Musical Experience/Experiment through Making a Harpsichord, Joyce Wei-Jo Chen, G4 (3954632)
My dissertation, Musica Experientia/Experimentum, explores the intersection between acoustics, aesthetics, and artisanal knowledge (involved in musical instruments) in the seventeenth century. What does sensory experience—listening, playing music, and making musical instruments—inform us about acoustical theory? How does evolving epistemology of sound and hearing shape musical aesthetics? What are the agencies of musical bodies—from both artisans and instruments? And to what extent does our understanding of musical experience/experiments in the seventeenth century resemble or differ from ours today. My video today is a summary of a synthetic study of experiment and experience in the twenty-first century, exemplified with extensive fieldwork at a harpsichord factory in Connecticut. My work culminated in a completion of a harpsichord built from kit parts. My goal is to show that understanding musical aesthetics can help reshape a kind of artistic ‘objectivity’ to further social and racial justice in classical music scene.