2015 ENGL 4033 Sound Archive

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File:Example.jpg==Acoustic Levitation: Argonne National Laboratory== [1]Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, a pharmaceutical company in Illinois is working to manipulate sound to levitate and suspend items in an effort to discover new delivery methods of medicine and technology for treating patients. Aside from the medical component, what is fascinating is the ability of an invisible phenomena (sound) to manifest its strength and form physically. [2]This video demonstrates how two opposing transducers producing sound (160 dB and 22kHz) in opposite directions can create standing waves and suspend matter in the center, which form into spheres. This technology, which opens discussion for levitation in general, also has greater implications for the creation of amorphous chemicals, which are better absorbed and processed by the body. Sound is often not thought about in its physical sense, but it manifest itself in such structured ways.--Mithos (talk) 00:13, 20 April 2015 (UTC)


Laughter in Friends Sitcom

An interesting phenomena for sitcoms and comedy bits in general is the effects of the laughing audience in key moments. Originally, the laughing audience was from live members who watched and laughed as the show was being recorded, but then there's the risk of certain jokes simply going over the audiences heads. In other instances the laughter is pre-recorded and inserted in key moments. Something I came across is the video of the same scene from the show Friends where Ross is talking about attacking women. The first clip is the original with the laughter inserted.[3] This creates a comedic scene where Ross is portrayed as silly, naive, and simply Ross. In the second clip, the laughter is muted out which leaves room for awkward silence and a Ross that appears hostile, weird, and questionable.[4] I wonder if this gap is due to the missing laughter that we already know is supposed to be there, the awkward pauses that no longer have a place anymore or a combination of both. How does others laughing have to do with our own perception of comedy and our view of a character?--Mithos (talk) 22:50, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Sound and feeling: My Favorite Band

I think a study on music and emotions stirred by said music would be a worthwhile one. Also, when in hard times, certain tracks make us feel better, or make us feel angry about the situation, or sad, etc. Why is this? Does this have something to do with our own personalities and what we associate the music with, or do these tracks have certain chords/arrangements that just naturally make the listeners susceptible to feeling a certain way? My favorite band, Bon Iver, a folk band, I could listen to literally everyday. The best way that I can describe the music itself is consisting of many different layers and directions yet never losing its cohesive sound. In a lot of Bon Iver's music, you can't even really understand what it is that he's saying in the lyrics, yet you feel as though you can still relate to exactly what is being sung about. Why is this? Is this due to the music's quality, or its overall melancholy feel, etc. Here's a link to the full album (my favorite one), I HIGHLY recommend, it's music that easily transcends all ages!! [5] --EmilyT (talk)

Amandla Stenberg's Take On Black Culture-Relating To Sound

This video, with attached article performed by actress Amandla Stenberg, [6] I think is a very interesting discussion, especially after last week's disccusion of: George Lipsitz, “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: Racialized Social Democracy and the ‘White’ Problem in American Studies.” Amandla says, "what if America loved blacks as much as they love black culture?" Which is interesting when compared to Lipsitz' statement of the investment in white people and the "white problem." It brings back the argument that the sounds and music of originally "black" music, does it "belong" to them, is it disrespectful for whites to imitate it, or is it not "imitation" at all? Do these sounds have an owner? Personally, I believe that while these sounds and styles DO have a history, a history that we need to be educated about and recognize, there is nothing wrong with white people performing such styles and sounds and putting their own spin on it. While "the white problem" definitely exists, I don't think that every white person who attempts these styles is being disrespectful. Although, there is something to be said about "branding" this, like many have claimed Iggy Azalea does. --EmilyT (talk)

Respecting Accents

The mimicking and stereotyping of accents is something that has fascinated me for awhile. The dumbing down of accents for people from other places (I feel like Americans are guilty of this a lot) says a lot about their underlying feelings and attitudes towards that particular country or region. For example, whenever an American imitates an English accent, actual English people have said that Americans are notoriously known for making their impression of the English accent super formal sounding and lacking inflection, also making everything sound like a question. Or when an Australian accent is imitated usually the word 'mate' is in there somewhere. Also, imitating of "italian mobster" or "italian gangster" accents says a lot as well regarding underlying attitudes. There's also the "somewhere in Asia" accent that doesn't recognize how many countries exist in Asia. I understand that there is a fascination with accents that are different from yours, I am guilty of that, but I think we need to be respectful and careful when we do such imitations. --EmilyT (talk)

The 10 Most Annoying Sounds

TIME magazine came out with a list of the 10 most "annoying" sounds. Nails on a chalkboard, the vuvuzela (noisemakers from soccer games), Jim Carrey's voice in Dumb and Dumber, and the dial-up modem among others made the list. It's interesting to see a list of the most "annoying" sounds put together. If sound and hearing is subjective, then how is it that a vast majority of people find the same sounds unpleasant? One might think the answer to that is simple, that they just don't sound good (duh, right?) but if you try to answer that question in a technical, logical way, it's harder to do so. Do annoying sounds have similar decibels and vibrations that we can't consciously pick up on? Do we learn through culture and society what sounds good to us or is this instinctual? Or both? Here is the full list: [7] --EmilyT (talk)

The loudness war

"The loudness war" refers to trend in the 80's and 90's in which produced music increased in loudness level and decreased in quality. Musician Bob Dylan is quoted saying, "You listen to these modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like—static." I found that quote to be thought-provoking. When listening to hit radio, my mom will often complain of the songs sounding just like "noise" or of being poor quality in general. For awhile in high school I didn't quite understand this, because it was what I was used to listening to. But if one takes the time to listen to a quality piece of music, such as a classical piece, or Jazz, or even a well written melodic pop song, there is a difference in the sound. You can actually HEAR instruments and intonations versus a bunch of artificial sounding loud mashed-up sounds coming together. While of course music is subjective, I do think there is something to be said for the quality of sound being diminished over time, especially through the radio. Music that can't be performed in public (i.e., too artificially made/made in a studio FOR a radio audience) completely changes the game of what is "music." Dylan's quote is definitely one to be pondered. --EmilyT (talk)

Synthetic Nature

When people have trouble falling asleep or want some noise to fill a silent room, many people look to pre-recorded synthetic "calming" sounds. For example, on YouTube you can listen to the "waves of the ocean", the sounds of the redwood forest, or even a "Japanese water garden" which is a mixture of water sounds and melodic tunes. When creating these synthetic sounds, in the "Redwood Forest" prerecording for example, what do synthesizers and web artists look for to make a recording enjoyable or soothing? [8] How does the human mind conceive these sounds in real life and then transcribe them to an artificial format online? Is there something to be said for the fact that many can't notice a difference between artificial bird sounds and the real thing? Is the difference simply too minute for human ears to notice? If sound is so easily manipulated and copied, what does this mean in regards to the meaning of sound and how we process it? --EmilyT (talk)

"A sound map of New York, block by block."

While doing some online Internet surfing, I came across this NPR article that I believe fits perfectly with what we've been discussing this semester. [9] Emily Thompson, Professor at Princeton University, created a sound map of New York, using old newsreels and documented sound complaints. It's interesting to think about what noises sound the same, or noises that are timeless and can be heard today walking down the New York streets, versus sounds unique to the time period. For example, a recorded sound of "children frolicking" is probably similar to that of children playing today. But, the sound of "Ol' Clo buying a suit" is definitely unique to the time period. It's interesting because while people still barter and sell and buy clothes, and while the intention is exactly the same as it was back in that time, it's cool to see how the way one expresses this changes over time, through sound. This fascination with sounds from the past does have to do a bit with nostalgia, just how I think that years and years from now people will be fascinated by the sounds of 2015 and how we communicated with one another. I think as humans it's natural to be captivated by a means of communication we don't use ourselves. --EmilyT (talk)

Finding the Quiet City

I came across this page on the New York Times dedicated to submissions of quiet places in New York City. [10] This reminded me of our earlier class discussions regarding city vs. country settings with relation to their sounds. What I found interesting in these clips of quiet places around the city is the need to separate, find, share with others, quiet sanctuaries. Upon closer inspection, one will realize "quiet" does not mean "silent" or absence of sound. Instead, many of the noises heard in these quiet settings include wildlife (birds) and the gushing of water (lakes and rivers) and even the sound of the wind. This raises the question of what sounds are considered quiet and whether it is the loudness of the sound (think volume) or the content of the sound (birds chirping vs. low hum of construction nearby).--Mithos (talk) 19:35, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Sound and Language in Politics

Something that has always interested me being a political science minor is the way that speech, pronunciation, and language makes a candidate more or less likable, gives them certain personality traits noticeable to voters, etc. For example, President Bush had a southern "folksy" twang that while to some people made him sound down to earth and relatable, others found it unintelligent. President Kennedy is known for having a Boston accent, pronouncing words like "watah" and "remembah." The president whose speech I find the most interesting, though, is Ronald Reagan. Being a trained actor, he intentionally worked to make his speech neutral sounding to all people, having no "appreciable regionalisms." In this speech attached, you can hear how Reagan's way of speaking is quite neutral and "standard" in its tone and intonation. [11] --EmilyT (talk)

Gravity: Creating Noise in Space

Director Alfonso Cuaron's 2013 film Gravity is an example of a film in which the creation of sound and the creation of the feeling of silence are at the center. Taking place in outer space, the topic of sound becomes extraordinary since sound doesn't exist in a vacuum. I came across this site where the sound designer for the film, Glenn Freemantle, and re-recording mixer, Skip Lievsay, discuss their approach to creating sound in a soundless space. [12]. Some of the key things emphasized include perceiving sound through bodily interactions (vibrations) since there is no air to transmit it. Thus, movie makers emphasized touch and also played around with surround-system sound so that viewers of the film could perceive distance when characters spoke which created a sort of frenzy and disorderliness. To create some of the sounds we do hear in the film, Freemantle and foley artist Nicholas Becker "submerged guitars in water" and "rubbed different items along the guitar strings," using an underwater microphone to capture it all. Such scenes are contrasted with earthly noise/sound even the buzzing of insects and chirping of birds in the final scene. [13]--Mithos (talk) 20:25, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Example of Typography in Manhattan

[14] I came across this piece of graffiti art in Manhattan and found a link online and thought I would share it. This reminded me a lot of our class discussion of 'Marcy J. Dinius, “’Look!! Look!! At This!!!!’: The Radical Typography of David Walker’s Appeal.' This is a piece of art that is clearly working off of typography and the meanings/symbols of culture behind the different texts. The 'This is my new york accent' is designed in a way that is meant to convey a feeling, a vibe, a tone, that is much different than the 'normally I write like this.' aspect of the piece. I thought this was super thought provoking not only because of it's relation to our reading, but because of its standing in an ART piece, and not just a part of everyday signage/life. It's aware of the what it is conveying. --EmilyT (talk) 12:37 PM, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

"Street Fighting Man" and the Influence of Sound in the Music of the 1960's

Media:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFvtMp7hRF8 The sound of Mick Jagger's high-pitched guitar twangs and musical accompaniment aurally represent the revolutionary tone of the American political atmosphere of the late 1960's. In addition, right off the bat in the first lyric of the song,("Ev'rywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet") we hear the word sound which is literarily symbolic of the tumultuous soundscape which characterized the anti-Vietnam rallies of America. --IanT (talk) 04:23, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Silver Linings Playbook and the power of piping in sound

In this scene from Silver Linings Playbook, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) visits his psychiatrist. Pat had a complete mental breakdown after his wife cheated on him, but has largely recovered. To test him, the doctor pipes Pat's wedding song, Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour," over the office loudspeaker. Though this popular music is more pleasant than the political messages broadcast over loudspeakers of old, Pat can’t take it, and he destroys the office’s magazine rack in anguish. This violent reaction shows that this joyful song now triggers deep pain for Pat because of his unfaithful wife. This scene illustrates that any sound provokes more passionate reactions when played in a public space, whether waiting room or city bus.

On Loudspeakers on Bikes in New York City:

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_pa1T4OMiY
2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om4PYX24X34
They are called the Future Shock Bike Crew. I first saw them as a video/documentary exhibit in the Music/Sound portion of the Museum of Modern Art. They've installed huge speakers behind their bikes, and believe they are doing the people in their neighborhood a pleasure/ service. They've "tricked-out their" ordinary bikes as they please, and do this as a hobby. They also do upgrades.
I do wonder if the neighborhood truly finds pleasure in their blasting of music.
--Jting1 (talk) 20:04, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Subway Symphony

James Murphy, a Brooklyn-based musician, proposed the idea to create music via the sounds made at subway turnstiles in 2014. Pitchfork has a short article [16] describing the idea's conception in late 2013, and a follow-up article [17] features a preview of the proposed sounds for the subway turnstiles. Murphy's website [18] for the project hasn't been updated in some time, so it's difficult to tell if the project is still in the works. The idea of improving the harsh and grating sounds of a crowded city coincides nicely with the "Sounding Space, Spacing Sound" article by Nick Yablon (discussed in week 3). Murphy's idea is just one example of an attempt to control noise in an urban space, and even takes it a step further by attempting to transform the noise into pleasant music.
--Delaneyjavs (talk) 18:04, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Sound Bites

Sound bites, memorable parts of speeches, are considered "snippets of language [that] may be said to have influenced people's mentalities, their 'ideology', and consequently their social, political, and economic world," by Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle (An Introduction to Literature, Criticism, and Theory). Sound bites include: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" (Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1933); "I have a dream" (Martin Luther King, 1963); the "war on terror" (George W. Bush, 2001) (Bennett and Royle). Sound bites concern memorability and selectivity in sound. Due to sound bites' role in public political speeches, it coincides with Ronda Sewald's "Forced Listening: The Contested Use of Loudspeakers for Commercial and Political Messages in the Public Soundscape." A Youtube video titled, "How to Speak in Soundbites: Public Speaking" emphasizes the importance of knowing what to say to the public.[19] Incorporate "analogies, bold actions words, cliches, humor, pop-culture references, rhetorical questions, absolutes, specific examples, quotes" (Howcast).
--Mithos (talk) 01:52, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Musicians in New York Subway

When we get into New York subway station, we can always hear the sounds of many different musical performances. However, there are always some musicians harassed, ejected, or arrested because of performing in the subway station. In November 20th, 2014, Kalleen, a guitarist from Brooklyn was arrested because his performance is a “quality of life” violation (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/subway-musicians-arrested-20141120). There is always a debate of freedom and violation of others’ life. In addition, Kalleen experience and Bellamy’s “Looking Backward: 2000-1887,” make me think about a question: are these musical performances out of concerts still art? Do people always enjoy the sound? Or, is it a noise instead? (http://columbiaspectator.com/eye/2014/11/23/sounds-down-under ) According to my personal experience, I enjoy some of the musical performances, but I feel bad when I heard two extremely different types of performances mixed in subway station.
CSS9 (talk) 02:48, 20 February 2015 (UTC)CSS

Drive by Compliments

If you type "megaphone" or "loudspeaker" into the search engine of youtube[20] it does not take long until you find link after link to videos of "drive by complimenting" This term refers to putting a megaphone on your car and driving around shouting positive sentiments to the people on the street. Youtubers such as Blake Grisby[21]or Jacksgap[22]are well-intentioned but perhaps naive. While watching the videos it is easy to see that the noise, even when positive, jars those passing by. Most enjoy it but there are definitely some of the public who felt embarrassed, confused, and bothered. In one of the videos a man who was called on gave those working the megaphone the "finger". In another instance the youtuber was pulled over by the police and given a warning for distressing the public.The police stepping in is a reminder of Ronda Sewald's "Forced Listening: The Contested Use of Loudspeakers for Commercial and Political Messages in the Public Soundscape." What might seem like a cute way to spread the love in a community might be to others a breech of privacy. The videos are reminiscent of Sewald's emphasis that loudspeakers were used to sell ideologies.Even if in this instance, the ideology is one of self-love and kindness, there is something forced and creepy about having a stranger shout out publicly that they like your hair.In the end it still sounds like they are trying to sell us something.--Mvega18 (talk) 03:31, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Tornado Warning Siren

I find it interesting that in states of emergency and danger societies often depend on audio methods to spread information as fast as possible. Whether it be a fire alarm, car horn, or a lifeguard's whistle, we often connect unexpected sounds to crisis. In this sound clip [23] you hear a typical early warning tornado siren. Similar to an air raid siren used in WWII, the tornado alert system takes advantage of the inescapable and pervasive element of sound to ensure all residents can receive the message that a tornado is coming. I also find it interesting that at some desperate point visual aids cannot be a useful tool in efficiency or speed. Not every individual will turn on the TV, but no one can escape the blaring sound of the siren that can span miles. Visually, you might not see a change in the sky or weather, visually there is no clue to the potential destruction and danger that awaits, it is then the sounds of alarms that people must rely on. --Vegakathleen (talk) 05:30, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Technology for the Deaf

In recent years technology has developed for those who are deaf to have hearing aids called cochlear implants that allows them to hear for the first time after living without sound. In this video [[24]] it shows people of all ages reacting to the first sound they have ever heard from both babies to adults. Most react the same by starting to laugh and then cry. They do not recognize the sensation of sound and the affect is clearly shock, creating emotion and relief. History shows us that the deaf were generally untreatable and largely mistreated in society showing one way that technology has in fact pushed us forward. Sterne talked about in his writing how people design and use technology to enhance and improve certain activities. This shows that the gift of sound is not something everyone can share and that this technology has created a major improvement for society.

Sound Creates a Cinematic Masterpiece in 1960 Film Psycho

Considered one of his best films, Psycho (1960) directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which was very low-budget, relied on sound and music for its cinematic effect, especially in its iconic shower-murder scene with its main character, Marion. The film is in black and white, and originally Hitchcock didn't even want music in it, which the film's composer, Bernard Hermann, convinced Hitchcock of otherwise. Due to the film being in black and white (cost effective), Hermann wrote a score for a simple piece of music which he thought would coincide. Only strings were, which was said to tug at the audience's nerves just like the scene itself. Feelings of dread, horror, and shock were amplified by the excruciating and agonizing soundtrack that was simple technically but contributed greatly to the overall effect of the scene, and the movie in general. Hitchcock is quoted saying that he wanted the cinematic effect of the movie to be reliant upon the image and not any use of sound. Interestingly enough, it is the very sound in the film that is said to have greatly enhanced the overall experience of the movie. Psycho, which is said to be a filmic masterpiece, used sound in other genius ways. For example, the sound of Marion getting stabbed in the shower scene was the sound of a knife stabbing a melon. It's interesting how little techniques such as that can be translated in the human mind to represent/sound like something completely different. Here is a link to the shower scene: Warning! it's a bit graphic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VP5jEAP3K4 --EmilyT (talk)

Mr. Legs, a Local Band of Fordham Students

The Keywords essay "Sound" notes that in any serious approach to sound studies, sound itself is always considered with regard to both the body that creates it and the audience that must receive it in order for it to truly exist at all. It describes sound as "social and experimental," nothing that it can be examined both scientifically and humanistically. My band, Mr. Legs, is a three-piece experimental rock group that started just a few months ago here in the Bronx. Our bandcamp page [25] contains a link for downloading our first release, a four-track demo called Midnight Climax. The title, for those who are curious, alludes to a very bizarre CIA operation [26] that began during the 1950's.

Anyways, the process of creating and releasing music as a student is a surprisingly exhausting exercise in translation from source to listener. To make this simple demo, first of course we had to compose, arrange, and practice the songs. We then had to record everything on a rather tight budget. Next came somehow explaining to the producer in both abstract and concrete terms what we wanted the different instruments to sound like in the final mix. The producer acts as a sort of intermediary. He (or she, of course) is in a sense the first audience, but he then puts the songs together using his own intuition and ideas in conjunction with those of the band. So from that point on the music becomes his creation as well. Finally, the mixed album is released, and the artists (us) wait for reactions from the audience. This is perhaps the most stressful part of the process. Questions such as, "Will people like it?" or, "Does it really sound how I had imagined it?" are asked repeatedly. The tension caused by passing one's own ideas into the hand of an audience is palpable. One song, "Flillabluster," [27] features vocal samples from a voicemail left on my phone by a friend during a difficult time. So, she was the source of a sound that we then used to augment our own entirely new sound. Audience becomes source. Now, as it is presented to a new audience, I can only hope her words continue to move people in their new context. --Dpiserchia (talk) 06:03, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

"Ethnic" and Universal Music from the Four Seasons

The Broadway musical Jersey Boys opens with a rendition of the Four Seasons hit "Oh, What A Night" performed by a French rapper. This version, which was a Billboard hit in Paris in 2000, is used at the outset to show the universal appeal of the Four Seasons; no matter a person's race or cultural background, everybody loves "Oh, What A Night." Today's class discussion on whether American music was "ethnic" or universal brought this clip to mind- this very American song, as well as countless others (Taylor Swift, etc.) is refracted through the lenses of the different ethnic groups who perform it. Every artist brings something different to the table, and each one is valid and makes for a universal experience of this pop hit.

Synesthesia: Seeing Sounds, Hearing Color, and More

Synesthesia is a very rare condition in which the senses are interconnected and people can visualize sounds, associate colors with sounds, taste with colors and much more. Though no one is certain about the underlying mechanism behind these sense associations, it is predicted that 1 in 2000 people are synesthetes and many artists and musicians are said to experience a form of senesthesia. Of the different forms, one interesting one is chromesthesia, which is a sound-to-color form of synesthesia in which hearing certain sounds causes people to associate it with specific colors. Some artists such as Kandinsky were intrigued by chromesthesia and produced works like his painting "Yellow, Red and Blue" to illustrate the convergence of sound and color: [29]. There are also several interesting tests to see if one is a synesthete, including these following images. One is supposed to visualize these words in varying colors if they have this rare condition.[30] vs. [31]. Artists such as Kanye West speak about this condition: "It just always stuck out in my mind, and I could always see it. I don't know if that makes sense, but I could always visualize what I was hearing... Yeah, it was always like weird colors." — From a Nightline interview with Pharrell. Whether we know the underlying mechanisms or not, or even buy into the phenomena, we can still imagine the impacts and perception of the world for those who see the world through interconnected senses. What would it be like to hear something and see a sound?--Mithos (talk) 18:50, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Resonant Bodies, Uncle Tom's Cabin and The King and I

The discussion of Uncle Tom's Cabin that was brought on by the Black article reminded me of The King and I, a musical which uses elements of Harriet Beecher Stowe's story in a very interesting way. "Small House of Uncle Thomas," a ballet adaptation of Uncle Tom performed by the king's concubines, is narrated by Tuptim, a Burmese consort. She deferentially begins every sentence with the phrase “I beg to put before you," which belies the message of equality she spreads. In pidgin English she relates the story of “most wicked king in all America, Simon of Legree, because when slave has run away Simon beating every slave.” Despite her broken English, Tuptim’s belief that this behavior is wrong is clear. In an added twist on Stowe's book, Buddha's angel comes to help the runaway slave Eliza. When she reunites with her friends, Topsy says “I spects I’s the wickedest critter in the world.” Tuptim editorializes at this point, saying Topsy is not wicked because any slave would rejoice over the death of an evil, dominating master. The end of the ballet presents a striking paradox- when Tuptim speaks Topsy’s words, she makes them her own and gives herself agency. The fact that an Asian character uses broken English to translate the words of an illiterate black slave opens Topsy’s sentiment to two levels of interpretation, which would be more welcome if her words were not translated in such a stereotypical way onstage. The issue of casting adds another problematic element to this story- Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno plays Tuptim. Moreno knows English in real life (she would win an Oscar for playing the talkative Anita in West Side Story), so making her interpret two other foreign worlds with a “broken” tongue is racist overkill. The ballet, as told by Moreno, is jarring to listen to even today, with its blunt anti-slavery rhetoric, which Moreno and Tuptim hope will be translated into action.

Linguistic Slippage Between "Loud" and "Garish"

"Loud" and "garish" are two adjectives that, in certain contexts, can be considered synonymous. Both words are grounded in sensory impression, but ostensibly they involve two very different senses: hearing and seeing. It is curious to consider how both words can be applied to a visual object, for example, "his sweater is too loud". In this instance, loud still carries the connotations of a forceful sound. This phenomenon is best explained here in an academic paper studying structure-mapping in metaphor and analogy [33]:
"The same attribute can possess different meanings in different domains and this plurality of meaning serves to ground a metaphor between these domains. For instance, when one claims that a 'tie is too loud', the attribute LOUD is being used in an acoustic and a visual sense; a GARISH tie is one whose colours invoke a visual counterpart of the physical unease associated with loud, clamorous noises. But for LOUD to be seen as a metaphor for GARISH such attributes must possess an internal semantic structure to facilitate the mapping between both. That is, attributes may possess attributes on their own (e.g., both LOUD and GARISH may be associated with SENSORY, INTENSE and UNCOMFORTABLE)." (Veale & Keane, 1998)
The linguistic slippage of "loud" and "garish" lies in their shared association with dissonance. Their synonymous nature offers an example of the interplay of language between the apparently separate processes of hearing and seeing. --Delaneyjavs (talk) 15:46, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Noise and Nature

Glaciers may seem like large chunks of ice that peacefully float in the world's coldest waters (a serene peaceful sight indeed), but recent studies indicate that melting glaciers are in fact one of the noisiest places in the ocean. A recent article featured on Science Daily website draws attention to the sounds created when air that is trapped in the glaciers form bubbles in the salt water as the glaciers melt and then pop as they pinch off from the ice.[34] A team of researchers in Icy Bay Alaska show that these sounds range from 300 to 20,000 Hertz and that persistence of these sounds may influence the fjord ecosystem. Seals might actually use the underwater sound to acoustically camouflage and escape predatory killer whales, which use sound to locate their next meal. This becomes especially important when glaciers begin to melt and retreat onto land. How will the seals hide their sounds? Another interesting article, also on Science Daily, is the influence of human industrial sounds on wildlife. A study conducted in Canada's Bay of Fundy suggested that stress levels of baleen whales were influenced by the underwater noise levels caused by ship traffic in bay areas.[35] Furthermore, decrease in ship traffic post 9/11 could have possibly eased the stress on the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. We often think about sound and sense as it pertains to humans, but species in nature are subject to both natural and human-induced sounds. Very interesting to note how both play a role in species survival and more importantly, stress (predatory and acoustic).--Mithos (talk) 23:04, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Harry Belafonte "Mutes The Enemy's Thunder"

Today's discussion of Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte brought to mind Belafonte's acceptance speech as he accepted the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy last year- and not just because of Poitier's cameo at the end. Belafonte talks about seeing Tarzan films growing up, and hearing audiences cheer the white savior and boo his African rivals. He rejoices in the fact that things have gotten better for minorities in film, not least because of "technological creations (including sound) that will give artists deeper insight into human existence." The most potent sonic metaphor occurs at the conclusion of the speech, however, when Belafonte says that the Academy presenting him with this award "powerfully mutes the enemy's thunder." This great entertainer and activist faced awful racial prejudice throughout his life, and the allusion to sound proves that Belafonte is not resting on his laurels in his old age; on the contrary, he will be stay as loud as ever so he can continue muting the enemy.

The Noise of Trench Warfare

In 1918, approaching the end of World War I, sound recordist William Gaisberg went out onto the Western Front to capture the noise of Britain's Royal Garrison Artillery bombarding the Germans at Lille. The result is the HMV 09308 record "Gas Shell Bombardment" (listen[37]). The record was considered a novel use of recording equipment in preserving a physical experience for posterity. Sounding Out!, a sound studies blog that is peer-edited and contributed to by scholars, professionals, and artists alike, has a very interesting blog post about the record, by Brian Hanrahan: "For decades, the HMV recording had a reputation as one of the very earliest “actuality” recordings – one documenting a real location and event beyond the performative space of the studio, imprinted with the audible material trace of an actual moment in space and time."[38] Examining this as a civilian one hundred years removed from the conflict, it is interesting to consider the effects of noise on soldiers engaged in battle in the trenches at the front. Particularly of note is the way in which the sounds of shells, machine guns, grenades, etc. might have become a sort of language of their own, as noise that is verbally and semantically meaningless but fatally meaningful in terms of what these sounds meant for a soldier. The noise of warfare would have drowned out the voices of the actual combatants at the front - the shells would have been the dominating soundtrack. In this way, Gaisberg's recording suggests in a perverse way that the sounds of the Great War might have been organized into a type of music. Putting something on a record to be listened to outside of its context lends it a certain import and allows generations after to make their own assumptions. Again, it is crucial to emphasize one's removal from the physical experience of war (both as a civilian and existing a century later), but these questions are ones that remain with us today and might be applied to studies of the sound of modern warfare.--Delaneyjavs (talk) 23:18, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Brian Eno's "Oblique Strategies"

"Oblique Strategies" is a deck of printed cards created in the late 1970s by musician Brian Eno and painter Peter Schmidt. The cards contain various short and often cryptic remarks, phrases, aphorisms, etc. intended to help artists break through creative blocks. "Oblique Strategies" is subtitled "Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas", and is designed to encourage lateral thinking and refresh perspective. The introduction to the first edition says:
"These cards evolved from our separate observations on the principles underlying what we were doing. Sometimes they were recognized in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), sometimes they were identified as they were happening, sometimes they were formulated. They can be used as a pack (a set of possibilities being continuously reviewed in the mind) or by drawing a single card from the shuffled pack when a dilemma occurs in a working situation. In this case,the card is trusted even if its appropriateness is quite unclear. They are not final, as new ideas will present themselves, and others will become self-evident."[39]
While many of the cards are intended primarily for musicians, the vagueness of the suggestions on the cards makes them useful for any artistic or creative endeavor. They may also be viewed as a basic set of working principles used to jog one's memory or free one's thinking. Here [40] is a website that randomly generates the content on each of the cards from the various editions. Eno is most famously known for his creation of ambient soundscapes and it is curious to consider how the textual or possibly visual prompts translate themselves into the created sounds and music. --Delaneyjavs (talk) 17:38, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

"Tiptoeing with a Rope on a Neck"

[41] While actual lynchings were very loud affairs, the aftermath was anything but. This is proven both by the Stadler reading and by this scene from the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave. In the previous scene Solomon Northrup was mercilessly tied to a tree by his master, in an attack filled with screams punctuated by screeching violins on the soundtrack. But now as Northrup simply hangs, silence takes over. The rest of the plantation goes about its business, as the master's wife watches Solomon's struggle passively from the porch. If the other slaves are unnerved by the gruesome sight, they do not let on. This deafening silence continues for more than two minutes, so as to become unnerving. It is only broken when a kind fellow slave brings Solomon a drink of water, which he gulps down with difficulty as she wipes his mouth. The contrast between these two scenes is striking, and shows that the romanticizing of lynching on the phonograph recordings did not give a true picture of the event- the records were obviously skewed to white audiences, who could afford to buy them and wanted to do so. If these white consumers knew what happened immediately after the recorded lynching, however, perhaps they would not have been quite so eager to purchase the album.

A Deaf "Bastard from a Basket"

[42] One of the most powerful recent depictions of deafness in film is in Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. When one of Daniel Plainview's workers dies in a drilling accident, Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) adopts the man's son, H.W., as his own. But when H.W. turns 10, he goes deaf in a drilling explosion and Daniel sends him away on a train. Late in the film, however, when Daniel is old and feeble, H.W. reappears as a healthy adult. In some ways Daniel treats H.W. normally, ordering him to "look at me" as the parent of a hearing child would. In most respects, however, Daniel is repulsed by H.W.'s deafness, shown in his continual references to they young man as a "bastard from a basket." After this dressing down, H.W. simply says "I thank God I have none of me in you" and then leaves the room as Daniel yells after him. This scene is reminiscent of the original deaf "education" techniques referenced in this week's articles, in which the deaf child is treated like a hearing child and punished for being unresponsive- H.W' status as a "bastard" heightens his disconnect with his adoptive father. What is revolutionary here, however, is that the deaf man comes out the winner here, while the hearing elder looks like a blubbering fool. Thanks to the brilliant acting of Day-Lewis and Russell Harvard (who is actually deaf), this is the rare father-son standoff that shows the balance squarely in the son's favor, despite his disability.

Scientists Recover the Sounds of 19th-Century Music and Laughter From the Oldest Playable American Recording

[43] I don't usually add things to your archive, but this story was so fascinating I couldn't resist! --Glenn Hendler (talk) 01:46, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

A Timeless song about a Lonely Traveler

[44] Originally written by Robbie Robertson of the Canadian-American group, The Band, this song was released in 1968, a time of great turbulence in American history. Although the lyrics of "The Weight" strongly reference biblical stories of Moses, Luke, and Jesus of Nazareth, I believe there is an even stronger reference to the racial strife that permeated American culture. In particular, the sound of the female vocalist contrasts with the male lead and provides the listener with a soulful and spiritual Gospel sound inherent in the Southern Baptist Tradition. Additionally, on a more universal level, "The Weight" grapples with human nature and the load that each of us carries when we take on the responsibility in our lives. It is about the search for relief from the heaviness of life that can wear us out. Ultimately, "The Weight" is about community and the ways in which we can grow with the help of others. --IanT (talk) 16:24, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Lasting Meaning?

[45] This song, recorded by the Rolling Stones in 1965 has some controversial undertones because it was adapted from a 1955 gospel song called, "This May be the Last Time", by the Staple Singers [46]. In the original version by the Staples Singers one can hear an uplifting tone that is much more spiritual than the Stones' rendition. Although the lyrics are very similar, the nuances that the Stones' pop version introduced call justice into question. Should the Stones (an all white male band) have compensated the Staple Singers for their work? Does high-profile popularity give the Stones the right to rework an original message by a group of (black) artists? On the other hand, did the Stones have the right to put their original stamp on a song that dates back in time? In their defense, Keith Richards admits to readapting this song, but there were no royalties ever paid. --IanT (talk) 16:58, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Bittersweet Black Sun

[47] Despite this song being about a divorce, it seems particularly pertinent in my life because it poetically speaks to some aspects of the transformation that I am going through right now as a graduating college senior. The lyricist, Benjamin Gibbard writes about the irony that comes with change. At a time in my life where I should feel the happiest, I am looking for the "beauty in the failure" as well as "the role in a lifetime". The sun is supposed to provide light, however in this sweeping ballad to the past I am left in a cloud of darkness with feelings of remorse for the childhood I have to leave behind as I enter the real world. For me, the lyrics have an existential quality about them that speaks to the universal and bittersweet feelings that accompany change. --IanT (talk) 21:32, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Similarity of Light and Sound

[48] We always speak of the qualities that distinguish light and sound, but never much about the fact that both light and sound are alike. They are both waves and when listening to the song, "Ultraviolet Light" by U2 I was reminded of the fact that you can't physically see ultraviolet light just as you can't see sound. However, both light and sound carry energy just as the beat of Larry Mullen Jr.'s drums carry a vibrating energy from the drumsticks to my ears. The inspirational beat intensifies into a cadence that becomes a metaphor for the flow or rhythm of events that characterize the fluidity of life. Interestingly, references to sounds such as "silence", "whispers", "moans", and "opera in my head" characterize the similarities between the physical phenomena of light and sound. Both can be used to inspire and "light my way". --IanT (talk) 22:12, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

Tic Toc

[49] The Davidson and Haualand articles from March 31st really got me thinking about the relationship between sound and its opposite, silence. I watched the movie "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" , directed by Julian Schnabel, over break and for me the silence experienced by Jean-Dominique was very powerful. His suffering from locked-in syndrome caused the ultimate silence, his inability to communicate coherent thoughts to the outside world through sound. However, he developed his own language through blinking. As Haualand stated, "languages contribute to a sense of belonging to other human beings and to the world" (111). Tom Waits' song, "All the World is Green", played during the movie's beach scene when Jean-Do was reunited with his kids on Father's Day is filled with a haunting clarinet that symbolizes the isolation of the main character. The sound of the isolated clarinet is woven throughout the tic-toc rhythmic backdrop of the score. In my opinion, the sound of the piece complements the lyrics and the scenery. I learned just as much by listening to the sound of the scene as I did from watching it. --IanT (talk) 15:05, 6 April 2015 (UTC)


[50] It is easy to see the similarities between Joe Strummer's "Ramshackle Day Parade" and Jimi Hendrix's "Star-Spangled Banner". The sounds of both tracks overtly reference political uprising and thrust for societal change. Eerily, the gritty and powerful guitar riffs of both artists incite the listener with a call for action. Written as a tribute to 9/11, Strummers work has an energy that erupts throughout the track while lyrics like, "here come the marching bands" and "bring out the battles" propel the listener to speak out against injustice. Just as Jimi Hendrix spoke out with the sound of his guitar against the travesty that was Vietnam, Strummer uses his music to resist the interest of society's dominant classes. His punk rock origins are preserved through "Ramshackle Day Parade" as he offers an alternative perspective of culture and politics.


[51] According to Haualand, "our observations and interpretations of the world are only made possible through the sensory experiences of the body" (114). I can think of no better example of this phenomenon than what this scene in "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" demonstrates. Without the ability to speak, how can sound become audible? For Jean-Do speech becomes audible through the senses of sight and hearing. The sound clip here demonstrates an innovative form of speech therapy in which the therapist repeatedly recites the letters of the alphabet at a purposefully slow and meaningful pace and tone. By blinking at the appropriate letter, the "locked-in" patient is able to communicate his thoughts and spell out his words, one letter at a time. In this form of communication, another's sound is the intermediary between the author's thought and the communicated message.

Sights and Sounds of the Sea

[52] This French classic, by Charles Trenet, recorded in 1946 demonstrates the power of sound to serve as a form of escape to an imaginary place. Trenet's version of the song is in the French language, one that I cannot understand, however the combination of the sensual sounds of the words and the full orchestral "color" brings the listener to the seascape. Interestingly, this song has been translated into Italian, Dutch, German, and English and became a classic of the American singer, Bobby Darin (1959). In contrast to Trenet's flowing and melodic version which would remind one of a French impressionist painting, Darin's is much more upbeat reminding one of a trip to the Coney Island Carnival. The vibrations of these tracks demonstrate sounds ability to create a space. Here is a link to Darin's version: [53]

Reenacting the Rants

[54] Artists Daniela Dooling and Les LeVeque use a combination of the spoken word and technology in a collaborative performance which aurally and visually details Daniela's hallucinogenic experience. Both artists work in an innovative way to accurately capture the sound of Daniela's transition from a state of sobriety to unconsciousness. The use of a custom made analog video/audio synthesizer helps to distort Daniela's voice into a technicolor mix of body movements, words, colors, and distorted sounds. They are successful in communicating to the audience the very personal experience of Daniela Dooling, which is much like a mental orchestra. As a result, many members of the audience including myself were dizzied by this overpowering feeling of vertigo caused by Daniela's authentic reenactment. This performance made me more aware of the warping sound our minds can experience when affected by drugs.

The Nuyorican Sound

[55] As the immigrant populations of America began to rise, the amount of immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean began to dominate the populations of many American cities. Because of this influx of people, terms such as “Latino” were created to distinguish the population from the rest of America. However as time passed the populations that immigrated created roots in the country and raised their own families in places such as New York City. This caused cultural disparities in those born in the US. Though they were, by law, Americans, “Puerto Ricans living on the mainland are ethnically stigmatized as foreign or ethnic others.” These populations at the same time, due to location, were also separated from the culture that they were supposedly associated with. This feeling of mistaken identity is what caused movements such as the “Nuyorican Movement” to come about in the 1960’s. This Nuyorican Movement contained any one individual who was of Puerto Rican decent and living in or around New York City. The art that came about was a mix of Puerto Rican and American styles, creating a genre all it’s own. The biggest example of the movement was the music of Willie Colon. The above song mixes the classic musical stylings of Puerto Rican culture with the popular American instrument, the trombone. This mix of American and Puerto Rican culture creates as sense of community within those born in the US with Puerto Rican ancestry. Ajimenez23 (talk) 22:01, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Is Silence Golden?

Anyone who has ever performed in from of a crowd knows that an audience can make of break a performance. Due to the fact that many people often come out for performances of any kind, there is a wide sense of diversity in any given crowd. While there are strong differences the main similarity is that all of the people have gathers to experience the same form of media. This garners a sense of community within in the crowd. These people have come together to listen, view and experience the same performance. And the sounds they put out, or lack of sound has the power to direct a performance. Their silence can be respectful and encouraging as in this first clip[56] or embarrassing and debilitating as in the second clip[57]. The audience has the power, using sound, to direct any performance. Ajimenez23 (talk) 22:01, 9 April 2015 (UTC)


The term "mondegreen" refers to misheard or misinterpreted song lyrics, coined in the 1950's after a writer misheard the words to a Scottish ballad as "Lady Mondegreen" instead of "laid him on the green". Linguist Mark Liberman explains that the way in which we extract meaning from sound is responsible for this phenomenon. It's easy to misinterpret sonds and poems because "extracting meaning from sound comes from a combination of hearing and hoping" [58]. In other words, a part of what we hear results from the actual sound reaching our eardrum, while a part of it also comes from previously held expectations in our brain. If something is difficult to hear or contains imagery or words that don't make sense, people will tend to translate it into something that makes more sense to them according to their perceptions of the word or phrase's context. This is but one example of how expectations and prior knowledge can strongly influence our sensory perception. --Delaneyjavs (talk) 17:17, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Christine Sun Kim

Christine Sun Kim [59] is a profoundly deaf artist exploring sound through her work in performance, installation, drawing, writing and video. Initially, her art strove to translate sound into direct visual terms, making paintings using sonic vibrations. However, she then began to produce her own "semiotics of sound" by combining different languages and systems of meaning, including musical notation, body language, and American Sign Language. Her art works toward producing a newer definition of sound, operating outside the limiting boundaries that currently define sound as "anesthetized vibrations meeting a hearing ear". Because Kim can't hear, her experience of social interaction in the world involves communication without sound: her art is an attempt to reclaim sound according to her own personal distinct experience. In this VICE article [60], the author discusses Kim's conception of the deaf community as a "collective culture" (much like Haualand does in the "Sound and Belonging" article). Kim's art is often collaborative and participatory, working through the shared experience of language outside of sound, exploring concepts like the nuances of facial expression and mediated communication. --Delaneyjavs (talk) 17:31, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

The Kennedy Nixon Debate

In 1960 Senator John F Kennedy and Vice President Nixon had a presidential debate on television. During the debate Nixon was extremely ill but Kennedy was feeling healthy. The striking detail that was found in this particular debate was those who heard the debate on radio believed that Nixon won, while those who watched in on television believed Kennedy won. This is extremely interesting because those who were listening on the radio were listening for content of the debate whereas those watching it on television were watching the motions that came with the tones and inflections along the movements that would have made Kennedy look youthful and appear more impressive. However, the argument is that if you were not watching the two men, Nixon would have been considered the winner of the debate leading to the notion that it was not only content of the arguments but the sound and visual that completed a successful debate for the future president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QazmVHAO0os dbenison

For What It's Worth

The song For What It's Worth written by Steven Stills performed by Buffalo Springfield is a song recorded in 1966 is largely recognized as a protest song in the United States and believed it was written for the shootings Kent State due to it's message. While the song was actually written three years before Kent State and really was not written for that type of protest it still addresses a certain sound and idealism of that era. It also could largely reflect the protests against Vietnam and the song is largely accepted as a song of peace in a very turbulent time in history. The music is very nostalgic and calming a sound many artists were trying to achieve at the time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJY

The Sounds of Star Wars

The early Star Wars movies were very clearly ahead of it's time when it came to special effects and vision. Something that is sometimes overlooked are the strange and interesting sounds that came from the movie. There are many sounds that came from off everyday items that would help to create a stunning sound aspect to the movie and prove it to be so successful. For the sounds of Laser Blasts came from hitting a hammer against an antenna tower guy wire. THe sound of a light saber was combined from the sounds of an old television and an old 33 mm projector. Ben Burtts was the mastermind behind all the sounds and had a keen ear for specific sounds and the collaboration of those sounds in order to create. This lead him to be able find the sound of the entire movie exactly how he envisioned it without the special sound effects that synthesize sounds that are used for movies today.

Record Players

Last year I got a record player along with a couple of albums. I know I wanted it, but it made me wonder if records were making a come back and if they were, why? It's not like record players or records for that matter are that convenient. They are very easily scratched and not easy to transport. The sound quality, I have found however, to be better. I also think that people like the vintage concept and recognize the sound that comes out of the record player as a vintage sound. It also could possibly make people nostalgic for the music that was made during the time when record were possible. I have a record of a live concert of Lynyrd Skynyrd where they ask the crowd what song they should play next. The crowd screams and cheers and yells for "Free Bird" adding to the effect and placing you in that moment in time making for a really interesting and dynamic album. Records seem to deliver a certain sound that is not able to be found in an IPod a CD or a computer.

Post Boston Marathon Bombing Music

On April 27th 2013 I was in Boston on Boylston Street walking around. This was a little over two weeks after the bombing. As I was walking around they had planted flowers at the bomb sites and had places flowers posters and bears in front of the stores the bombs went off in front of blowing the windows open. Like we talked about in class after the terror attacks of 9-11 many people took to music to convey their messages of love, peace and reflection. This is a video I took of a girl singing in front of the Marathon Sports Store which you can see in the background is boarded up. I thought this song was so beautiful and relevant to the this topic that we discussed in class. She was collecting money for the OneFund in her guitar case. Sorry for the poor camera work but it's more about the music anyway!



VEST [61] is an acronym for Versatile Extra-Sensory Transducer, a new development from Rice University in deaf technology that will help the deaf to physically feel and understand speech. It translates sound into vibration patterns that can then be understood by the wearer, and is intended for the deaf as an alternative to the invasive cochlear implant. The vest will collect sound from a mobile app and convert them into tactile vibration patterns on the user's torso, supplanting auditory input. The vibrations received and transmitted by the VEST constitute their own form of language which the wearer will have to be trained to understand, but the end result will be to help localize sound in space and provide an alternate method of "hearing" the spoken word. --Delaneyjavs (talk) 14:25, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Music During the American Civil War


This video talks about the music during American Civil War. The music, as a tool of the Union and Confederate, reminded the army what they were fighting for and preserved their community. The music has very significant values with them. The video gave some examples of the music and the army officers who enjoyed the music. One of the examples of the music is “Home Sweet Home.” It united the army officers, even they are from different sides. When the band started to play "Home Sweet Home," the army officers from both the Union and Confederate responded to the music. They sang with the music and crying when they sang it. It united all the army officers, the Americans, as a whole community. In addition, J.E.B Stuart, one of the Confederate States Amy general during the American Civil War, even built his own camp band and allowed them to play music in the camp for entertainment. This video shows the power of music and proves music can solidify a community. CSS9

Sound and Fury



Sound and Fury is a documentary released in 2000 and talks about how two families with deaf children decide whether or not to give the children cochlear implants and how that may affect the children’s deaf identity. One pair of parents are deaf people and after some research, they think it’s better to not have cochlear implant to protect the child’s deaf identity. They think the child would not like to use sign language, which is their language, and would forget about her deaf identity because she can hear and speak like hearing people. The other pair of parents are hearing people and they think it’s better to have cochlear implant because it gives the child another opportunity to not just be a deaf person but also a hearing person. Hearing sound would not affect the child’s deaf identity. There is also a follow-up documentary of Sound and Fury released 6 years later and the deaf family make a new decision to let their child have cochlear implant. This movie is really interesting because it uses different perspectives of deaf and hearing people to show what is deaf community and how to protect the deaf identity. CSS9

Lewis Carroll's "Jabberywocky"

Caroll's poem, "Jabberwocky" is a well known example of creating sense out of nonsense, with the help of sounds and familiarity within the English language.[62] Though the meaning of the poem is explained by Humpty Dumpty and literary analysis alike, I still find myself returning to this poem because each time the meaning changes for me. Lines such as "'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves" doesnt really mean anything sensible, and yet readers assign meaning, emotions, reactions based on familiarity with other similar words in the English language. Furthermore, the conventions of a sentence and where an adjective and a noun should go and how a sentence should sound when it reads are all applied this puzzling poem. Aside from using sound to create meaning form nonsense words, this poem is also incorporates phrases such as "Callooh! Callay!" and "snicker-snack" which are themselves onomatopoeic. What interests me is if meaning assigned to these words vary across languages. Would an American read the nonsense word "borogroves" differently in this poem than someone from English speaking natives from Japan, China, Guatemala? How much external context do we place when assigning meaning to sound?--Mithos (talk) 22:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

The Hum

[63]There is a worldwide Hum that can be heard and felt by only two to ten percent of the population and it is characterized by a low frequency sound often described as a low hum or a motor or even as truck driving by. People claim to hear these sounds all over the world, but it is especially common in the UK and in Taos, New Mexico as well as Kokomo, Indiana. This site I found contains a World Hum Map, documenting the different places where this low frequency hum is heard, and each documentation answers questions regarding characteristics of the hum they hear and where and when.[64] This hum results in nausea, headache, and pain in the ears. Though this sound in untraceable and there is no proof for its existence, people believe it's not related to hearing impairment or tinnitus. Some have claimed that a small subset of the population may be able to hear radio transmissions at certain wavelengths and have electromagnetic sensitivity. In some rare cases, suicides and deaths have been connected/attributed to this hum. It's interesting that such a phenomena could be heard/felt by only a few and have chronic, psychological and physical effects. This also raises the question of what the source of the hum is (whether natural or human-made).--Mithos (talk) 23:43, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

SimplyRain App

I came across this app available called SimplyRain that allows you to generate the sound of rain for purposes of meditation, relaxation, sleep aid, stress and even increased focus. At this site, you can get a preview of the app and it allows you to adjust the intensity of the sound, the amount of rain, the inclusion and frequency of thunder as well as the oscillation of the rainfall.[65] I always knew that the sound of rain or even gentle whale sounds and anything nature related could help with sleep and stress, but with emerging technology and apps, it surprises me how much control we have of the sounds we hear. What's even more fascinating is how artificial sounds can still produce such a strong emotional and psychological effect. We know the rain sounds produced from SimplyRain are fake and it's not really raining outside right now, and yet the sound itself produces an effect, regardless of its authenticity. --Mithos (talk) 00:28, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

New Girl In Town: White Sound vs. Black Sound

[66]As the American population diversified through the Civil Rights Movement, groups of people sought different ways in which they could define themselves and others. Through things like fashion and speech were used to differentiate the people the main way that many people defined themselves, especially during the Civil Rights Movement, was through music. As music began to change and develop there were certain stylings of music that were closely tied with specific racial groups. As seen in the clip from Hairspray the movie the two groups of singers, one white and one black, sing virtually the same song. In the first version of the song, the rhythm is campy and the singers sing the song with a straightforward tone. The audience of both that time and this one recognize that specific sound as one of whiteness. As the clip continues, the song switches to what is considered the “black” version of the song. The only changes made were the addition of a few horns and the singing his more stylized. There was little different made yet we associate the two versions of the song with two separate racial groups. What makes one version of the song white and what makes one version of the song black?

Jabberjay Torture

[67] In the popular novel and movie series The Hunger Games sound is used in many different ways to signify events and happenings in the novels and movies. When a Tribute has fallen in the arena, the single blast of a cannon is the only way that the other Tributes know that a person has died. When the protagonist Katniss’ friend Rue has died, she whistles a 4 note song that will become a symbol for the revolution. The use of sound is so powerful that both sides of the novel’s major conflict use its power to further their own cause. In one of the most powerful scenes in the second film, sound is used to disorient and in a way torture the Tributes. The Capitol, through the use of genetically engineered birds called Jabberjays, projects the terrified and tortured screams of the Tributes loved ones. The Tributes, as seen in the clip, become panicked and disoriented, as they must rely in their ears rather than their eyes to find the problem and survive the torture. The confusion and torture is so great and so affecting that Katniss falls to the ground, shaking and crying in anguish as the birds shout around her. The Capitol takes advantage of the fact that sound makes us rely on a sense that gets little use and exploits it to it’s full potential

The Post Everyone's Been Waiting For: Hitler

[68] Hitler, despite his lack of a proper formal education, was one of the greatest speakers of his time. He was able to convince thousands of his beliefs and his cause - no matter how absurd and extreme it seemed. His speeches were believed to be effective because of his gestures, and the conviction and quality of his voice. I wonder if this sort of speech would still prove to be effective today. Would some other kind of speech be able to convince today's people of something as extreme as Nazism? --Jting1 (talk)

"Don't Cash Crop On My Cornrows": A Crash Course On Black Culture Appropriation

[69] Amandla Stenberg, a young actress from The Hunger Games movie, gives us a crash course on culture appropriation - specifically with regards with black culture. This video defines culture appropriation as seen in music, fashion, and pop culture in general. She calls out famous artists such as Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Iggy Azalea for their inappropriate acts of appropriation of black culture. The main question is where we draw the line? How far is too far? Is it possible that people today are just reading too much into the use of such cultural instruments as props?

Here's an article I worked on previously for my home university's paper, to maybe shed some more light on the topic: [70] --Jting1 (talk)

Dances With Wolves

In the Movie "Dances With Wolves" Kevin Costner directs and plays an Lieutenant John Dunbar in the Civil War out in the remote West. In this particular movie Dunbar is trying to learn about the Lakota Sioux Tribe and finds himself a friend and participating in some of their rituals. The movie almost three hour longs deals directly with the Sioux dialect in an authentic manner. Costner hired many Lakota's to star as extras or with main roles in the movie to help the movie's authenticity. The movie is amazing because the majority is spoken in the native Lakota language eventually setting a tone to be from Indian perspective. This relates to what we were talking about today with Deloria's essay. We talked today about people depicting a culture they have not been subject to. Costner places his character in a situation in which he joins the side of the Lakota while they were being unfairly moved from their territory. So in this way Costner's character Dunbar is renamed to Dances With Wolves and takes up the culture. However, Costner as a director, is choosing to depict these stories that really have nothing to do with him, just something he found interesting. As a result he created an amazing multi Oscar winning movie.

Sight and Sound: A Partnership Made Perfect On Game of Thrones

The hit HBO television show Game of Thrones is not stranger to shock and awe when it comes to plot points and events on the show. With something traumatic happening almost every episode the writers have engaged most of the viewers senses (mainly sight and sound) in order for each twist and turn to remain fresh. This idea of sight and sound working together can be found in most episodes but is most exemplified in this clip from Episode 3 of Season 3. In this clip [71] one of the main characters Jaime Lannister unexpectedly gets his hand chopped off by one of the men that have captured him. After the shocking and bloody visual of his hand being severed from the wrist, the screen goes black. In the darkness the only sound that is heard is Jaime’s screams of shock and pain. After a brief pause the viewers are once again shocked to hear a rock cover of a song that was sung by the characters in the show. This song, that plays over the credits, is loud and out of place for both the time period and for the event that had taken place seconds before. The creators specifically and expertly use both senses to prolong the shock and awe of the situation. The viewer is initially shocked and confused by the visual image of the severed hand. Then when the screen goes black, the feeling begin to dissipate until the shock of the rock song jolts the viewer back to the same state of shock they just experienced. Both senses working together are what makes this moment one of the most lasting and effective moments on the series to date.

Giving Sounds New Meaning

[72] This clip deals exclusively with ideas of sound, meaning and inflection when having a conversation. The video focuses on two people having a conversation in what sounds like English. As you listen you realize that they words have the accent and inflection of English, however there are very little recognizable words to them. This video is said to simulate what English sounds like to people who do not speak the language. While I cannot view the video from the perspective of a non-English speaker, I can view it as an examination of sound and meaning. There are few recognizable words that have meaning in the conversation between the two characters. As the video goes on the conversation becomes clearer through inflection and tone of voice, despite the lack of words and phrases. The way the sound is manipulated by the two actors is enough to give context to the conversation so that no words are needed. The meaning comes exclusively from the sound rather than the words. The viewer must connect what they already know to be common English to the sounds that they are hearing, skipping the step of phrase recognition. This video could be seen as a way of divorcing sound from meaning however it is also a way of changing the understanding of meaning.

Sound: The Real Horror Film Maker

The effect that sound has on the brain is one of the reasons why horror films are so effective. When I was younger my father used to tell me that a scary movie was no longer scary if the volume was turned off. As I grew to watch more scary music I noticed that the films relied upon sounds to make them scary. The images that her on the screen were not enough to inspire horror. An axe murderer was not as scary if he had no swelling music behind him. A surprise attack was not jump worthy if there was no loud bang accompanying it. I came to realize that it was the sounds that were truly scary and not the images. This video [73] showcases the power of the sounds that accompany many horror films. This video takes the trailer of The Sound of Music and replaces many of the traditional sounds with sounds found in horror films. These sounds changed the tone of the trailer completely to create and eerie and at some points scary video. This small change in the audio proves that sound has a more terrifying effect in horror films than the gruesome images they accompany.

Running with Music


This article shows a debate whether or not we should running with music. As we’ve seen, most of us are used to wearing headphones when we are running, especially on a treadmill. However, is that really a good thing? At the beginning of the semester, we have talked about the sound from our surroundings in today’s technology world, like loud speakers for advertising and traffic noises. The opponents of running with headphones on claim that music separates runners from the surroundings and themselves. For example, the runners wearing headphones are not able to find potential risk that a car or a person behind them. They are also not able to hear their footstrikes which give them the feedback on their efforts and a sense of achievement. In contrast, the supporters of running with headphones on think that music can make running easier. It reduces a runner’s perception that how hard he is running and blocks some fatigue-related messages from body. Music also helps to protect a peaceful inner world that they can totally focus on themselves and adjust their breathing for running better. CSS9

Yelling/Anger In Sports


When we watch sports or training, especially those of football and basketball, we often hear that the coaches are yelling at their players. Most of them may think that raising voice up can be motivational and lead to the players’ peak performances. This article I found studies about this issue and from the different perspectives of players, parents and coaches, reflects negative consequences of yelling. The article shows that as a player, especially a freshman player, screaming or yelling of a coach usually has more negative effects than positive to those young adults. Yelling hurts the players’ feeling and makes them doubt themselves that if they are really good players. For parents, the author suggests that they should not yell at their children, and instead they should monitor the children’s response to a yeller and help them get through it. For coaches, the author gives advices that they should think about more effective ways to motivate the players, rather than keep yelling at them. CSS9

Fordham: Reconstructing the Sounds of the Civil War


At a conferences on Fordham Lincoln Center campus on April 18th, researchers, poets, and musicians came together and talked about how the music is used in military conflicts in the United States. The conference primarily focused on Walt Whitman’s Drum Taps. The link has two videos about the event. One is about that Lawrence Kramer read Walt Whitman’s “Beat, Beat, Drums!” and Rufus Muller sang Stephen Foster’s “I’ll be a Soldier,” and the other one is about that Lawrence Kramer explains the purpose why publish Whitman’s “Drum Taps.” In the second video, Kramer explains that the purpose of “Drum Taps” is to make people realize the cost of Civil War and reunite the country as a whole community. I think this is a really interesting event and “Drum Taps” is a really good primary archive to study about sound in the Civil War through the US literature and history. CSS9

Anger Translator

President Obama gave a speech a few days ago at the Correspondents Dinner. At this dinner he brought out Luther from Comedy Central's Key and Peel to explain what he means when he says certain things in his speech. While hilarious most of the jokes are largely based in truth. This is interesting because it is showing the way Obama is choosing to communicate with his audience. Luther conveys a tone that catches people's ear. By the end however the President found his anger and was able to share it with the Correspondents Dinner on his own. The purpose of this was to be funny but this gives an example of the way public figures choose to communicate with their audience and how different delivery effects perception of the topic. http://digg.com/video/obamas-anger-translator-at-the-2015-correspondents-dinner DBenison

Rocky Theme Song

What makes a song recognizable? What makes you connect a certain sound to an idea, an image or a clip. The Rocky theme song when played for me has always lead to the image of Rocky running up the Museum Steps in Philadelphia and jumping up and down because he is ready to fight. The song is "Gonna Fly Now" and most everyone who has ever seen the movie connects the song with this movie. This song is very inspiring and is considered one of the great sports theme songs of all time. Do we connect more with the scene or with the music? Would one not work without the other in order to be powerful and have the same effect? I believe that the two become dependent upon each other that the sound and the image combined is what creates a successful emotional response for those experiencing the movie. Sometimes sound without image simply isn't enough, in this scene you are able to watch the human spirit and connect it with sounds that build in a way that leads to an inspired reaction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NubH5BDOaD8 Dbenison

Good Morning Vietnam

In this movie it focuses on a radioman sent to Vietnam to help lighten the spirits of the soldiers at war. He is very successful and uses the power of his music and message to help alleviate the stresses of war. Cronauer takes advantage of his radio time and expresses his anti war sentiments which is unheard of at a barracks. His superior officers try to censor what Cronauer is expressing to his fellow soldiers while he see what is going on first hand during the war. This movie takes a special look at the Vietnam war and how the radio was used as a way of communication, information, and socialization. Broadcasting was a major part of war at this point and efforts would be completely futile without it. The censorship was a major problem during the time of the Vietnam and is portrayed clearly through this movie. Robin Williams as Cronauer plays the funny man taking advantage of his opportunity to connect with his fellow soldiers and find some justice in a very unjust war. Dbenison

Katy Perry - “Unconditionally” (AMA)


In the week 12, we talked about the appropriation of Indian culture to music. It reminds me of this interesting appropriation of Eastern culture to Western music. Because of the huge differences of Eastern and Western cultures, they are very hard to come together in a music piece or a music video. However, Katy Perry took a big step to combine her music with a Japanese style performance. In the 2013 American Music Award, she sang “Unconditionally” with Japanese dressing—kimono. On the stage, there are many Asian style decorations, such as Asian screen, Asian lantern, and Asian garden as the background. All the dancers also dressed Japanese clothing and danced like Japanese. However, many people think that Katy Perry’s performance is offensive. They think the Asian culture is misappropriated and commodified to glorify white artists. The presentation of Japanese culture lost its original meaning and were just for entertainment. CSS9

Adele—White Artist Sounding Black


There are many black singers that always perform their songs higher than natural voice range. This kind of sound is usually very touching and impressive. Through these experiences, we have a social construction of the “black sound” that usually this kind of sound is usually emanated by black singers. Therefore, when Adele, a woman who totally looks white, came to the musical scene, people would feel that she sounds black. Moreover, as the history indicates, black people suffers a lot in the past. The expression of pain is also a significant part of authentic black sound. Coincidentally, Adele’s music includes a lot pain experiences. For example, “Someone Like You” sings about the end of a relationship. Therefore, Adele is perceived as a white artist sounding black. I think it’s really interesting to explore what is so-called “authentic black sound” and Adele can be a good example to think about this question. CSS9

The Solo Trumpet and The Godfather

[74] Francis Ford Coppola’s 1971 classic The Godfather has been hailed for decades for it’s seamless storytelling, beautiful camera work and compelling characters however what has not been noted in much detail by movie goers is the use of sound in the movie. Every element of the film, including the sound scape works to immerse the viewer into the world of the Corleone family. The sound work does not go flat at any point in the story. As the characters begin to speak about police activity, a siren can be heard in the background. An image of family, a central theme in the movie, is presented and suddenly there is the cry of a young child. These effects all work to help the audience understand the world, however no sound is more effective as the solo trumpet that has become famous due to the film. As seen in the clip the trumpet is first sound ever heard in the movie. It emerges from darkness and immediately sets the scene for the conversation with the godfather himself Vito Corleone. The trumpet can be heard throughout the film and the audience comes to associate the sound with, not simply the character of Vito, but with the position and power that comes with the role of the Godfather. The sound works so that the audience immediately recognizes both the trumpet and the significance of it before the visuals even happen on the screen. The trumpet give the audiences almost an inside look to the story and what will happen next.

Sounding Power in Scandal


In the discussion questions in the week 13, we talked a lot about gendered sound. I find a good connection of our discussions to this article. Regina Bradley shows that “Scandal,” the American political thriller television series, as a good sound archive to discuss about gendered sound. For example, in the second season of “Scandal,” it plays the Ohio Player’s “Love Rollercoaster” when Olivia, the main character, threatens President Fitz to leak the sex tape to the public. As Bradley says, the music “sonically stabilizes Olivia’s decision to ‘leak’ her sexuality as a power move while also leaving room to question the deeper implications of how the viewer navigates her blackness and womanhood using physical, aural, and cultural markers of sexuality” (Bradley). The music is used as a tool to solidify the images and the audiences can understand the gender idea better through the music. The blackness and maleness of the funk are well applied in Scandal. Scandal connects very well to our discussion about blackness and gendered music, and is a very interesting sound archive. CSS9

Community Voice Heard


This video introduces Community Voices Heard, a member organization of low-income people. All the board members in the video are African American. They may have accents but their English sounds so powerful that they express their feelings as representatives of low-income people and also encourage those people to say their thoughts out. They help those low-income people in New York City to let people hear their voice, for example, organizing the protest in the City Hall for housing. Sound, as a powerful tool, is used to improve the democracy and social equality. It is also a good archive to study about those leaders’ speech skill that how they use their sound to convince people and encourage people. CSS9

Other Forms of Sound

http://www.writtensound.com/index.php?term=human http://ohhhhhhhhh.co.uk/ During this semester, we talked a lot about physical sound. In addition, there are many other expressions of sound. For example, as the technology and electronic devices develop, we are more used to text each other. One way to express sound is to use onomatopoetic word. The links I attached are onomatopoetic dictionaries. They record many words to express sound. For example, “achoo” is the word for sound of sneezing. “Dada” is the word for sound by an infant when he starts to learn language. Moreover, there are also other visual sound. For examples, there are many images to show loud sound without actually hearing sound. The most stereotypical image is to block one’s ears and show a mad face.[75] Therefore, as we’ve seen, sound is not just inferior to visual or totally separates from visual. Instead, sound and visual are more correlated currently and can express each other in their own ways. CSS9

I Want It That Way:The 1970's Hit

[76] Music plays an extremely important part in our understanding of the world around us. It often marks the changes and the passage of time and for many it is truly the only way to differentiate the decades. We have, through various studies and just simply exposure, come to associate certain sounds and musical patterns with certain decades. An upbeat and swinging tempo automatically directs the mind to the 1950’s. The use of synthesizers and a dance beat makes us think of the 1980s. These styles are specific and so ingrained that it becomes interesting to experiment with them. In the video attached the YouTube channel Postmodern Jukebox takes the popular 1990’s hit "I Want It That Way" by The Backstreet Boys with the tempo and mode of 1970’s soul music. The chords and words of the Backstreet Boys sound do not change however swapping out instruments and speeding up the tempo changes the song completely. This new song hits on a completely different memory that what we have previously logged. The brain has no memory of this and therefore cannot place it in time. By simply changing a few things about the music this song has completely changed the way the song and both eras are perceived.

Silence in Pleasantville

The 1998 film Pleasantvilledrops two '90s teens into a '50s sitcom, with disastrous results. One consequence is that the lady of the house, who is used to simply cleaning and having dinner ready when her husband comes home from work, discovers her independence. As such, she is out of the house one night at 6 PM when her husband returns from the city. His cheerful "Honey, I'm home" is met with silence. Disturbed, he calls again and still hears nothing. Such deafening silence is strange to him in this world of stultifying normality. In the next scene, the husband goes to the bowling alley and complains to his friends, who are all having similarly traumatic experiences. These men want chirpy cooks and not silent, independent wives- this experience teaches them the wrongness of that view and catapults them into the modern age.

The Ending of Whiplash

[78] Throughout the entirety of the film WhiplashAndrew Neyman struggles to impress the sadistic band director Terence Fletcher (Oscar winner J.K. Simmons). The finale of the movie is Fletcher's final test, and Neyman seems to fail- an extra piece which Neyman does not know is added to a concert program, and he improvises horribly. Not to be outdone, however, Neyman begins the next piece before Fletcher raises his hand to conduct. The director is initially confused and angry, but eventually he gets on the same wavelength as his player, guiding him through the solo. This power struggle through music shows once and for all that Neyman and Fletcher are in an abusive relationship from which neither of them can escape- this is foreshadowed earlier in the film, when the audience sees Neyman bleed for his art. It's not clear how many takes it took to get this scene right (who knows if the music was actually "live"), but it's a thrill to watch and listen to this music- the scene has barely any dialogue. The sound of stick hitting drum gives the audience a visceral need to keep watching, and our response seemingly propels Neyman to the end of the piece.

Live Music vs. Recorded Music

Billy Joel, one of my favorite musicians, produces great studio recordings, but his live concerts are where his true passion shows. Joel first experiments with this on Songs in the Attic, a 1981 live album. The performance of "Everybody Loves You Now" [79]in particular is filled with fiery emotion from the get-go, when he yells "One, two, three, four" throughout the song where you hear the audience sing along, to the end where the crowd goes wild. This talent has not faded with age- at his 2008 "Last Play at Shea" concert, recorded on CD and DVD, Joel is at his best. "Only the Good Die Young,"[80] which is filled with lustful subtext on its own, particularly benefits from this approach. Joel growls his way through the lyrics, his face sweating as he tells the story of Virginia. At the end, he yells "Thank you, Shea" in ecstasy, and you can tell he's having the time of his life. Live albums are a boon for many artists, but Billy Joel in particular is fiendishly good in front of an audience.

The Demon Factory Whistle of Fleet Street

[81] In Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 dark musical Sweeney Todd the use of sound is obvious at very first glance. The music itself plays a very important role in setting the tone for the rest of the show. While I enjoy the music and think that the tone and harmonies are characters themselves, it was not the music that I found striking. At the beginning of the show the music of the overture plays it’s sinister sounds over the visual of a patterned sheet. Suddenly the audience is shocked by the shrill and loud sound of a factory whistle. This whistles follows the characters and the story as it unfolds. It marks scenes and sounds every time that Sweeny commits a murder. The sound them become associated with murder and the evil that both Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett commit in the show. The sound itself, due to the combination of the volume and the significance, sets the audience in a sense of unease. Hearing the whistle takes their sensory memory right back to the beginning of the macabre words and music of the opening number. This small sound effect does the work of an orchestra to set the tone for the show.

Link Wray's Rumble

[82] Guitarist Link Wray came booming onto the scene in the late 1950's with a unique concoction of distorted electric instrumentation and heavy, "power-chord" based melodies. In 1958 he unleashed his famous tune "Rumble," a daunting instrumental piece that drips with power and energy. It is a fantastic tune, and quite frankly it sounds way ahead of its time. What makes "Rumble" so interesting, however, is that it is the only instrumental song to ever have been banned from radio play in the U.S. Deemed too "offensive," the song was criticized for its alleged potential to incite gang violence. So, amidst the fears of juvenile delinquency that we saw in "Blackboard Jungle," a great song was censored from the air. It is incredible to think that instrumental sound with no attached message or meaning could pose a threat of any kind, but there you have it. Personally, if I were Link Wray I would take it as a compliment, a testament to the groundbreaking nature of the music. You can read more about the history of "Rumble" here. [83] --Dpiserchia (talk) 02:42, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Spread Eagle Cross the Block by Death Grips

[84] So, now that you've heard "Rumble," check this out. Death Grips, an experimental noisy punkish abrasive hip hop trio from Sacramento, California, samples the infamous melody in the third track of their debut album/mixtape, "Exmilitary" (released 2011). Their music proclaims that they are the best, newest, most insane thing to ever happen to music. What better way to support such a loud, ego-maniacal claim than to utilize a guitar riff that has been historically controversial? Death Grips' music in some way is often about stirring the pot, about challenging, about doubting the self, about doubting everything outside the self. Their use of "Rumble" is almost humorous in its reference to a time when mere electric guitar could strike fear in the hearts of listeners and call for censorship. The sampling is effective in its reference to the history of the tune, and it also creates a similar chilling backdrop for the harsh, screaming verses heard by the modern listener. If you're interested in how they've chosen to approach pushing boundaries in their more recent work, listen to this [85] or virtually anything from any of their seven albums. They somehow seem to reinvent themselves with each release, never ceasing in pushing the boundaries of what can even be considered "hip-hop." --Dpiserchia (talk) 02:52, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

This is Your Brain on Podcasts

[86] I was inspired to do this post by a friend who frequently listens to podcasts and audiobooks while driving instead of music like most normal people do. The article I've linked discusses some of the neuroscience behind listening to books and podcasts. Some studies showed that it is easier to become distracted or forget what one has heard, and that focus and memory are better held while reading books. However, many participants point out that dramatized narrations made possible by audio technology make the stories or information more vivid than books do. The emergence of new technology is also vital to the new prevalence of listening to books or podcasts. Nowadays your phone can carry more books than a bookshelf ever could. A book could also never let you hear the sound of a gunshot in a murder mystery. But, an audiobook certainly could. I wonder whether these dramatized narratives in conjunction with sound effects are freeing or limiting the imagination. Combine a good graphic audiobook with Bose noise-cancelling headphones and you're all but completely in a different world! --Dpiserchia (talk) 03:04, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

The Necessity of Musical Hallucinations

[87] This is a really interesting article about the phenomenon of hearing music in our heads. I think this article is great for the class not just because of the topic, but also because it is interlaced with links to sound clips of the music and sounds it describes. So, the article itself is a great fusion of visual/textual and audible media, one made possible by the technology we have today. Technology and sound seem inexorably linked these days, don't they? Anyways, the author, Jonathan Berger, concludes that the music in our heads is a "fundamental mental process," and that these sounds may encourage us to explore ourselves amidst the increasing noise of the outside world. It is weird to think about, but the music in our heads is not actually sound, yet we "hear" it nonetheless. I think in a sound class it is equally important to consider the value of silence, as did John Cage with his 4'33" composition. As a musician I can testify to the fact that every once in a while it is very nice to get away from the sounds of the world and listen to my own head as a source of inspiration. --Dpiserchia (talk) 03:14, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

"Not 'Hearing Loss,' but 'Deaf Gain'"

[88] This clip from the show Switched At Birth presents an interesting perspective on deafness. It suggests that the deaf are do not "lose" anything, and that "hearing loss" is an incorrect term. This video shows deaf students explaining why there is "deaf gain" as opposed to "hearing loss." It proposes problems regarding identity, community, and the social lives of the hearing, which the deaf kids claim they do not have as much of. It also explores the idea that hearing is not, or should not be, the norm. This not only relates to our discussion on the deaf, but also somewhat to soundscaping. This is a bit farfetched, but I think it is the inability of the deaf to create a soundscape separate from others that helps them build community. It is one more sense barrier broken. --Jting1 (talk)

Ferguson, Missouri Police Scanner

[89] On the evening that the grand jury reached its verdict on the shooting of Michael Brown, violence broke out in Ferguson. I obviously could not be there to see it, but I was made aware of a link to a site where I could listen in on what was going on there at the time. So, I sat at my computer for a little bit and recorded some of what I heard. I will let the brief recording speak for itself. I simply wish to comment on how interesting, even exciting, it is that technology now allows someone like me to witness through at least one sense a chaotic situation happening miles and miles away. As I sat there listening I was moved nearly to tears. So many guns. So many buildings burning. I actually had to go take a walk for a bit to clear my head and just left the phone next to the computer, recording away. Sound truly has the power to bring things to life, to make them seem all too real. --Dpiserchia (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Sounds of Protest

[90] A few months ago I attended a march through Manhattan in protest of the judicial treatment of the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This sound clip highlights what I felt was the most tense moment of the evening. We had marched all through the city and by nightfall had made it to City Hall. There were many, many, MANY police officers in various degrees of gear standing before us. I was one amongst many, a voice amid thousands of swarming, angry, solemn people who had come together under a common cause. All of a sudden the sight of the officers wearing their smug silence and smirking slyly at us became too much. The chanting of "Fuck the police!" grew into a rebellious speech about how our numbers could outmatch their bullets. For a minute the air seemed to lurch. I've never been so strongly effected by just a few words. "Are we gonna let it go to waste?" the man cried. "Are we gonna let it go to waste?!" the crowd roared in unison. I can't to this day pinpoint what I felt at that moment. Part of me, as part of the mob, thinking back on past interactions with the NYPD, wanted to seize the moment and make something happen. Be the match that struck first. It seemed like everyone there felt that for a moment. But the moment passed and we did nothing, for better or worse I really can't say. Again, the power of sound, of words, and of the stillness in-between was unforgettable. --Dpiserchia (talk) 04:03, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Clicking and Clacking

[91] This sound snippet is just a recording of what I hear more or less every day and every night. My roommates all love playing computer games and have mechanical keyboards. These keyboards are rather fun to type on but are louder than one would expect. It is weird for me to live in a dorm again after several years of having my own spaces off campus. I never thought about the soundscape of the "home" until I didn't really have one. I love my roommates but the clicking of computer keyboards and mouses into the wee hours of the night and the early morning are not part of what I would call my home, my space. At some point, I love the sound of silence. It is what grounds me at the end of the day. The sound of a keyboard clicking has become so other to me because of this experience that even typing these posts is disconcerting and odd. --Dpiserchia (talk) 03:57, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Mystery Sound Without a Source

[92] To be perfectly honest this sound sample isn't anything too special. I was walking back to campus one night and heard a weird but kind of cool sound that I could not identify the source of. I didn't know what or where it was coming from. I started recording on a whim because I like cool sounds and only later realized that this was a great example of how for hearing people, sound is intensely linked to its source. When I can't figure out the source of a sound, it confuses, annoys, and intrigues me. --Dpiserchia (talk) 03:57, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Music in Film

[93] I and my friend earlier were talking about the importance of sound and music in films. Horror and suspense especially rely on sound (or lack thereof) to get the most scare out of scenes. We were talking about how the sound sets the tone, and how it can deceive the audience or foreshadow something the audience should expect. It creates the mood of a scene, and any changes in music would greatly affect how a scene works. This clip shows the same scene in Pirates of the Caribbean, but shows it with different background music. All seem quite applicable to the scene, but present different moods that affect the effect of the scene to its audience. --Jting1 (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Vibe and the "Sound of New York"

Before having arrived at New York for my term abroad, I've always imagined Frank Sinatra and lounge music to be the sound that defined New York for me. I and a couple of friends had a conversation about this, and they had different ideas of what New York sounded like to them. One was into hip hop and rap, while the other liked to listen to Andrew Belle's music. We settled it by labelling Sinatra as Manhattan, Belle as Brooklyn (as this is where that friend resided), and hip hop and rap for the Bronx. It is a wonder as to how we are able to ascribe certain sounds not only to certain groups/ people, but also to places and memories. We are able to get the "vibe" of the place and, for no other reason besides "just because," we are able to liken them to a certain sensation related to sound. (I find myself doing the same thing and associating also in terms of smell.) --Jting1 (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Sound Recreation

[94] Sound technology today has made it possible so that practically any sound can be recreated in some artificial means. This video shows the struggle in the past. This is a recording of "Part of Your World" from Disney's The Little Mermaid. The singer, Jodi Benson, was made to stay in a dark place and a big enough room in order to recreate the sound of singing in a cave. The big, hollow room was necessary for sound to properly bounce of, but the darkness had more to do with the ambiance and to affect Jodi's tone. --Jting1 (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Insomnia and Soothing Sounds on Spotify

[95] The other day in class, we were speaking about how certain sounds evoke/ illicit certain emotions. Some sounds are even used to relax and calm a person, or even put them to sleep. Today, when we open Spotify, there are select sounds/ music for studying, relaxing, concentrating, sleeping, etc. There was a period of time when I experienced insomnia and was not able to sleep for days, due to stress and anxiety in my freshman year. I found that listening to calming things - most especially the sound of rain, waterfalls, the ocean - helped. I also listened to one of my mother's favourite singers (who has one of THE most calming voices I've ever heard. This album in particular was helpful: [96] ). Music, then, is not just something we hear. We take it in, and it somehow affects us physically/ psychologically. --Jting1 (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Miss Tres

[97] Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. We tend to make assumptions on sound based on appearance. We have discussed in class how usually the visual complements the audio. However, this is not always the case. This is why many find transgendered singers entertaining. This video shows Miss Tres, three transgendered males who audition for Asia's Got Talent. The judges assumed that the very effeminate figures in front of them would sing like female singers. However, they are surprised and delighted to hear such deep (but, nevertheless beautiful) voices. Another example would be a straight Filipino male, who is able to sound female because of his ability to reach a high pitch [98] --Jting1 (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Throwback Tunes

[99] One of the most often played songs on the radio is Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk." It is able to imitate the sound of funk from back in the 60's. He does the same with his song "Runaway Baby," but tries to capture a different era in music [100] . This has become a trend in music lately, also with Meghan Trainor trying to bring back 50's music and doowop by incorporating it into her pop songs such as "All About that Bass [101] " and "Dear Future Husband [102] ". Besides fashion, music seems to be going into a cyclical trend by revisiting old styles. --Jting1 (talk) 03:32, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

"3D Soundscape for Visually Impaired"

Research group Future Cities Catapult and tech company Microsoft have developed a headset that sends the wearer three-dimensional sound information in a push to make urban areas more navigable for blind people [103].Using audio technology developed by Microsoft,navigation and contextual information is delivered through vibrations in the headset that transmit sound through the wearer's jaw and cheek bones to the inner ear.This, combined with bone's ability to conduct lower frequency sounds, allows the wearer to still hear the noises around them as usual, but also be aware of another layer of voices and alerts from the device. The headset creates noises that trick the brain into thinking they come from certain directions creating a "3D soundscape". If a wearer is facing the wrong way, a sound that seems to come from behind them can help them change direction.Through an audio experience like this, the added richness helps blind people visualize the neighborhood around them while the sense of immersion provides the confidence to interact more with the outside world than ever before. I was greatly impressed with the technology as it made me realize the blind community had been ignored for much too long. As effective as guide dogs are, there seems to be very little advancement in tools designed for the blind. The idea of a "3D Soundscape" that empowers the visually impaired through audio cues seems like an innovative and accessible use of the sense of hearing, that is especially heightened when blind. --vegakathleen

Sound Maps

What is the sound of New York? And is it any different from London? Sites such as New York's Soundseeker[104],and the London Sound Survey [105]try to map cities in a way designed to lure us away from our emphasis on sight. "Sound walking", opens the ear to "soundmarks" as much as landmarks. Many sounds of ordinary, everyday life in a city , illustrates the nature of the city and what it's like to live there. As a subjective representation of the cities it is obvious to me that the creators had to make limiting choices as to what sounds will be connected to each area. However, I still think that these interactive maps involve all the senses and encourages the imagination to produce an image of the scene in their head. By focusing on the sense of hearing over the sight, these maps are adding depth and a new perspective to mapmaking. To know a city or an area means more than recognizing the landmarks, it is being familiar with the sounds and smells too.--vegakathleen

Extinguishing Fire Through Sound

[106] This video presents an invention designed to extinguish fire through the use of low-frequency sound waves.What I enjoyed most about this video is how cool the actual device looks, it reminded me of the ghostbusters a little bit. I digress. More importantly, the power of sound is seen here to be quite adaptable and even life-saving.I find it interesting that depending on the frequency, sound can break glass or put out fires. The question remains if this type of device can be put to practical use on large scale fires such as house fires or forest fires,or if this will remain a science project of sorts. --vegakathleen

Sonic Torture

Nazi camp commanders made deliberate use of music to mentally break the prisoners and to rob them of their dignity and cultural identity. They also used it to achieve ideological ends. By using the camp’s loudspeaker system, present in some of the earliest camps, they aimed to manipulate, intimidate and indoctrinate the prisoners. During the first generation of concentration camps, Dachau formally integrated music into daily life more than any other camp. The camp commander, Theodor Eicke,using modern technology of loud speakers played German music,such as the Nazi Party National Anthem [107] seen as the expression of a culturally and artistically unified Nazi racial community. The music was often played continuously into the night, penetrating any calm or quiet with the militaristic sounds of German marching music. The music was also meant to block out the screams of prisoners and allow the torturers to detach from the brutality of their actions.For me, the incredibly brutal use of music to either brainwash or break down the psyche of prisoners raises the question at what point do the prisoners stop hearing it? Is there a possibility that after such constant exposure they could have just become deaf to the sounds from the loudspeaker? I myself often find that when I'm in a waiting room for several hours I begin to forget their's music playing and never notice the songs playing. Can the music still affect their mentality if they can longer hear it? --vegakathleen

Crickets Slowed Down


Created by American experimental stage director and playwright Robert Wilson, it’s a field recording of crickets chirping at night – but with an unusual and highly original twist. The audio piece actually features two tracks: in one, the crickets are chirping at regular speed; the other track is a slowed-down version of the first. The result is surprisingly melodious without any instruments being used, like a haunting orchestra and distant choir.I found that the sound created a sense of two worlds going at different paces, one track reminds me of our familiar fast-paced lives, the other is eerie, maybe even nostalgic? Through the manipulation of natural sound, Wilson seems to have revealed the unearthly quality hidden within. --vegakathleen

Sound Scultpure

[109] A sculpture called Organ of Corti is designed to feed on the sound around it. An array of acrylic tubes forms an enclosure you can walk into. It acoustically filters and changes the sound of the street, each tube highlighting different frequencies.It works on the principles of sonic crystals, which absorb different parts of sound, modulating it from one side to the other. The sculpture was created for tuning on the world that makes you aware of the city sounds your brain spends a lot of time and energy tuning out. I believe, the sculpture is challenging the conceptions of what constitutes music by offering a frame through which to listen to the sound in our own landscape. People passing by will be reminded of the beauty and value of sound and then ask themselves if they are stilling "listening" or if in this sound-saturated world they have blocked it all out.--vegakathleen

Listening to Wikipedia

[110] Listen to Wikipedia is a site and app that that draws from Wikipedia’s recent changes feed to translate the sum of the tweaks into a symphony. Bells denote additions to a page, and plucked strings represent deletions. Synthesized strings swell and fall in the background. Larger revisions yield more resonant notes. It uses a pentatonic scale to avoid screeching dissonance.I never thought Wikipedia could be imagined as a harmonic collaboration, yet by connecting sound to individuals action the site is more than pretty music, it is an aural celebration of the sharing of ideas. It serves as a sensory reminder that people are sharing and responding to ideas all the time, at a fast pace. The idea is that every user makes a noise, every edit has a voice.--vegakathleen

Song of Warming Planet

[111] University of Minnesota undergrad Daniel Crawford used his cello to communicate climate science through music. Crawford used an approach called data sonification to convert global temperature records into a series of musical notes. Crawford based his composition, A Song of Our Warming Planet, on surface temperature data from the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Each note represents a year from 1880 to 2012, with low notes assigned to relatively cool years and high notes to relatively warm years. While the higher and higher notes are striking, even more jarring is how low notes just disappear as time goes by. His use of music and sound can turn a cold set of data into a vivid experience. The result is a haunting musical representation of the state of our planet, and a glimpse at where it is heading.--vegakathleen

Aural Memory Machine

[112] Wolfgang Fadi Dorninger’s Aural Memory Machine is an six-channel sound installation. It is an excursion through Dorninger’s aural memory. All visitors have to do is enter any text they want using a Midi keyboard at one of eight terminals on site. In real time, the texts launch field recordings of the acoustic surroundings, which are grouped into various thematic clusters.The stations allow you to construct a giant acoustic environment. The extraordinary acoustics of each venue engender constantly emerging, varying and disintegrating worlds of sound.The aim is to create new sound fusions that give rise to new situations, which, in turn, create free spaces in which to engage in a discourse. Once made, the acoustic backdrop can never be reproduced.--vegakathleen

The Golden Record

[113] The Voyager spacecraft was launched in 1977 and aboard it was a phonograph record. This record called the golden record contained images and sounds meant to represent Earth and the human race to any extraterrestrial life which may come upon it.Some of the content included auditory messages of spoken greetings in 55 different languages, natural sounds such as wind and wave, and music ranging from Bach to Chuck Berry. To play the record the aliens must follow a very simple drawing which directs them on how the stylus will play the record from the outside in and written around it in binary arithmetic is the correct time of one rotation of the record, 3.6 seconds. Etched on the record is the inscription "To the makers of music – all worlds, all times". The chance of anything finding and then being able to play the record is very slim. However, I agree with Carl Sagan, who was on the team that headed this project, that even sending out the sounds of children and thunder into space shows a great deal of hope about humanity. The auditory messages chosen also show what we hold dear. All the spoken messages carried with them greetings of peace.--Mvega18

Communicating in Close Encounters of The Third Kind

[114] The movie Close Encounters of The Third Kindis a beloved sci-fi movie by Steven Spielberg. The movie was released in 1977 and it centers on a visitation from aliens and how humankind must prepare to make contact with them. In the famous scene where the mother ship lands, we see two different life forms communicate through sound. Not words but music. The five musical tones in Close Encounters are,, Re, Mi, Do, Do, So. The second Do is an octave below the first. The five tones were chosen by composer John Williams after trying about 350 of the approximately 134,000 possible five-note combinations available in the 12-tone chromatic scale. He said the choice was arbitrary, but actually they are critical tones of the major scale. Many music scholars have later supported this choice because there is the idea that a melody composed on a minor and major scale could in theory be understood by any life forms who can hear vibrations.--Mvega18

Idioglossia:Twin Talk

[115] Idioglossia is a term referring to a shared language or form of communication made up and spoken by very few people, usually one or two. This is most often seen between young siblings especially twins. This secret language found in twins is actually not that rare and twins are regularly reported to invent languages of their own, unintelligible to others. An example are the Kennedy Twins of 1978. Grace and Virginia Kennedy were American identical twins who used an invented language until the age of about eight. The girls were neglected by the parents who worked long hours and therefore had very little contact with others. Because of this emotional neglect the girls did not pick up english as other twins do. Their language was extremely quick and had a rapid rhythm. Specialists found it to be a mixture of English and German which was the language their grandmother spoke. They called themselves Poto and Cabengo. Listening to their sounds it is easy to hear that the girls are mimicking the sounds that had surrounded them in their enclosed life. Creating this sound which is intelligible to all others helped to create a much needed connection. --Mvega18

Shakespeare: Original pronunciation

[116] This youtube video shows the contrast between the modern sound of Shakespeare to what his plays actually would have sounded like in the 14th and 15th century. In the video we see a father and son read the same lines yet the sound vastly differs. The original pronunciation or "OP" as it is called comes out harsher. However,there is no ‘single’ OP. All periods of English contain many accents, and this allows for variant OP performances. The evidence that helps to reconstruct the sound is often mixed, and choices have to be made about which sound qualities to go for. Variations in spelling can point in different directions. Observations by contemporaries can indicate that some words had different pronunciations. Deductions by historical linguists can reach different conclusions about the quality of a sound. Any attempt to reconstruct an earlier period of pronunciation is based on as much scientific evidence as is available, but inevitably involves a certain amount of guesswork. He mentions how the evidence of how a sound sounds comes from written descriptions from writers such as Ben Johnson. This shows the link between what is written and what is said and how they interlock. This "new" old sound is recreated based on mentions such as how the "r" sound mimics that of a dog growling etc. --Mvega18

Glass Machine

[117] “Glass Machine” is an app created in 2012 that allowed people to create music inspired by Philip Glass’ early work by simply sliding two discs or circular graphic projections around side-by-side, almost like turntables. People can select different instruments – from synthesizer to piano, and generate polyrhythmic counterpoints between the two melodies. By moving these colored disks one can create a combination of notes, the longer lines being the higher notes.It allows those who may not be so musically inclined to understand complex patterns of composers such as Philip Glass. The interactive visuals portray sound as jumping dots, and moving lines that tremble with just a touch. It gives sound a tangibility like never before.--Mvega18

Gendered Voice:Siri

[118] Siri answers questions in a part-human, part-robot voice that's deep, efficient and distinctly female. At least in the U.S. Siri is female, in France and the U.K. it is a he. People describe the app using female pronouns. Her gender has even prompted some users to flood blogs and online forums with sexually suggestive questions for Siri such as "What are you wearing?" The robotic voice's response: "Why do people keep asking me this?" The fuss over Siri's sex also raises a larger question: From voice-mail systems to GPS devices to Siri and beyond, why are so many computerized voices female? It may be because from the day we were born generally there was a sense of safety and a calming effect in our mother's voice more so than our father's. There is also history to back this up going all the way back to World War II when navigational devices in airplane cockpits employed the use of a female voice to stand out among the male soldiers. Also telephone operators have traditionally been female, making people accustomed to getting assistance from a disembodied woman's voice. One notable exception has been Germany, where BMW was forced to recall a female-voiced navigation system on its 5 Series cars in the late 1990s after being flooded with calls from German men saying they refused to take directions from a woman. Even the commercial for Siri plays up a sexist stereotype of women cat-fighting and gazing at themselves in the mirror.--Mvega18

PASD: Phone Alarm Stress Disorder

[119] Hearing the alarm you use to wake up in the morning coming out of someone else's phone at another time of day is among the terrors of modern life. Being forced to revisit the daily trauma of waking up can trigger confused panic, uncontrollable rage, adrenaline rushes, and arm spasms as muscle memory compels you to reach for a nonexistent nightstand. Phone Alarm Stress Disorder (PASD) is definitely an internet joke but it definitely holds some truth.Every morning the same sound from your phone wrenches you from an unconscious state and into a conscious one, so sounds associated with the daily trauma of waking up are imprinted on your mind. It's like hearing the ice cream truck song and all of a sudden feeling a little happier...and hungrier. It is a modern Pavlov and his dog. The association between a sound and a negative or positive result makes us feel either good or bad.--Mvega18

Tidal Music

[120] Jay Z introduced Tidal on March 30 as a streaming music service to challenge Spotify, Apple and Google. The artists — not the big entertainment studios — would control a majority of the company, and they promised fair economics for all musicians. Tidal is far more expensive than Spotify but this supposedly because the auditory quality is much better. The music is cripser, with high-quality streams. Jay-Z and his famous friends are asking fans to care more about the music than the money. However, no one seems to care. Tidal got tons of negative news coverage and a very small percentage of people actually buying it. Nowadays the quality of sound means little to the average consumer. There is a deep conviction inside most of us that feels music should not be expensive. Most people will pay too see a movie or buy a book but sound has this label of not belonging to anyone. On youtube one can find hundreds of videos of songs that have been altered somehow for copyright issues and this creates a song with warped tempo and a voice like a chipmunk. However, it seems more reasonable than paying over fifteen dollars a month for music. This I feel stems from radio culture. Your radio comes with your car so there is this assumption that the music being played is free. Unlike a movie or cable which comes with a bill every month or even Netflix which needs a paid account. Tidal has a future I believe if they lower their prices.--Mvega18

War of the Worlds

[121] The broadcast by Orson Welles of the novel War of The Worlds is incredibly famous.On Halloween eve in 1938, the power of radio was on full display when a dramatization of this science-fiction novel scared the daylights out of many of CBS radio's nighttime listeners.War of the Worlds became a lightning rod for radio’s supposedly dangerous potential in the public sphere. It functioned as a way for listeners to make sense of World War II and the fear of invasion by foreign, aka “alien,” enemies.It was produced at a time when radio was considered the dominant form of domestic entertainment. The sound that Welles created was of an authentic and realistic world coming to an end. As he read out these diary entries it was like families were listening to a soldier reacting to a war.One must remember the radio was where everyone got their news. You can relate it to as if you sat down to watch CBS news on tv and they were showing zombies walking the street. The use of radio was crucial for the overall affect. Even now we can listen to it and understand more how people were feeling at this tense time in history.--Mvega18


[122] Finally, after talking all semester about being a musician, I'd like to share some of my music. Not my band's music, but just mine. The song is called Julia. It was recorded on a beaten up old guitar in October of 2014. It's not quite finished yet and I'm not sure if I'll ever be finished writing it. It is for and about my cousin who passed away in September. She was 18 years old. She is loved and missed. I hope Sun Ra was right about the power of vibrations. --Dpiserchia (talk) 23:53, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Brain Games


Time frame: 23:55 to 32:30 minutes

(You can watch Brain Games on Netflix for higher quality)

The first episode of this National Geographic show reminded me so much of our class discussions; especially the women who create sound effects for movies. I loved the "wet hamburgers hitting the ground" sound-bite example they used for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It exemplifies how we have to trick our brain into believing what we see through the use of sound. The premise of the show is to explore the "tricks" of our brain, and I found it really interesting how our brain is constructed to quickly find meaning of sound. It's constantly searching its database of past experiences to help identify what is making that sound, so you can make a fast decision about whether or not you need to pay attention. In the wet hamburger example, the women build sounds that read qualities for your brain, so you never have to think, is that really what a raining burger would sound like? � The show then goes on to identify visuals with sounds and it's gripping to discover what images you choose to perceive/produce by what you hear. Alas, our brain's flexible interpretations of sound help us figure out what the heck's going on out there. --Clairie73 (talk) 22:03, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Have you heard these sounds before?

[124] TIME magazine explores the sonic mysteries of the internet, proving that "space is incredible" and "our planet is its own frontier of intrigue and unexplainable phenomena". One feature of the article is the phenomenon of the "Hum". Recently, thanks to modern technology, bizarre moments of "Hum" have been captured on video, making it an Internet sensation. The "Hum" is exactly what it sounds like- a persistent and invasive low-frequency humming, rumbling, or droning noise. What makes these "Hum" moments special, however, is that there are seemingly no tangible explanations as to what is causing the noise. Further, some people cannot even hear the "Hum". It's unfortunate that in this particular video, the creator decided to go the religious route, stating that the "Hum" was God's sign of the end of the world; however, many do argue the supernatural feel of the "Hum", alluding to extraterrestrial sensations . --Clairie73 (talk) 22:23, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Music and the Complexity of the Brain


I know this website/article isn’t visually stimulating (because it’s a college paper written on 1999 First Web Reports for a ‘Biology 202’ class) but please read the information: Feyza Sancar’s findings are so cool! It’s an incredibly interesting essay on the way our brain processes and responds to sounds, primarily music. What is it about a sad melody that makes us sad? Why are “pump up” songs considered pump up songs? What is it about certain songs that, once they hit our outer ear (or pinna) and funnel into the ear canal, we have an emotional response? My girl, Feyza, argues that: “The involvement of emotion in the process of interpreting music is also very important in the effect of music on the brain. It has been established that certain melodic and harmonic elements may prove more pleasing to the brain. The brain is mainly an organizer. Information that is organizable normally produces some sort of pattern or structure. In music, pattern and structure are greatly related to the contour and line of melodies. It is interesting to note that contiguous notes (those that remain close together) demonstrate successful melodies. It seems that this type of line or contiguity is not only anticipated but pleasure provoking due to the fact that it is organizable by the brain y the brain... The pleasing effect of melodies and harmonies are mediated by personal as well as cultural preference. It has been theorized that individuals are greatly influenced by the tones found in their native language which in turn influence their native music. This may imply that individuals raised in different cultures have brains which are 'wired' to respond to different melodic/ harmonic contours and lines. Similarly, varying neuronal contiguity would theoretically dictate which lines are thought to be organizable and anticipated by the brain. Hence, the emotions provoked would also vary based on the fulfillment of the anticipated harmony. As such, it could be that melodies are first processed, at the same time they are remembered, and finally organized to produce an emotional (i.e.-physiological) response based on the fulfillment of anticipatory harmonic balance". So, we can thank our culture for the way our brain organizes and responds to sound *le sigh* (ClaireM)

The Role of Sound in Martial Arts


As I mentioned in class, I have my black belt in Tae Kwon Do and sound plays a very important part in many forms of martial arts. The article speaks to the importance of effective breathing and the role it plays in our bodies and in the way we train. What I like about this article is the way it introduces us to women in sports, specifically Monica Seles, the pro tennis player. She was known for her loud grunts and other noises on the court and was even the subject of an SNL skit that parodied her. The basis of my research paper will begin with the inability of women to be "heard" in sports without facing some variety of mockery. The article, entitled "The Vital Role Of The Kiai, Grunt, And Otherwise Noisy Exhale", is one of the starting points of my research paper delving into why women are silenced in sports regardless of their talent.--KadyJ (talk) 00:28, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

The Sound of Silence


I am a huge Simon and Garfunkel fan and one of my favorite performances of theirs is the 1981 Central Park concert. A huge fan favorite is "The Sound of Silence", which always strikes me as one of their most beautiful and perhaps most mystifying songs. It is interesting that a song about silence be performed in front of millions of people who can not only hear the song but respond with noise of their own in the form of cheers and applause. One of the most powerful lines in the song is as follows: "And in the naked light I saw, Ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening,\, People writing songs that voices never share, And no one dared, Disturb the sound of silence." Simon and Garfunkel are speaking more to the inability of people to really listen or to speak what needs to be said. The "silence" is this need for substance amidst a lot of chatter and inadequacy.--KadyJ (talk) 00:28, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Her Noise


I stumbled across this website while doing some research into "the sound of feminism". It is called "Her Noise" and it investigates the roles of gender in sound and how female artists who use sound respond to their own gender through their medium. The site is full of videos and audio clips from different contributors, which they refer to as curators. There is also a section called "Tangled Cartography: The Mapping of Her Noise", which is a "diagram of what we saw as the background to Her Noise. A mishmash of names, inexplicably interlinked with a complicated structure of lines and boxes was designed for the Her Noise catalogue". My favorite of the links on this site is the Her Noise Radio, which includes music, talks and readings. Her Noise really delves into what it means to be heard as a woman in society.--KadyJ (talk) 00:28, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

[129] We spoke quite a bit about racism and the effects of sound and language on the perpetuation of racist culture in our class. The blog "Villainous Company" is a comedic and hilariously vulgar commentary on today's society. However, in their article "Racism, Conversations, and the Sound of One Hand Clapping", they really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the discussion of race and racism in society. The point of the question "What is the sound of one hand, clapping" is that it takes two hands to make a sound. While the author makes several questionable statements, I believe that her general idea that we must work together to end racism is a correct one. There can be no steps made in the right direction until we are willing to take those steps together. --KadyJ (talk) 00:29, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Live Music

[130] As we discussed in class, there are just some bands that must be heard live to fully appreciate their talent; their interaction with the crowd is apart of the performance. It's almost as if each lyric sounds better from a sweaty, breathless mouth, rather than a clean, manicured speaker (even tho, arguably, you are still hearing them through a speaker at a concert). I recently heard one of my favorite songs "Where is my mind?" performed lived by the Pixies. They were so bad live, it made me love them even more. They were off key, their lead singer was not on cue. They looked terrible. But, some grunge songs need to be bad live, as it humanizes the performance and artists themselves. It says, "We are not perfect, we would rather feel loose and dirty, than bubbly and flawless". And, most importantly, it puts the emphasis on the sound of the song. The music is what drives the true fans. The Pixies are sonically appealing, melodically appealing-- they are true artists, not reliant on light shows and backup dancers. Additionally, I finally heard the story behind the song: it's actually about Black Francis's experience SCUBA diving in the Caribbean. So the line, "I was swimmin' in the Caribbean", is not a trivial hallucination, as I expected, but, rather, a real, meaningful experience he had playing in the ocean. (ClaireM)

Deaf People Listen to Music Too

[131] Rachael Gross has several interesting insights into the world of deaf music in this article. People often make the assumption that deaf people cannot listen to music. However, this is incorrect. Deaf people can still enjoy music, despite the fact that they cannot hear the sound of said music. As long as they can feel vibrations, they can feel the rhythm of music and enjoy music just like hearing people. Additionally, some deaf people can tell the pitch of the song. Ultimately, "The perception of the musical vibrations by the Deaf is likely every bit as real as the equivalent sounds, since they are ultimately processed in the same part of the brain” (WebMD). Deaf people just need to- literally- feel the music, man. (ClaireM)


[132] Even if you can listen to the first 30 seconds of this video, you get the idea. The rioters in Baltimore this week have turned the city upside down, causing total mayhem for the whole city. I do believe that some young kids are just partaking in the riots as a way to be apart of something bigger than themselves, and enjoy the chaos of it, perhaps finding it fun. However, most these children aren't angry delinquents as many media outlets have labeled them. These are the cries of fed up, oppressed black youth, who have been targeted and victimized by the police force. Police brutality is a real and sharp truth of our society, and the mass incarceration of black men is an issue that needs to be resolved. Perhaps turning the city upside down is not the solution to this problem; but listen to the sounds of the mobs and comprehend how intense of a problem this has become. --Clairie73 (talk) 00:01, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

The Sound of Hip Hop

[133] As we're all Bronx residents, I think it's necessary that we acknowledge the prominence and importance of hip hop in our community. Look, nobody dislikes a white girl lecturing the "importance of hop hop" more than me; but it would be a tragedy not to address the origin of rap music, as it happened in our backyards. Hip hop itself is a cultural movement that started in the South Bronx in the 1970s (so cool!!), and not to be confused with directly meaning "rap music". Hip hop has four elements: rap music (oral), "DJing" (aural), b-boying (physical) and graffiti art (visual). Because rap music is sound-based and relevant to our class, I'll only talk about rap: Rap originated in the South Bronx 70's when performers began rapping over looped beats taken from soul and funk records. The rhythmic beats were created by looping breaks (small portions of songs emphasizing a percussive pattern) on two turntables. This was later accompanied by a rhythmic style of chanting or poetry often presented in 16-bar measures or time frames, and beatboxing. The culture stems from the block parties of the Ghetto Brothers, when they plugged the amps for their instruments and speakers into the lampposts on 163rd Street and Prospect Avenue and used music to break down racial barriers. What I would do to go to that party today... (ClaireM)

Strange Sounds in Experimental Music

[134] I love experimental projects as much as the next guy. However, experimental performances involved with producing sound often create strange, unpleasing noises that I would not classify as music. California-based artist Diego Stocco is different though. He creates music from natural elements. And I like him. He is a master of sound abstraction. A sound designer and composer, he creates unusual sound experiences using anything from everyday objects to contraptions he builds from scratch. From outfitting a tree with a stethoscope, a plastic pipe and a microphone, to blending an old piano with the sounds of sunset, his work has a beautiful nature-grounded quality to it, whilst really pushing the technologies and conception of modern sound design. I really recommend YouTubing him so you can not only hear his music, but see the strange tools he uses to create sound. (ClaireM)

Strange Sounds in Experimental Music PART TWO: MEARA O’REILLY

[135] I find Meara O'Reilly really haunting. I mean: really, really haunting. She is both sonically captivating and melodically disturbing. She is a sound designer, instrument builder, and singer who truly intersects art and science, as she explores the fringes of auditory perception. In her Chaldini Singing project, inspired by the famous scientist’s 18th- and 19th-century experiments, she creates songs based on sequences of patterns of salt scattered on a metal plate. The alternating patterns of salt are intriguing to watch, but it is really the sounds she creates that make this performance memorable. I love people who push the boundaries with music and aren't afraid to try something different. (ClaireM)

Strange Sounds in Experimental Music


My idea of "sound" is personally positive; I love to listen to people, music, and nature. I am appreciative of my ability to comprehend sound, every day. However, when is sound a bad thing? In class, we've discussed the idea of sound pollution, and when sound becomes an obnoxious intrusion in urban dwellings. However, we've never discussed the idea of intentional noise pollution: the idea of using sound to torture. This Medical Daily article discusses the presence of modern torture methods that use pure noise to break you down psychologically. When I first began reading this article, I thought of the movie Ransom , where the little boy is kidnapped and kept in a room with heavy metal blasting all day. It turns out, in the Iraqi war, the military used similar warfare torture techniques. As the article observes, "Sergeant Mark Hadsell from the U.S. Psychological Operations Company told Newsweek: 'These people haven't heard heavy metal. They can't take it. If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down, and your will is broken. That's when we come in and talk to them'. Metallica is apparently a go-to torture device.

Interestingly, Barney's theme song, "I love you", is the most popular choice of torture music. What a plot twist on my childhood. (ClaireM)

Top 10 Worst Songs

[137] There are two things I love; top ten lists and really bad music. Time Magazine has provided me with both of these things and for that I am forever grateful. But in all seriousness, this does bring up several major points: What makes a song bad and can a song actually be judged in such a subjective manner? While many would say yes and that bad music is bad music, I am skeptical. Topping the list is Magic!'s song "Rude" which I will admit is no masterpiece. However, it is a fun and harmless tune that made several of my summer night's a little more relaxing. So, do we have the right to judge music in terms of best and worst? Time Magazine certainly thinks so. But for me, music is not just good vs. bad. It is a mood, a feeling, or a moment. Sometimes the worst songs make the best moments. A song doesn't have to be popular to make you think in the same way a song doesn't have to float your boat to be popular. Music is what you make of it. --KadyJ (talk) 00:41, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Out of Sight

[138] I stumbled upon this video accidentally. It is the graduate project of several students at the National Taiwan University of Arts. The five and a half minute video depicts a little cartoon girl walking her dog when her purse is stolen. The dog takes off after the robber and the little girl is forced to follow her dog, Coco, through the streets. While walking, the young girl becomes part of a vivid and lovely fantasy land. The story has a happy ending, with the dog returning to her side with the purse in his mouth. It is not until the last few minutes of the video that you realize that the little girl is in fact blind. What is very interesting about this piece is that the only words spoken are the girl calling "Coco". Everything else is either background music or sounds. This is an interesting choice considering the girl is not hearing impaired but blind. Yet the story unfolds perfectly for the audience regardless of the complete lack of dialogue. I would recommend giving the video a watch as it is very well done and visually stimulating. --KadyJ (talk) 00:03, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Don't "Listen to Your Heart"

[139] I have been meaning to watch the movie "Listen to Your Heart" on Netflix for sometime. It is billed as your basic love story except the female protagonist is deaf and the male protagonist a singer/songwriter. The movie sounds harmless enough. Perhaps a bit chick flicky but nothing too offensive. That is until I read the blog "Deaf World as Eye See It". The woman who writes the blog tears into the movie, and rightfully so. Apparently, not only is the actress playing the deaf protagonist not actually deaf, but the whole movie portrays deaf women as not being able to take care of themselves. The woman cannot drive or order food for herself. The author of the blog rips into the movies stereotypes and its spreading of false information. This article was very enlightening on how the deaf community can be misrepresented in the media. --KadyJ (talk) 00:15, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Taylor Swift vs. Spotify

[140] While I can appreciate Taylor's Swift's contributions to the music world, it is no secret that I am not a fan of Taylor Swift the human being. I find her to be hopelessly naive and oversensitive. Six months ago she announced that she was pulling her music from Spotify for not paying their artists enough money. Even though the girl is rolling in money. While I agree that many artists deserve what is due to them for their contributions to the music world, Taylor Swift is not one of them. She can be as �haughty as she wants, but she is still making millions. The author of this article states it well: "Swift’s thinking—which is symptomatic of the music industry at large—is problematic for two reasons: It mischaracterizes those who support the streaming model as believing music has no value. It also unfairly accuses artists who give away their music for free of undervaluing their artistic worth. Both of these claims are essentially straw man arguments based on a central logical fallacy: that free music equals worthless music. This belief is not just total hogwash—it’s also hopelessly outdated" (Lhooq). --KadyJ (talk) 00:49, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

The Power of Music

[141] I have worked with children for a long time and I am also ecstatic when an article like this comes out. Giving Songs is an organization that puts out an album with songs from local artists and the proceeds go to help families in need, especially those who have children with disabilities. Brent Johnson, who is on the Board of Directors for Giving Songs, has a son with cerebral palsy and music has played a big part in their relationship as father and son. For children with disabilities, there is no such thing as an easy day. They are fighting constantly for their health and happiness. Music can play such an integral part in their lives, especially when other "normal" activities are not viable options. I have watched children who rarely smile light up when their favorite song is played or when I sing with them. If it were up to me, music would be an integral part of every child's day, especially if that child has behavioral or learning disabilities. All a child wants to know is that they are important. And music can help make that happen. --KadyJ (talk) 02:00, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Unexplained Sounds of the Deep

[142] My favorite book of all time is Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" so this website really struck my interest. Included on the page are nine sounds that have no real scientific explanation, several of them having been recorded underwater. They are oddly enchanting and a little bit disconcerting. Included is the 52 Hertz whale, also known as the loneliest animal in the world because the frequency at which she sings might be too high for other whales to hear. Another personal favorite of mine are the unexplained sonic booms that have been baffling people for over 200 years. I love the unexplained for exactly this reason. There is no real answer and it is much more fun to draw your own conclusions anyway. --KadyJ (talk) 03:16, 3 May 2015 (UTC)