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Registers of listening

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In the area of linguistics, a register of language is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting.

The concept of register underlines a perspective on language as a socially mutable practice rather than as a compendium of meanings.

Registers of listening deals with the fact that within our sound media culture a diversity of technological devices and aeshetic trends involved in the uses of technology shape specific qualities in our everyday sound usage. These qualities become associated with certain practices and situations, ultimately constituting particular timbral codes.

The imprints of procedures and technologies involved in the development of the sound (spatial characteristics of a source material, difusion characteristics of the loudspeaker, timbral qualities dependant on signal processing or diverse technical instances in the chain of production of the sound, etc.) are imbricated in our everyday aural experience. We learn to decodify these qualities as part of our aprehension and understanding of media sound. Media sound is thus populated by its own particular traces and identifications.

Registers of listening isolates and stages these particular qualities detaching them from their place in everyday reality, exposing their affective content and the multiple aspects of its apprehension.