On Footbonauts, Sound Soccer, and Battle Songs: Sound Studies and Football
The lecture looks at the relationship between body and sound using the example of soccer. It begins with the “footbonaut,” a training device developed by the musicologist Christian Güttler to improve players’ reaction times and ball-handling skills. “Sound soccer” works on a similar principle: an acoustic rhythmic system created by sports scientists, psychologists, musicians, and engineers for synchronizing and sharpening movement. Finally I consider the cheers of fans at home matches. Do battle songs really boost team performance, serving as a veritable twelfth man?
Hans-Joachim Braun is a professor emeritus of modern social, economic, and technological history at the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, and also teaches at TU Hamburg-Harburg and the HafenCity University Hamburg. His research has focused on technology transfer, innovation failures, soccer strategy, and the relationship between technology and music in the 20th century. He is editor or editorial board member of six journals, a member of the Académie internationale d’histoire des sciences, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He chairs the advisory board of the Georg Agricola Gesellschaft as well as the Hans Schimank-Gedächtnis-Stiftung. Between 1993 and 2009 he served as the president of the International Committee for the History of Technology. In his spare time, Braun plays jazz and classical trumpet.