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‘The common folk… live on songs’: Reflections on Hilary Mantel’s Mirror and the Light.

‘The common folk… live on songs’: Reflections on Hilary Mantel’s Mirror and the Light. In this blog, I wanted to share some of my musings on the role of song in Hilary Mantel’s Mirror and the Light, which I chatted about earlier this Summer as part of ‘Cardiff BookTalk’. For anyone that would prefer to…

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Sound at RSA Virtual 2021

In this blog I want to draw attention to all of the fascinating research on early modern sound that is currently available for attendees of Virtual RSA to listen to until 23 May 2021. (I was making a version of this for myself and I thought I’d share it with you all as well! Happy…

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Cathedral Acoustics in Early Modern England: Exploring and Recreating the Sounds of the Past

‘Close your eyes, it’s the 17th century and you are awaiting a sermon at the York Minster. Who is speaking? How are they speaking? What are they saying? What does it sound like? What sounds can you hear in the background? These are some of the questions that the field of historical soundscapes studies reflects…

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Hearing proclamations in seventeenth century Scotland

I first looked at proclamations during the middle stages of my doctoral research, after becoming drawn to the way they mirrored the other spoken or ‘performed’ media of later seventeenth-century Scotland that I was already writing about. Like official celebrations, public executions, and even many seditious protests, proclamations were staged at burgh mercat crosses and…

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What’s in an Accent?

Accents accrue strong connotations over time and qualify speakers as powerfully as other markers of identity, such as gender, class, ethnicity or race. Very much like attitudes to other markers of identity, attitudes to accents are in a state of constant flux, and phoneticians regularly trace the inevitable decline in the prestige value attributed to…

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Singing in the time of Corona

In this period of social distancing, videos of people singing together from their balconies appear everywhere on our social media. Some balconies house better performers than other balconies, but it doesn’t really matter whether your voice sounds like Cecilia Bartoli’s or whether you’ve only ever sung in the shower. What matters is that the singing…

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