborgs and electricity.

author: Jacqueline Oskamp

title: Radicaal Gewoon (radically normal)

publisher: Mets & Schilt, Amsterdam 2003

isbn: 90-5330-372-3

description: essay on (20th C) Dutch music incl. interviews with Aa, Andriessen, de Bondt, Dramm, Janssen, de Leeuw, Loevendie, Mengelberg, Raaijmakers, de Vries, Zuidam. (in dutch).


author: (time based arts catalogue)

title:sound re visited / geluid her zien

publisher:VOID editions Amsterdam 1987


description: authors:Huisman, Block, Celant, Ruhe, Furlong, Lindahl, Wijers. "An anthology concerning sound in art" dutch/english. out of print.

author: Dick Raaijmakers (editor)

title: Anti Qua Musica

publisher: Haags Gemeentemuseum 1989

isbn: 90-6730-070-5

description: "the open musical instrument in art and anti-art". exh. cat. / manifestation with works + texts from Raaijmakers, Barker, Cage, Paik, Rickels, Kagel + others. Dutch text.

author: Barbera van Kooij, Christopher Phillips (editors)

title: voices

publisher: Witte de With centre for contemporary art, Rotterdam 1998

isbn: 90-73362-39-3

description: exh. cat. (acconci, barry, cadieux, cardiff, gerz, hill, toebosch + others) nice essays. English, french and spanish.

author: Michael Archer

title: voice over, sound and vision in current art.

publisher: South Bank Centre, London

isbn: 1-85332-170 -2

description: exh. cat. (Dean, Furlong, Douglas, Deller, Gunning, Munoz + others).

author: Ursula Block, Michael Glasmeier (editors)

title: Broken Music, Artists' Recordworks

publisher: DAAD / gelbe Musik Berlin 1989

isbn: 3-89357-013-6

description: Exhibition was at daad galerie Berlin, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Magasin Grenoble. Writings about vinyl by Block, Adorno, Moholy-Nagy, Dubuffet and others. Large and detailed compendium of artists work on (and with) records. English, French & German.

author: Heidi Grundmann (editor)

title: Zeitgleich

publisher: TRANSIT Austria 1994.

isbn: 3-901310-19-3

description:exh. & symposium: "sound installation and media composition in the digital age." - Lucier, Fontana, Neuhaus, Heckert, Schryer, Kroker, Bandt, etc.... German / Eng text.

author: Paul Panhuysen (ed)

title: ECHO the images of sound

publisher: Apollohuis, Eindhoven 1987

isbn: 09-71638-03-0

description: exh. of sound installations + performances. incl. Julius, Eastley, Fullman, Kosugi, RIckels, Lehrman, et. al. Essays by Hugh Davies. English text.

author: Suzanne Pagé (editor)

title: écouter par les yeux. Objets et environnements sonores

publisher: ARC / Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 1980.

isbn: ?

description: works by many artists, instrument builders, focussed on Fluxus movement. texts by Popper, Block. French text.

author: Helga de la Motte-Haber (ed)

title: Klangkunst

publisher: Akademie der Künste Berlin / Prestel-Verlag 1996

isbn: 3-7913-1699-0

description: Cat. of Sonambiente festival, Berlin. Many artists / writers.

author: Wolfgang Fetz (editor)

title: Audio Art (Kunst in Der Stadt 2) 1998

publisher: Bregenzer Kunstverein, Belruptstr. 1 A-6900 Bregenz, Austria.

isbn: ???

description: cat. of festival exhibition 1998 in Bregenz. A good 1/3 of the book is taken up by William Furlong's Audio Arts project. the rest includes texts and project descriptions by or about, Fontana, Courtemanche/Weidenhammer, Sodomka, Berindl, Sherman, Huber, Burkhadt, Grundmann, Moffat, Müller, Patterson, Sha., Smpw, Noetinger.... many more.

author: Strick / Zilczer / Brougher / Wiseman / Mattis

title: Visual Music. Synesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900

publisher: Thames & Hudson, London 2005

isbn: 978-0-500-51217-3

description: large, impressive but non-exhaustive survey of film/sound/light/kinetic art & music.

author: schulz / de la Motte-Haber, Minard, Glasmeier, Leitner, Bosshard

title: Resonanzen / Resonances

publisher: Keher Verlag Heidelberg 2002

isbn: 3-933257-86-7

description: essays on sound art and documentation of works by Bosshard, de Marinis, Julius, Kubisch, Leitner, Oldorp, Osborn, Riches, Roden, Stache, Yui. Text in german and english. includes CD.


author: Dick Raaijmakers, Arjen Mulder and Joke Brouwer (editors), with essays by Elmer Schönberger, Kees Tazelaar, Michael van Hoogenhuyze, Frans Evers, Paul Slangen

title: Dick Raaijmakers, Monografie

publisher: V2 Publishers/NAi 2007


description: Dick Raaijmakers is one of the pioneers of (dutch) electronic music. His work moves into the areas of performance art, sculpture and music-theatre. A very large and complete study of his work with many illustrations. The current version is in Dutch, English version to be published autumn 2008.

author: Janet Cardiff / Miriam Schaub

title: The Walk Book

publisher: Thyssen_Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna 2005

isbn: 3-88375-824-8

description: A survey of Cardiff's work with audio and video "walks" very nice design. in English. includes CD .

author: wollscheid / bismarck / deufert / labelle / sato

title: Achim Wollscheid Selected Works

publisher: Selektion SB 2004

isbn: 3-934801-01-3

description: just what it says: selection of sound and light works by wollscheid. texts in English and German.

author: Bernhard Leitner / Detlef B Linke

title: Bernard Leitner Kopfraume / Headscapes

publisher: ZKM / Hatje Cantz Verlag 2003

isbn: 3-7757-1298-4

description: CD/Book with "sculptures" to be listened to on headphones. texts in German and English.

author: Power / Barthelmes / Jarque

title: Jose Antonio Orts

publisher: DAAD Galerie, Berlin 2003

isbn: 84-482-3686

description: Thick catalogue of Orts' sound sculpture. many photos. Spanish and German text, essays translated in english. includes CD.

author: Osterwold / Schmidt

title: Terry Fox works with sound

publisher: Kehrer verlag, Heidelberg 1999.

isbn: 3-933257-04-2

description: survey of Fox's sound work from 1970-98. Many photos, text in German and English. Includes CD.

author: Alvin Lucier

title: Reflections

publisher: MusikTexte (P.O. box 10 24 61, D-50464 Koeln, Germany) 1995

isbn: 3-9803151-2-6

description: Basically this is the book "chambers" (interviews with Douglas Simon) expanded with writings and interviews by Oliveros, Tenney, Duckworth and Wolf - and loads of Lucier's own texts and scores. English and German text.

author: Akio Suzuki, Bernd Schulz

title: "A" Sound Works. Throwing and Following.

publisher: Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, 1998

isbn: 3-932183-08-8

description: exh. cat. describing installation performance projects of Akio Suzuki. English and German Text.

author: Max Neuhaus

title: sound works volumes I, II, III

publisher: Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, Germany. (in US: D.A.P, NYC)

isbn:3-89 322-532-3

description: writings by and about Max Neuhaus. documentation of projects and drawings. The intention is to produce ten(!) volumes documenting his work.

author: Michael Glasmeier, Douglas Khan,.

title: Christian Marclay

publisher:daadgalerie Berlin / Fri-Art Centre d'Art Contemporain, Fribourg. 1994


description: catalogue covering mostly installation work. german, french, english text.


author: Kurjakovic / Lohse / Barthes

title: Other Rooms, Other Voices Audio works by Artists.

publisher: Memory / Cage Editions Zurich 1999

isbn: 3-907053-11-7

description: radio project incl. Weiner, Santoro, Opie, Gallarotti, Nashat, Birnbaum, Ruegg, Wilson, Bourgeois, Burki, Sze, Tusek, Acconci. Includes "Listening" by Roland Barthes. German, French, English.

author: Heidi Grundmann (editor)

title: ON THE AIR kunst im öffentlichen datenraum

publisher: TRANSIT Wilheim Greil Str. 1, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria 1993

isbn: 3-901334-01-5

description: art in the open dataspace. a document of a symposium on radio art. authors include, Kittler, Whitehead, Sherman, Thorington, Kerckhove, Penny. German / English.

author: Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead (editors)

title: Wireless Imagination. sound radio and the avant-garde

publisher: MIT Press 1992

isbn: 0-262-11168-3

description: just what it says. includes Frances Dyson on Cage, Mark E Cory on Hörspiel, seminal texts by Artaud, Avraamov and Marinetti.

author: Neil Strauss (editor)

title: Radiotext(e)

publisher: Semiotext(e) NY 1993

isbn: 0-093-95779

description: coll. of texts on history, theory and practice of radio by for example Schwitters, Brecht, Trotsky, La Monte Young, Schafer, Guattari. and many many more.

author: Daina Augaitis and Dan Lander (editors)

title: Radio Rethink

publisher: Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Canada 1994

isbn: 0-920159-66-4

description: coll of texts on radio/sound art. (inc. Westerkamp, Dyson, Lander, and Kogawa's instructions on building a 1 Watt FM transmitter.)

M A G A Z I N E S, P e r i o d i c a l s....

title: Musicworks - explorations in sound.

publisher: the music gallery, Toronto.

issn: 0225-686X

musicworks has been going for years. A (sometimes great) journal reflecting work in (electro) acoustic music, sound ecology, theory. includes CD.

more info at

author: Rasa Smite (ed)

title: Acoustic.Space net audio issue

publisher: Vaga & E-lab, Riga

issn: 1407-2858

description: texts on net audio / radio / exchange. many voices. Latvian / English texts.

The Wire, strong in interviews and reviews. Buy it just for the corpulent and genre-crossing review section.

where can you get this stuff???

well, nowhere in particular. Direct from the publishers / museums. Otherwise you might want to try:

In London: ICA Bookshop, The Mall. / Rough Trade, Neals Yard.

In Barcelona: Central bookshop, Macba // Laie CCCB (montalegre) // Laie Caixa Forum (montjuic/placa espanya)

In Berlin: gelbe MUSIK. Schaperstr. 11, 10719 Berlin. tel. **49(0)30-21136-62 (also mail order), Staalplaat, Rosenthaler Straßse 39 10178 Berlin, Walter König Bookshop in Hamburger Bahnhof museum. (also in Köln)

Brussels, Le Bonheur.

Rotterdam, WORM.

For Acoustic Space magazine, contact e-lab directly:

Suggestions, anyone?