It remains largely unexplained to this day just what individual sounds moulded pop and rock music, how they emerged and how they developed.


  • Lead school Bern Academy of the Arts
  • Institute Institute Interpretation
  • Research unit Pop and Jazz in Context
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration 01.02.2015 - 31.01.2018
  • Project management Thomas Burkhalter
  • Head of project Dr. Immanuel Brockhaus
  • Project staff Dr. Roman Brotbeck
    Prof. Dr. Britta Sweers
  • Partner TU Braunschweig
    Universität Bern
    Verein Norient
    Universität Paderborn, Populär Musik und Medien
    Leuphana Universität Lüneburg


This project will sift, collect, categorise and investigate the character and form of such individual sounds according to their tone colour, application, development and dissemination in multi-local contexts. We have two hypotheses here: 1. There exist dominant sounds that stand in direct connection with technological change through processes of electrification, digitisation and virtualisation; 2. Such sounds arise significantly more often through the «improper», extreme or chance use of instruments and technologies. Subsequently, future scenarios will be revealed in relation to new sounds, instruments and playing techniques in popular music. The project website www.cult-sounds.com will document the research results.