Max Neuhaus (1939-2009) is generally regarded as a pioneer of sound installation and
a first-generation sound artist. By reexamining his writings and the title of his works,
this article describes the chronological trajectory of what he called “music” and how he
differentiated his works from “music.” The trajectory is outlined in four points: (1) the
title of his early sound installation, Drive-In Music (1967), includes the word “music,”
(2) in a booklet, Program Notes (1974), he called his works “music,” (3) the title of
his well-known installation, Times Square (1977-1992, 2002-present), was renamed
from “Underground Music,” and (4) in the early 1980s, he provided a more in-depth
explanation for his works’ spatial features to differentiate them from “music” and
declared that his installation works were foreign to “music.” These four points suggest
that the logic he used to show the differentiation had developed gradually, alongside the
vocabulary he used to describe his works, as an afterthought following his sound works.
In other words, this article offers a significant case study about the formation of the art
discipline with sound, today called sound art.
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