The Voice and its Double
The Voice and its Double

"Vowel Experiments No. 1 1914", 1:25 min

"Vowel Experiments No. 2 1914", 1:13 min

"Vokale Mai No. 1 1916", 2:33 min

"Vokale Mai No. 2 1916", 1:49 min

"Vokale Mai No. 3 1916", 2:19 min

The German philosopher and psychologist Carl Stumpf (1848–1936) founded the Phonogramm-Archiv in Berlin in 1900. It consists mostly of traditional musics of the world, recorded on Edison cylinders, and is now at Ethnologisches Museum Berlin. Stumpf and his assistant Otto Abraham also conducted some vowel experiments to explore the possibilities of this new media. These are documented on the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science website and include a reconstruction of the experiment by Julia Kursell. Shown here are examples of an early experiment from 1914, and a later one involving changes of speed from 1916.