Johan Sundberg’s contributions to science are extensive and profound. With hundreds of articles, books and prizes to his credit, he has long been recognised as a world authority on voice science and music acoustics. Significantly, his devotion to his discipline is coupled with a deep and generous commitment to its wide dissemination, not only among peers, but also to the interested public.
The years 1977-1993 represent a particularly exciting and pioneering period in the field of Music Acoustics. In 1977, music synthesis was done with analogue electronics; manuscripts were commonly typed on typewriters; laboratory microcomputers were only just starting to replace so-called minicomputers, the compact disc and MIDI were not yet invented, and the reel-to-reel tape recorder was the workhorse of the acoustics lab. There were few conferences to go to, and not a large number of music acousticians to talk to. By 1993, the world had changed in all these respects.
Over these years, Johan Sundberg with his group at KTH produced a series of full-day public seminars that were presented annually in the Stockholm area. The seminars were possible thanks to generous support from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music (KMA) and its committee for Music Acoustics. Each of these KMA seminars was on a selected theme, and featured as invited speakers the internationally prominent researchers of the day. The invited papers were interspersed with fresh reports on work in progress at KTH and other Swedish research sites. Attendance was free of charge. In addition, the Academy funded the subsequent publication of the lectures in book form, complete with sound examples; and most of the books were edited from front to back by Johan himself. While many researchers since have wanted to cite these books, they have been available only on order directly from the Academy, making them less accessible than archived and on-line journals. Inevitably, they are now going out of print, so this important source of information faces the risk of fading away.
Therefore, on the occasion of Johan’s seventieth birthday, we, his younger colleagues, have transferred these books and vinyl records into electronic form, and edited them into this web site. It is hosted at the department of Speech, Music and Hearing at KTH. On request, it is also available on DVD.
The presenters of these lectures, and those of us who attended, fondly recall the friendly atmosphere of the KMA seminars, with the scholarly, jovial presence of Johan Sundberg presiding over all, just as he continues to do today, as professor emeritus. We are very grateful to the Royal Swedish Academy of Music for supporting the seminars and the production of the original books, and for granting us the right to republish this material in electronic form. The compilation and editing was organised and carried out by Anders Friberg, with the assistance of Kjetil F. Hansen and Kasper Marklund.
Those readers whose interest is first awakened by the following pages will want to know that there exists separately another voluminous source of more detailed information, in the Proceedings of the Stockholm Music Acoustics Conference. SMAC ’83 and SMAC ’93 were also published as books by the Academy, while SMAC ’03 is available both in print and online at the KTH department. This conference, again, is the creation of Johan Sundberg, and we hope to continue arranging it for several decades yet.
Stockholm, March 2006
Head of the KTH Music Acoustics Group