Musique mécanique et temple hindou : histoire controversée d'un dispositif visuel et sonore

Abstract : This paper recounts the history of the marketing of a musical automaton in south India from its invention by a Madras engineer, its use in Hindu temples to its recent removal from most of the regional religious centres of the region. It reflects on the hybrid character of mechanically produced music and on its relation to other visual and sound devices such as hand operated bells, recordings on CD's and other electronic devices. It shows how the controversy surrounding the automaton crystallised the debate concerning its intrinsic property, that is the ability to make music visible by non-human action. The ambivalent character of the machine becomes the source of controversies and negotiations involving the engineer, the temple priests, the gods, the devotees, religious authorities, the industrial producers and ultimately state ministers.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00416206
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Christine Guillebaud. Musique mécanique et temple hindou : histoire controversée d'un dispositif visuel et sonore. Terrain : revue d'ethnologie de l'Europe, Ministère de la culture, Sous-direction ARCHETIS-DAPA, 2009, pp.98-113. ⟨http://terrain.revues.org/13799⟩. ⟨halshs-00416206⟩

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