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Milan’s Studio di Fonologia: Voice Politics in the City, 1955–8


The Studio di Fonologia Musicale of Milan, Italy’s first electronic music studio, opened in 1955. Housed in the national broadcasting (RAI) studios in Milan, the studio was founded by two celebrated Italian composers: Luciano Berio and Bruno Maderna. The institution is often remembered nowadays for being the first electronic music studio to focus its activity on the human voice. As I argue, this focus was not only of an aesthetic nature, but rather reflected long-standing political and intellectual conceptions of voice, speech and public space that were rooted in Italy’s early days as a republic, and in mid-twentieth-century Milan as the flagship city for this newly achieved political modernity.

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