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On "The Gear Acquisition Syndrome"

Dr Reinhard Kopanski:
The study 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome: Consumption of Instruments and Technology in Popular Music' by Jan-Peter Herbst and Jonas Menze addresses these almost limitless possibilities for upgrading one’s own equipment. The authors present […] a first comprehensive academic study on the ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’ in which the phenomenon is explored in a multi-method manner. […] All in all, Gear Acquisition Syndrome is a thoroughly entertaining book, but one with a lot of (methodological and theoretical) requirements and demands a certain affinity for music technology as well as a basic understanding of sound designing and engineering practices. Theoretically and methodologically, the study is well done." (original review)

On "Die Gitarrenverzerrung in der Rockmusik"

Dr Dennis Schütze:
Translation: "The author has made guitar distortion, an essential albeit underrepresented feature of rock music in musicology and education, the main subject of his book. Based on different methodical approaches, he describes and analyses the issue extensively, and presents his results on more than 400 pages. [...] Herbst has done excellent work. He seriously approaches the somehow intangible subject, and achieves a high level of academic rigour. His methods are contemporary and always highly transparent. In doing so, he makes a very concrete, accessible and thus welcome contribution to the academic discipline of popular music studies." (original review)

PD Dr Knut Holtsträter:
Translation: "In conclusion, the importance of this work for the scientific examination of the electric guitar cannot be overestimated, precisely because it attempts to bridge the gaps between experimental research, empiricism and aesthetics."

Praxis des Musikunterrichts:
Translation: "With his far-reaching investigations, the author informs musicians about distortion’s influence on popular music. His readers are encouraged to reflect on fundamental differences between the distorted electric guitar and its acoustic counterpart. Distortion features other challenges to playing but also offers new ways of expression. […] The book supplies valuable historical, aesthetic and analytical insights into this fascinating instrument. Irrespective of any pre-existing knowledge, it is recommendable for all readers interested in the guitar and in rock music."

On "Netzwerk Sound"

Musik & Unterricht:
Translation: "The book is useful for scientifically interested readers as well as for practitioners who would like to get to know alternative educational possibilities of teaching popular music with a special focus on perception and feeling, musical design, culture and external contexts of application."

Forthcoming Book Publications

Jan Herbst. Heaviness in Metal Music Production: How and Why It Works. Routledge

Jan Herbst Steve Waksman. The Cambridge Companion to the Electric Guitar. Cambridge University Press

Jan Herbst Michael Ahlers Knut Holtsträter. Popular Music Songwriting as Cultural, Creative, and Economic Practice. Wax mann

Various Publications

  • (2024) (with Steve Waksman) The Cambridge Companion to the Electric Guitar (Cambridge University Press).
  • (2023) The Cambridge Companion to Metal Music (Cambridge University Press). - to book
  • (2023) Special issue "Exploring Audio and Music Technology in Education: Pedagogical, Research and Sociocultural Perspectives". Journal of Music, Technology and Education (with Daniel Walzer, Jude Brereton & Mariana Lopez) - to special issue
  • (2021) Special issue "Crises at Work: Potentials for Change?". IASPM Journal (with Michael Ahlers) - to special issue
  • (2021) Special issue "Crosstown Traffic". Metal Music Studies, 7(3) (with Karl Spracklen) - to special issue
  • (2017) Issue "Music and Art". Musik und Unterricht, vol. 126.
  • (2024) (with Michael Ahlers & Simon Barber) “The Song Factories Have Closed!”: Songwriting Camps as Spaces of Collaborative Creativity in the Post-Industrial Age. Creative Industries Journal, pp. 1–22. doi.org/10.1080/17510694.2024.2366163 (open access)
  • (2023) (with Mark Mynett) Lorna Shore’s ‘To the Hellfire’: A Study in Heaviness. Metal Music Studies, 9(2), pp. 189–213. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00105_1 (open access)
  • (2023) (with Daniel Walzer, Jude Brereton & Mariana Lopez) Editorial: Exploring Audio and Music Technology in Education: Pedagogical, Research and Sociocultural Perspectives. Journal of Music, Technology and Education, 15(1), pp. 3–6. doi.org/10.1386/jmte_00045_2 (open access)
  • (2023) (with Mark Mynett) “I Just Go with What Feels Right.” Variance and Commonality in Metal Music Mixing Practice. El Oido Pensante, 11(1), pp. 4-31. doi.org/10.34096/oidopensante.v11n1.10704 (open access)
  • (2023) (with Jamie Boddington Jordan) Harmonic Structures in Twenty-First-Century Metal Music: A Harmonic Analysis of Five Major Metal Genres. Metal Music Studies, 9(1), pp. 27-58. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00093_1
  • (2022) (with Reuben Swallow) Dissonance in Metal Music: Musical and Sociocultural Reasons for Metal’s Appreciation of Dissonance. Metal Music Studies, 8(3), pp. 351-379. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00085_1
  • (2022) (with Mark Mynett) What is ‘Heavy’ in Metal? A Netnographic Analysis of Online Forums for Metal Musicians and Producers. Popular Music and Society Studies, 45(5), pp. 633-653. doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2022.2114155 (open access).
  • (2022) (with Mark Mynett) Toward a Systematic Understanding of “Heaviness” in Metal Music Production. Rock Music Studies, 10(1), pp. 16-37. doi.org/10.1080/19401159.2022.2109358 (open access).
  • (2022) Keeper of the Seven Keys: Audio Heritage in Metal Music Production. Metal Music Studies, 8(1), pp. 109-126. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00063_1 (download here)
  • (2022) The Recording Industry as the Enemy? A Case Study of Early West German Metal Music. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 5, pp. 229-254. doi.org/10.1007/s41978-021-00098-z (open access)
  • (2021) (with Mark Mynett) Nail the Mix: Standardization in Mixing Metal Music? Popular Music and Society, 44(5), pp. 628-649. doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2021.1957544 (open access)
  • (2021) (with Mark Mynett) (No?) Adventures in Recording Land: Engineering Conventions in Metal Music. Rock Music Studies, 9(2), pp. 137-156. doi.org/10.1080/19401159.2021.1936410 (open access)
  • (2021) The Politics of Rammstein’s Sound: Decoding a Production Aesthetic. Journal of Popular Music Studies, 33(2), pp. 51–76. doi.org/10.1525/jpms.2021.33.2.51 (download here)
  • (2021) (with Karl Bauerfeind) Teutonic Metal: Effects of Place- and Mythology-Based Labels on Record Production. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 4, pp. 291–313 doi.org/10.1007/s41978-021-00084-5 (open access)
  • (2021) Recording Studios as Museums? Record Producers’ Perspectives on German Rock Studios and Accounts of their Heritage Practices. Popular Music, 40(2), pp. 91–113. doi.org/10.1017/S026114302100009X (open access)
  • (2021) (with Michael Ahlers) Introduction to the Special Issue on Crises at Work: Potentials for Change?. IASPM Journal, 11(1), pp. 2-5. doi.org/10.5429/2079-3871(2021)v11i1.2en (open access)
  • (2021) (with Karl Spracklen) Metal Music Studies at the Intersection of Theory and Practice. Metal Music Studies, 7(3), pp. 351-356. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00054_2 (download here)
  • (2021) Culture-Specific Production and Performance Characteristics: An Interview Study with ‘Teutonic’ Metal Producers. Metal Music Studies, 7(3), pp. 445-467. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00059_1 (download here)
  • (2020) Metronomic Precision of ‘Teutonic Metal’: A Methodological Challenge for Rhythm and Performance Research. Samples, 18, pp. 1-27. (open access)
  • (2020) (with Thomas Thurnell-Read, David Robinson & Karl Spracklen) Rhythm and Booze: Contesting Leisure Mobilities on the Transpennine Real Ale Trail. Mobilities, 16(3), pp. 322-338. doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2020.1820189
  • (2020) Sonic Signatures in Metal Music Production: Teutonic vs British vs American Sound. ASPM Samples, 18, pp. 1-26. (open access)
  • (2020) From Bach to Helloween: ‘Teutonic’ Stereotypes in the History of Popular Music. Metal Music Studies, 6(1), pp. 87-108. doi.org/10.1386/mms_00006_1 (download here)
  • (2019) Empirical Explorations of Guitar Players’ Attitudes towards their Equipment and the Role of Distortion in Rock Music. Current Musicology, 105, pp. 75-106. doi.org/10.7916/cm.v0i105.5404 (open access)
  • (2019) Distortion and Rock Guitar Harmony: The Influence of Distortion Level and Structural Complexity on Acoustic Features and Perceived Pleasantness of Guitar Chords. Music Perception, 36(4), pp. 335-352. doi.org/10.1525/mp.2019.36.4.335 (download here)
  • (2019) The Formation of the West German Power Metal Scene and the Question of a ‘Teutonic’ Sound. Metal Music Studies, 5(2), pp. 201-223. doi.org/10.1386/mms.5.2.201_1 (download here)
  • (2019) Old Sounds with New Technologies? Examining the Creative Potential of Guitar ‘Profiling’ Technology and the Future of Metal Music from Producers’ Perspectives. Metal Music Studies, 5(1), pp. 53-69. doi.org/10.1386/mms.5.1.53_1 (download here)
  • (2018) (with Tim Albrecht) The Work Realities of Professional Studio Musicians in the German Popular Music Recording Industry: Careers, Practices and Economic Situations. IASPM Journal, 8(2), pp. 18-37. dx.doi.org/10.5429/2079-3871(2018)v8i2.3en (open access)
  • (2018) (with Tim Albrecht) The Skillset of Professional Studio Musicians in the German Popular Music Recording Industry. Etnomusikologian vuosikirja (The Finnish Yearbook of Ethnomusicology), 30, pp. 121-153. doi.org/10.23985/evk.69085 (open access)
  • (2018) (with Isabella Czedik-Eysenberg and Christoph Reuter) Guitar Profiling Technology in Metal Music Production: Public Reception, Capability, Consequences and Perspectives. Metal Music Studies, 4(3), pp. 481-506. doi.org/10.1386/mms.4.3.481_1 (download here)
  • (2018) Heaviness and the Electric Guitar: Considering the Interaction between Distortion and Harmonic Structures. Metal Music Studies, 4(1), pp. 95-113. doi.org/10.1386/mms.4.1.95_1 (download here)
  • (2017) (with Jan Holthaus) Music Studio Operators in the Ruhr Area in Germany: Role, Services, and Resources. Etnomusikologian vuosikirja (The Finnish Yearbook of Ethnomusicology), vol. 29, pp. 1-30. doi.org/10.23985/evk.63490 (open access)
  • (2017) Shredding, Tapping and Sweeping: Effects of Guitar Distortion on Playability and Expressiveness in Rock and Metal Solos. Metal Music Studies, 3(2), pp. 231–250. doi.org/10.1386/mms.3.2.231_1 (download here)
  • (2017) Historical Development, Sound Aesthetics and Production Techniques of the Distorted Electric Guitar in Metal Music. Metal Music Studies, 3(1), pp. 24-46. doi.org/10.1386/mms.3.1.23_1 (download here)
  • (2017) Akkordstrukturen im verzerrten Rockgitarrenriff: Eine experimental-analytische Studie zur Auswirkung von physikalischen und psycho-akustischen Faktoren [Chord Structures in the Distorted Rock Guitar Riff: An Experimental and Analytic Study on the Effect of Physical and Psychoacoustic Factors]. ASPM Samples, 15. pp. 1-27. (open access)
  • (2017) Remixing Dub Reggae in the Music Classroom: A Practice-Based Case Study on the Value of Music Production Tasks for Listening Skills, Media Competency and Musical Knowledge. Journal of Music, Technology and Education, 9(3), pp. 255-272.
    doi.org/10.1386/jmte.9.3.255_1 (download here)
  • (2016) Kommunikation und Wissenserwerb in der Vorlesung: Eine quantitative Studie zum Einsatz kommunikationsanregender Methoden in der Vorlesung [Communication and Construction of Knowledge: A Quantitative Study on Communication-Facilitating Methods in the Higher Education Lecture]. die hochschullehre, 2(1), pp. 1-21. doi.org/10.3278/HSL1605W (open access)
  • (2024) Heaviness: An Introduction to Metal’s Prime Musical Quality. In: Heesch, Florian & Höpflinger, Anna-Katharina (Eds.). Metal Studies: The Loudest Handbook. Freiburg: Rombach Wissenschaft (forthcoming).
  • (2024) Songwriting-Camps: Kollaborative Songwriting-Praxis zwischen Songwriting-Tradition und musikindustrieller Transformation. In: Pfleiderer, Martin; Jost, Christofer; Just, Steffen & Wernicke, Carsten (Eds.). Musik in der spätmodernen Gesellschaft. Analysen, Positionen, Perspektiven. (forthcoming).
  • (2024) (with Steve Waksman) Introduction to the Cambridge Companion to the Electric Guitar. In: Herbst, Jan-Peter & Steve Waksman (Eds.). The Cambridge Companion to the Electric Guitar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-13(forthcoming).
  • (2024) (with Alexander Vallejo) Thumping, Glitch, and Butterfly Tapping: Innovations in Guitar Technique in the New Millennium. In: Herbst, Jan-Peter & Waksman, Steve (Eds): The Cambridge Companion to the Electric Guitar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 165-188 (forthcoming).
  • (2024) (with Mark Mynett) Contemporary Approaches to Metal Music Mixing and Production: Heavy Metal, Death Metal, and Metalcore. In: Burns, Lori & Scotto, Ciro (Eds): The Routledge Handbook of Metal Music Composition. London: Routledge (forthcoming).
  • (2024) (with Jan Nepomucen Pietrzak) Collaboration in an Online Environment: Creativity in Popular Music Production in Times of Covid-19. In: Ahlers, Michael; Herbst, Jan-Peter & Holtsträter, Knut (Eds): Popular Music Songwriting as Cultural, Creative, and Economic Practice. Muenster: Waxmann (forthcoming).
  • (2024) (with Michael Ahlers) Songwriting Camps: Geschichte, Theorien und Forschungsansätze zur Fließband-Produktion von populärer Musik. In: von Appen, Ralf, Prieske, Sean & Huber, Michael (Eds.): Parallel Societies – Effects of Structural Juxtaposition on Popular Music, Its Research and Mediation. Bielefeld: transcript (forthcoming).
  • (2024) Martin Birch - Catalyst: The Pivotal Role of Deep Purple’s Sound Engineer on the Classic Mk. 2 Albums. In: Brown, Andy R. (Ed.): Who Do We Think They Are? : Deep Purple and Metal Studies. London: Equinox Publishing (forthcoming).
  • (2024) (with Eric Smialek & Isabella Czedik-Eysenberg) Towards an Acoustic-Semantic Space of Extreme Metal Vocal Styles. Proceedings of the German Society for Acoustics' Annual Conference for Acoustics, Leibniz University of Hanover (GER), 18-21 March 2024, pp. 979-982. (download here)
  • (2023) Introduction to the Cambridge Companion to Metal Music. In: Herbst, Jan-Peter (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Metal Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-11. doi.org/10.1017/9781108991162
  • (2023) (with Mark Mynett) Mapping the Origins of Heaviness between 1970-1995: A Historical Overview of Metal Music Production. In: Herbst, Jan-Peter (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Metal Music. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 29-42. doi.org/10.1017/9781108991162
  • (2023) ‘It Just Is My Inner Refusal’: Innovation and Conservatism in Guitar Amplification Technology. In: Moore, Austin & Bromham, Gary (Eds.). Distortion in Music Production. London: Routledge, pp. 174-184. doi.org/10.4324/9780429356841
  • (2022) Infrastructure of the German Music Business. In: Schütte, Uwe (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Krautrock. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 59-73. doi.org/10.1017/9781009036535.005
  • (2022) (with Lea Espinoza Garrado et al.) Transformations of the National: Rammstein’s “Deutschland” as a Provocation of German History. In: Jacke, Christoph; Flath, Beate & Troike, Manuel (Eds.): Transformational POP: Transitions, Breaks, and Crises in Popular Music (Studies), pp. 179-204. (open access)
  • (2020) Views of German Producers on ‘Teutonic’ Metal: Production Approaches and Generational Effects. In: Appen, Ralf von & Hindrichs, Thorsten (Eds.): One Nation Under a Groove. ‘Nation’ als Kategorie populärer Musik. Bielefeld: transcript, pp. 183-206. doi.org/10.14361/9783839455814-010
  • (2020) German Metal Attack: Power Metal in and from Germany. In: Seibt, Oliver; Ringsmut, Martin & Wickström, Davil-Emil (Eds.): Made in Germany (Global Popular Music series). London: Routledge, pp. 81-89. doi.org/10.4324/9781351200790-10
  • (2019) Moonlight Shadows: "Licht und Schatten" in Pink Floyds The Dark Side Of The Moon. [Light and Shadow in Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon]. In: Kathke, Petra (Ed): Vom Schatten aus. Denk- und Handlungsräume in Kunst und Kunstpädagogik. Hannover: fabricio, pp. 130-150. (download here)
  • (2017) Virtuoses Sologitarrenspiel im Rock und Metal: Zum Einfluss von Verzerrung auf das "Shredding" [Virtuoso Solo Guitar in Rock and Metal Music: About the Influence of Distortion on "Shredding"]. In: Phleps, Thomas Ed.: Schneller, höher, lauter. Virtuosität in populären Musiken (Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung, Bd. 43), pp. 131-152. doi.org/10.14361/9783839435922-009 (open access)
  • (2017) Influence of Distortion on Guitar Chord Structures: Acoustic Effects and Perceptual Correlates. In: Auhagen, Wolfgang; Bullerjahn, Claudia & Louven, Christoph Eds.: Musikpsychologie, vol. 27: Akustik und musikalische Hörwahrnehmung. Göttingen: Hogrefe, pp. 26-47. dx.doi.org/10.23668/psycharchives.2805 (open access)
  • (2017) “Gear Acquisition Syndrome”: A Study of Electric Guitar Players. In: Merrill, Julia Ed.: Popular Music Studies Today. Series Systematische Musikwissenschaft. Wiesbaden: Springer, pp. 139-148. (download here)
  • (2017) Resonanz [Resonance]. In: Blohm, Manfred; Brenne, Andreas & Hornäk, Sara Eds. Inklusionsaspekte in den künstlerischen Fächern und der ästhetischen Bildung. Hannover: Fabrico Verlag, pp. 217-222. ⇒ Publisher
  • (2015) "What's that Sound?" Sound als didaktische Herausforderung der Populären Musik [Sound as an Educational Challenge of Popular Music]. In: Ahlers, Michael (Ed.): Popmusik-Vermittlung. Zwischen Schule, Universität und Beruf (Theorie und Praxis der Musikvermittlung, vol. 14). Münster: LIT, pp. 133-152. (download here)
  • (2024) (with Mark Mynett) 'Masters of the Art of Mixing: 8 Producers - One Song - Infinite Insights'. Sound on Sound, 8/2024, pp. 52-61. (access here)
  • (2022) (with Mark Mynett) ‘What Exactly Is “Heaviness” in Heavy Metal Music?’. Futurum, 9/2022. doi.org/10.33424/FUTURUM297.
  • (2018) (with Sebastian Schulz) I love This Town: Songs über den American Way of Life analysieren [I Love this Town: Analysing Songs about the American Way of Life]. Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, pp. 20-24. (download here)
  • (2018) (with Daniela Böer) Impulse aus der Musik kreativ in Bewegung umsetzen und für Kommunikationsanlässe nutzen [Transforming Music into Movement and Using it for Communication]. Sportunterricht, 69(9), pp. 403-407. (download here)
  • (2017) Musik und Kunst – ein Überblick [Music and Arts – an Overview]. Musik & Unterricht, 126, pp. 18-20.
  • (2016) Faszination Gitarre. Teil 4. Der gemeinsame Song im Gitarrenorchester [Guitar fascination: The guitar orchestra]. Praxis des Musikunterrichts, 129, pp. 34-39. (download here)
  • (2016) Faszination Gitarre. Teil 3. Grundlagen der akkordischen Liedbegleitung [Guitar Fascination. Basics of Rhythm Guitar]. Praxis des Musikunterrichts, 127, pp. 38-47. (download here)
  • (2015) Faszination Gitarre. Teil 2. Phrasierung und die ersten Melodien [Guitar Fascination. Phrasing and Melodies]. Praxis des Musikunterrichts, 124, pp. 38-44. (download here)
  • (2015) Faszination Gitarre. Teil 1. Die Grundlagen der Tonerzeugung [Guitar Fascination: The Basics of Tone Production]. Praxis des Musikunterrichts, 123, pp. 36-43. (download here)
  • (2014) He’s a Pirate. Musik & Bildung. 2.14, pp. 8-11. (download here)
  • (2011) Die Form macht’s: Angewandte Formenlehre in der Erarbeitung populärer Musik [The Form Matters: Applied Music Theory in Learning Popular Music]. Üben & Musizieren. 6/11, pp. 34-37. (download here)
  • (2013) In: Songlexikon/Encyclopedia of Songs. Projekt des Deutschen Volksliedarchivs zu populärer Kultur und Musik. Ed. Fernand Hörner, Michael Fischer & Christofer Jost, Freiburg i. B. Song:
    18 and Life (Skid Row).
  • (2013) In: Songlexikon/Encyclopedia of Songs. Projekt des Deutschen Volksliedarchivs zu populärer Kultur und Musik. Ed. Fernand Hörner, Michael Fischer & Christofer Jost, Freiburg i. B. Song:
    Don't Stop Believin' (Journey).
  • (2012) In: Songlexikon/Encyclopedia of Songs. Projekt des Deutschen Volksliedarchivs zu populärer Kultur und Musik.
    Ed. Fernand Hörner, Michael Fischer & Christofer Jost, Freiburg i. B. Song:
    Hump de Bump (Red Hot Chili Peppers).
  • (2012) Rosanna. In: Songlexikon/Encyclopedia of Songs. Projekt des Deutschen Volksliedarchivs zu populärer Kultur und Musik. Ed. Fernand Hörner, Michael Fischer & Christofer Jost, Freiburg i. B. Song:
    Rosanna (Toto).
  • (2020) Review of Berkers, Pauwke & Schaap, Julian (2018): Gender Inequality in Metal Music Production. Metal Music Studies, 6(1), 129-132. (access here)
  • (2018) Review of Brockhaus, Immanuel: Kultsounds: Die prägendsten Klänge der Popmusik 1960-2014 (transcript). ASPM Samples, 16. (download here)
  • (2017) Review of Bottà, Giacomo (Ed.): Unsichtbare Landschaften: Populäre Musik und Räumlichkeit / Invisible Landscapes: Popular Music and Spatiality (Waxmann). IASPM Journal, 7(1), pp. 133-137. (download here)
  • (2016) Review of Forsbach, Beate (2015): Fächerübergreifender Musikunterricht: Konzepte und Modelle für die Unterrichtspraxis (Edition Forsbach Verlag). Musik & Unterricht, 122.
  • (2011) Conference Report: Die Metapher als "Medium" des Musikverstehens. Diskussion Musikpädagogik,  51, pp. 61-63; modified version in Die Musikforschung.