Department or Program


Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Jenny Johnson

Additional Advisor(s)

Orit Shaer


In the early 20th century, Italian Futurists became interested in expanding the definition of music to include sounds previously considered non-musical--sounds often described as 'noise.' The intonarumori (noise intoners) was a family of instruments created by the Futurist artist Luigi Russolo, which allows for the player to control the pitch and sound of the these noises. This thesis gives background on the history of Futurism and its relationship to music, analyzes noise in a Futurist context, and describes the recreation of the intonarumori, dubbed the tattorumori (noise tactions), using new interactive surface technology unavailable to Russolo. The significance of this instrument with regards to both the Futurist movement and music history is that it challenges the established idea of what music is and embodies the ideas of modernity; the intonarumori bridges the gap between sound and music. The reimagining of the instrument explores the vision of Futurism in context the present, using Russolo’s instrument as a blueprint with the technology of a century later.