The auditory culture reader

Back, L (2003) The auditory culture reader. Berg, Oxford. ISBN 9781859736180

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Sight and sound are equally crucial to our understanding of the world, yet the visual has dominated discussions of cultural experience. The very way we relate to, and think about, our everyday world has been influenced by this emphasis on sight over sound. Providing a definitive overview of an emerging field, this pioneering reader is the first to redress a glaring imbalance by investigating how auditory culture subtly and profoundly impacts on our everyday lives. From the evocative tolling of village bells to the grating rattle of exhaust pipes, what we hear influences how we feel and what we do. As technology advances, the world has become an increasingly noisy, confusing and disturbing place. The recent addition of mobile phones alone has irrevocably changed our auditory experiences. In order to retreat from jarring sounds, we seek new sounds sounds that calm, block, soothe. Beginning with the role of sound in historical and social thought, The Auditory Culture Reader moves on to consider city noise, music, voices, and new technologies and medias of sound. It explores, for example, the sectarian sounds of North Belfast, sounds of the powwow amongst Native Americans, football chants, recorded sermons, and the power and influence of the DJs voice. Filling a significant gap, this groundbreaking and multidisciplinary reader combines classic texts, interviews and original contributions by leading social and cultural theorists. It represents a landmark statement on a surprisingly overlooked aspect of our everyday experience.

Item Type: Edited Book
Additional Information: The Auditory Culture Reader was the first issue in the Sensory Formation Series (Berg) whose aim was to define and articulate the cultural and historical role of the senses in society. It was the first book to investigate the role of sound in culture within an interdisciplinary framework, bringing together historians, sociologists, anthropologists and media and cultural theorists to discuss the contribution of sound to the formation of culture. It brought together original and newly commissioned work from twenty eight authors to provide what the authors described as an auditory manifesto for the social and cultural sciences. In doing so the book has defined the contemporary field of sound studies worldwide. It is currently in its third reprint. As a direct result of the success of its publication (and the Sensory Formation Series in general) Bull formed a new and successful international journal, Senses and Society, published by Berg, to further define and articulate the ongoing debate concerning the role of the senses in cultural formation. Bull was originator and co-editor of the book and co-wrote the Introduction, as well as contributing an original chapter, `Soundscapes of the Car: A Critical study of Automobile Habitation¿ (pp.357-74)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Michael Bull
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:45
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2012 13:47
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