Very very happy and proud to announce that the special issue of « CURATOR : THE MUSEUM JOURNAL » (62/3, Wiley, New York) entitled SONIC and entirely devoted to sound in museums is now available!


Initiated by guest co-editors Kathleen Wiens and Eric de Visscher, this issue presents a wide range of topics on “how and why sound can augment (museum) experience” and is able to “challenge current sonic, spatial, social and political museum identities and practices”. From the functionality of musical instruments to museum sound design, from recreations of past soundscapes to creative audiotours, sonic inclusion and the exploration of the sonic subject or persona in museums, this issue “seeks to bring to the attention of museum leaders the value of listening to our museums” and the need to curate “that experience with the same intensity as we bring to the visual field”.

Contributors : Susan Philipsz, John Kannenberg, Jonathan Sterne, Zoe de Luca, Holger Schulze, Tom Everett, Kate Bailey, Victoria Broackes, Eric de Visscher, Alcina Cortez, Amanda Abi Khalil, Annabel Daou, Nadim Mishlawi, William Renel, Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, Annelies Fryberger, Arnd Adje Both, Jeanice Brooks, Lucy Kaufman, Matthew Tyler-Jones, Kamilla Hjortkaer, Nathan Botts, Katherine Palmer, Shih Chang and Mikall Venso.

Sabino Aguad
Recent News and Updates

Happy to announce that my text « Museums as Theater : What about Musical Instruments » was published in the Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Volume 44

This was my contribution to a panel discussion on « Organology and the Others » held in Edinburgh in June 2017 (yes, two years ago !) and organized by Gabriele Rossi Rognoni, as part of the AMIS and Galpin Society joint conference. Other participants were Eliot Bates (now at NYU), Emily Dolan (Harvard) and Flora Dennis (Sussex University). The publication also comprises critical comments by two leading experts/scholars in organology, Laurence Libin and John Koster. Interesting debate !

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I was also invited by Professor Jonathan Cross (Faculty of Music, Oxford University) to be part of a workshop on « The Sonic Imprint », around colleagues and friends Nicolas Donin (Ircam) and Gascia Ouzounian (Oxford University). I talked about the sonic imprint of – especially museum - objects, and how we can access this « hidden dimension ».

The workshop was followed by an exceptional dinner at Christchurch College – a full experience…

Sabino Aguad

A new dedicated webpage on my research project, dedicated to sound in museums within the V&A Research Institute (VARI), can be found here :

Part of my work consists in thinking about the use and impact of sound in the V&A’s new development project in East London. For more details about that major and ambitious project :

And while I’m working on this research project and advising the V&A East team, let’s look back at some of the past events of these last months :

Have a look at the nice film presenting « Resonant Bodies », the sound installation commissioned to Caroline Devine by the V&A Research Institute for the London Design Festival in September 2018.

We will present this film as part of the event RESFEST held at the Courtauld Institute in London on Friday, April 26. More details :

Nice pictures of the « Sonic Boom » Friday Late Event at the V&A in February 2019, where I discussed sound in museums and presented John Kannenberg’s « Museum of Portable Sound » which was then on display within the V&A’s Painting Gallery.

More photos of the event here.

For more information about John Kannenberg’s Museum of Portable Sound :


Oh, and I forgot : I was made a « Chevalier », as on 27th March, HE Jean-Pierre Jouyet, Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom awarded me the insignia of « Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite »…

Sabino Aguad

Glad to announce that two short texts of mine have been published (in French) in

Le Spectacle Vivant au Musée – Pratiques, Publics, Médiations
Ouvrage dirigé par Pauline Chevalier, Aurélie Mouton-Rezzouk and Daniel Urrutiaguer
Editions Deuxième Epoque, 2018


You can watch my lecture at Royal College of Music on July 2nd, as well as all other lectures of that workshop on « Digital Humanities and Musical Heritage » at

Sabino Aguad

For the second consecutive year, I will be chairing a round-table discussion at Institut Français in London, as part of the Night of Ideas.

Please do join me for a fascinating discussion between Dr Martin Evans, Professor of European History at Sussex University, and Caroline Bergvall, writer and sound artist.

We will exchange on how sound, through language and music, is at the heart of Europe’s diverse identity, in which socio-economic and cultural exchanges have constantly fostered new forms of expression. In her texts and vocal performances (of which she will provide examples during the discussion), Caroline stresses the sonic dimensions of linguistic intertextuality in which histories of migration play an essential role. The musical influences of migration in the late 20th century are also studied by Martin Evans, in particular for an exhibition to be held in 2019 at Musée de l’Histoire de l’Immigration in Paris.

31st January, Institut Français, London

Sabino Aguad

Very glad to announce two publications of mine:


These are the proceedings of a study day organized by the French Commitee of ICOM at the Musée des Confluences (Lyon) in September 2017 on narratives in exhibition making.

Nathalie Bondil, Chief Curator and Director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and myself presented a joint discussion on the role of sound in Museums. (pp72-75)

Proceedings (in French) can be downloaded here.


Proceedings of another symposium, held in Essen (Germany) in November 2016 on « Musikausstellungen » (Music Exhibitions) are now available at :

All contributions are in German, except my introductory text which is in English.

I hope to be able to make the manuscript available soon on this website.

Sabino Aguad
Come and join me for three exciting events in London that I initiated!

Wednesday September 12 at 6.30 at Institut Français, London

The Museum Goes Pop (Music)”, a panel-discussion about pop/rock music in museums with high-profile guests, both from the UK and France : Nicholas Cullinan (director of the National Portrait Gallery and curator of the Michael Jackson on the Wall exhibition), Victoria Broackes (Senior Curator, V&A, a.o. of David Bowie Is and Pink Floyd exhibitions), Clémentine Deroudille (independent curator, a.o. of Georges Brassens and Barbara exhibitions at Cité de la musique) and Stéphane Malfettes (curator at the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Paris, preparing an exhibition on the influence of immigration on urban/musical culture in London and Paris !) – and with a very special guest : Nigel Godrich, super producer of Radiohead and many other stars…


From Saturday, September 15 to Sunday, September 23 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, as part of London Design Festival

Resonant Bodies”, a sound installation by Caroline Devine, commissioned by VARI (V&A Research Institute) and curated by myself. 
This new work commissioned for the musical instruments display in the V&A’s Asia Gallery makes uses of a special loudspeakers system that will make the instruments’ glass case resonate as a new instrument in itself. Caroline’s soundwork uses sounds from the exhibited instruments mixed with Indian soundscapes… Come and Listen !


As part of London Design Festival, join Caroline and myself for a talk at the V&A on “Ways of Hearing” in museums, on Tuesday, September 18 at 11am – Free entry !

Sabino Aguad
Sound at the V&A

Presently working on a sonic tour for certain galleries of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which we hope will be innovative, multisensory and offering alternative views on the museum’s collection. But above all, providing a fun and exciting experience. Watch out for more in the coming months…this is still at the exploratory stage!

The project’s philosophy comes from a beautiful quote by sound studies specialist Holger Schulze:
"We should sonically illuminate the museum in such a way that not only its spaces speak, but its audio guides!"

Sabino Aguad
Call for Papers | Sonic Museum, Deadline April 30th, 2018
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For a special issue of « Curator : The Museum Journal », guest editors : Eric de Visscher and Dr. Kathleen Wiens, Museum professionals frequently invoke “multi-sensory” and “immersive,” to recognize the role of both concepts in translating museum knowledge and creating emotional, memorable experiences. This special issue of Curator will explore the contribution of sound to multi-sensory awareness. We seek manuscripts that consider how museums are experimenting with sonic experience to advance emotional responses, balancing stimulation and reflection, knowing and feeling.

Music and sound can contribute to museums in various ways: as a museum object, interpretation tool, visitor’s engagement device, architectural revelation, creative opportunity for artists, and as conceptual model. How is sound implicated in visitor’s understanding of themselves and their relationship to history and culture? How can sound affirm, comfort, and challenge? This Special Issue will welcome perspectives from designers, acousticians, technicians, policy makers, front-end delivery personnel, museum educators, and curatorial staff.

More info here.

The deadline has passed and we have received many interesting submissions which we are now examining.
This special issue of "Curator: The Museum Journal" should be available in January 2019.
Please write to me at if you want to be informed about the launch.

Sabino Aguad
Report on Lecture at Sound Making Space Series

Sonic Museum
Tuesday 17th April, 6-8pm
Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
Fascinating discussion, chaired by Ruth Bernatek, between Eric de Visscher and Caroline Devine (Sound Artist and Composer)
The lecture was very well attended and provided some interesting insights on how museums deal with sound, both through exhibitions, display of collections and events. I also raised the question of whether the museum could be a place for experimentation on how we engage with the world through sound. And what kind of knowledge do we gain through sound?
Caroline responded by showing some of her fascinating work, both in museum and other public spaces, dissecting how sonic interventions radically modify the way we experience sound and time. We also discussed practical and technical issues of sound levels, maintenance and audience’s reactions…

For more information on Caroline’s work, see
Follow the Sound Making Space series on their website to be informed on their future activities: it’s a very interesting series led by wonderful people!


Sabino Aguad