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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Bells, bells bells: a medieval soundmark?

Bells probably represent the sound that is considered most characteristic for the medieval sonic environment (also called: soundmark). In the Middle Ages, bells were omnipresent and omni-audible. Bells represent an era, or so it is generally believed. True, the role of bells in medieval society was much larger than it is today, and we cannot…

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Archiving the soundscape

Following on from our first workshop meeting in Vancouver in March, in September, we collaborated with the research team at Wellcome Collection to explore sound in the archives from a global, theoretical and historical perspective. Wellcome houses an exceptional collection of early modern rare books, manuscripts, prints and art works, and this gave us a…

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Historical Soundscapes (c.1200-c.1800): an online digital platform

Paisajes Sonoros Históricos / Historical Soundscapes is a website designed to explore historical urban soundscapes aided by the outreach potential made possible through new technologies. This innovative approach will allow users to recreate music of the past in historical locations through the use of online interactive maps with digital resources (documents, videos, sounds, etc.). The…

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