and Karin Bijsterveld on the history and sociology of music, "Breaches and Boundaries in the Reception of New Technology in Music."7 The history of the development of musical instruments is fascinating. In Europe this history pretty much parallels the development of instrumentation in both science and art, particularly music. Prior to the Renaissance, with its fascination with all sorts of technologies—optics, musical instruments, mechanical devices—much music remained vocal and often highly restricted particularly in sacred music, to preferred tonal systems. But all of the classes of instruments—strings, percussion, winds, and keyboards—had emerged during the Renaissance. I shall use two examples: the invention of keyed wind instruments and the invention of "mechanical" keyboards that lead to the pianoforte, both considerably later than the Renaissance.
The turn to keyed mechanisms—for flutes, clarinets, and later horns—took place largely in the nineteenth century. Prior to this development, holes for fingering were premechanical. Mechanical keys were easy to operate, produced more uniform and cleaner tones, and allowed for different and faster virtuosity. But not everyone was happy with this development—and here a century before Heidegger there was a Heideggerian moment. One critic, Heinrich Grenser, objected that the fingers (read hands) were losing their possibilities for making a "vibrato by simply moving the fingers over the sound holes" thus losing control over finger positions "to correct out of tune sounds." Grenser went on to complain that the use of keys (read typewriter) is "neither complex nor art" and that the "the real art" of flute construction should be to build flutes which would enable flutists to play whatever they wanted without the use of keys.8
Even earlier, a similar set of objections arose with respect to the move from the strictly hand- and finger-played harp compared to the mechanically keyed instruments, beginning with the harpsichord through the clavier and then pianoforte. Again, the loss of fingered strings was bemoaned—but, I have to say, by a minority of critics, compared to the majority who recognized the superior expressive potential of keyed instruments. The gradual development from plucked strings of the harpsichord to the hammered strings of the pianoforte, once mastered by skilled practitioners, becomes obvious. The soft/loud of the pianoforte, played today by someone like Ashkenazy or Boulez, should be clearly recognized as more expressive than the limited range of the classical harp. But neither does the mere mediation of keyed or "mechanical" musical instrumentation make "all humans look alike." I would claim that anyone can tell the
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