2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Rachel N. Becker


The mathematical and physical properties that exist within music have been a topic of interest for cultural and scientific development for centuries. Composers have sought to use cutting-edge technological advances in their works to better suit the moods of their audiences, and the development of acoustical physics has similarly impacted the use of sound within performance. In the decades preceding the world wars, there were significant improvements in acoustical physics that allowed recital halls to filter outside noise and allow for internal propagation. This progress, made possible through the discoveries of Wallace Sabine, revolutionized compositional practices, including those of avant-garde composers. The Italian intonarumori instruments were created by Luigi Russolo and premiered in the early 20th century. This particular family of instruments imitated the sounds created by the rapid urbanization of the period; they were nearly indistinguishable from surrounding noises heard daily. This particular genre of avant-garde, which had first been explored preceding the world wars, imitated life during urbanization and highlighted changes in public mentality through the musical advancements in the years following the world wars.