Christopher Klauke

Predoctoral Fellow (Sep 2022-Feb 2026)

Music Information Retrieval has become a central and widely used resource for the current data-driven music culture, enabling the algorithmic transcription and analysis of music (e.g. used by music streaming platforms or large-scale musicological projects). Surprisingly, this knowledge technique emerged within the humanities’ peripheral disciplines of ethnomusicology and folk music research, which were shaped by colonial, eugenic, or emancipatory assumptions. Since 1900, various machines—such as phonophotographs, melographs, or spectrographs—were developed that were able to address the audio signals of non-Western music recordings and to translate them into diagrammatic forms.

Christopher Klauke’s research project explores the question to what extent concrete political structures and beliefs have influenced the historical development, establishment, and operativity of the knowledge techniques of music capturing.

Methodologically, the project is situated in media-historical Kulturtechnikforschung as well as in postcolonial history of knowledge and draws on recent publications in the fields of science and technology studies, musicology, and visual studies.

Christopher studied Musicology, Music Pedagogy and Art History at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen for his BA and obtained his MA in Musicology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2022 with a thesis on the techniques of measuring and listening in the Phonogramm-Archiv Berlin.

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