Sonology is a neologism used to describe the study of sound in a variety of disciplines. In medicine, the term is used in the field of radiology to describe the practice of medical ultrasonography. According to some scholars, Sonology may represent a more advanced application of clinical Sonography, chiefly due to the requirement for the use of critical application of both cognitive and radiographic skills in making the diagnostic determination at the time of bedside application of focused ultrasound.
The term is also used to describe interdisciplinary research in the field of electronic music and computer music, drawing upon disciplines such as acoustics, electronics, informatics, composition and psychoacoustics. This sense of the term is widely associated with the Institute of Sonology, which was established by composer Gottfried Michael Koenig at the University of Utrecht in 1967 and later moved to the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in 1986.
The term has also been adopted to describe the study of electronic music at other institutions, including the Center for Computational Sonology (now "Sound and Music Computing") at the University of Padua, Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, at the Catalonia College of Music in Barcelona and the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil.
The sonologist moves in the field of electroacoustic music, computer music and sound art. Instead of composing with sounds, as is generally the case in instrumental music, in sonology the sound itself is composed in such a way that it gives expression to musical form. This can take place on the basis of the physical principles of sound, on the basis of perception or on the basis of purely compositional ideas.
The Institute of Sonology is an education and research center for electronic music and computer music based at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague in the Netherlands.
The institute was founded at the University of Utrecht in 1960 under the name STEM ("Studio for Electronic Music") as a successor to the former studio for electronic music at Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven. In 1964, Gottfried Michael Koenig became the studio's artistic director. The studio grew under Koenig's leadership, and in 1966 an annual international electronic music course was founded which exists to this day.
In 1967 STEM was renamed as the "Institute of Sonology". International attention increased in 1971 with the purchase of a PDP-15 computer which was used to develop programs for algorithmic composition and digital sound synthesis. During the early years of the institute a series of landmark programs were developed there, including Koenig's Project 1, Project 2 and SSP, Paul Berg's PILE, Werner Kaegi's MIDIM/VOSIM and Barry Truax's POD.
In 1986, the institute was moved to the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, hosting the International Computer Music Conference there during its inaugural year.
Current research focuses on algorithmic composition, live electronic music, historical reconstructions of electronic and computer music (including György Ligeti's Pièce électronique Nr. 3 and Edgard Varèse's Poème électronique), field recording, sound installations, and sound spatialization. Alongside the annual one-year course, the institute offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
Official website of the Institute of Sonology - click here
The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague - click here
Electronic Music Festivals (World Wide) - click here