Reading the News at the Weavers' Cottage,1673

Adriaen van Ostade Dutch


This list is by no means exhaustive and instead offers a snapshot of sound theory and research into historic sound.


Soundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology 

Anderson, Susan, Echo and Meaning on Early Modern English Stages (Basingstoke: Palgrave Pivot, 2017)

Austern, Linda P., Candace Bailey and Amanda Eubanks Winkler, eds., Beyond Boundaries: Rethinking Music Circulation in Early Modern England (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2017)

Atkinson, Niall, The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture, and Florentine Urban Life (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016)

Biddell, Ian, and Kirsten Gibson, eds., Cultural Histories of Noise, Sound and Listening in Europe, 1300-1918 (London and New York: Routledge, 2016)

Brigitte Cazelles, Soundscape in Early French Literature (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005)

Butler, Katherine and Samantha Bassler, eds., Music, Myth and Story in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (Woodbrige: Boydell and Brewer, 2019)

Butterworth, Emily, The Unbridled Tongue: Babble and Gossip in Renaissance France (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)

Corbin, Alain, Village Bells: Sound and Meaning in the Nineteenth-Century French Countryside, trans. Martin Thom. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998)

Corbin, Alain, A History of Silence from the Renaissance to the Present Day trans. Jean Birrell (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2018)

Coster, Will, and Andrew Spicer, eds., Sacred Space in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Dall’Aglio, Stefano, Brian Richardson and Massimo Rospocher, eds., Voices and Texts in Early Modern Italian Society (London and New York: Routledge, 2016)

Debbagi Baranova, Tatiana, ‘Les batailles en chanson’, in J. Foa et P.-A. Millet, Les bruits des armes. Mises en formes et désinformations pendant les guerres de Religion (1560-1610) (Paris: Champion, 2012), 305-16

Dillon, Emma, The Sense of Sound: Musical Meaning in France, 1260-1330 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Droumeva, Milena and Randolph Jordan, eds, Sound, Media, Ecology (Basingstone: Palgrave Macmillan 2019)

Feld, Steven, Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics, and Song in Kaluli Expression, 3rd edn (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2012)

Fenlon, Iain, The Ceremonial City: History, Memory and Myth in Renaissance Venice (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007)

Fenlon, Iain, Piaza San Marco (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012)

Filippi, Daniele, and Michael F. Noone, eds., Listening to Early Modern Catholicism: Perspectives from Musicology (Leiden: Brill, 2017)

Fisher, Alexander J., Music, Piety, and Propaganda: The Soundscape of Counter-Reformation Bavaria (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)

Gallagher, John, Learning Languages in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

Gouk, Penelope, Music, Science and Natural Magic in Seventeenth-Century England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999)

Grimshaw-Aagaard, Mark, Mads Walther-Hansen, and Martin Knakkergaard, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Imagination, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

Horvers, Toine, Chartres: One Hour of Sound in a Gothic Cathedral (Eindhoven: Onomatopee en Toine Horvers, 2013)

Howard, David M. and Jamie A. S. Angus, Acoustics and Psychoacoustics, 5th edn (London and New York: Routledge, 2017)

Howard, Deborah, and Laura Moretti, Sound and Space in Renaissance Venice: Architecture, Music, Acoustics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010)

Hunt, Arnold, The Art of Hearing: English Preachers and Their Audiences, 1590–1640 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Hyde, Jenni, Singing the News: Ballads in Mid-Tudor England (London and New York: Routledge, 2018)

Ingold, Tim, ‘Against Soundscape’, Autumn Leaves: Sound and the Environment in Artistic Practice, ed. A. Carlyle (Paris: Double Entendre, 2007), 10-13

Irvine, Thomas, Listening to China: Sound and the Sino-Western Encounter (1770-1839) (Chicago, Il.: University of Chicago Press, 2020)

Jajdelska, Elspeth, Speech, Print and Decorum in Britain, 1600--1750: Studies in Social Rank and Communication (London and New York: Routledge, 2016)

Jones, Nicholas R., Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performances of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2019)

Kelman, Ari, ‘Rethinking the Soundscape: A Critical Genealogy of a Key Term in Sound Studies,’ Sense & Society, 5 (2010): 212-24

Knighton, Tess, and Ascensión Mazuela-Anguita, Hearing the City in Early Modern Europe (Leiden: Brepols, 2018)

LaBelle, Brandon, Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art. 2nd edn (New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016)

Larson, Katherine R., The Matter of Song in Early Modern England: Texts in and of the Air (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

Marsh, Christopher, Music and Society in Early Modern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)

Murphy, Emilie, 'A sense of place: hearing English Catholicism in the Spanish Habsburg territories, 1568–1659', Sensing the Sacred in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, ed. Robin Macdonald, Emilie Murphy and Elizabeth L. Swann (London and New York: Routledge, 2018)

Nancy, Jean-Luc, Listening, trans. Charlotte Mandell (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007)

Oliveros, Pauline, The Roots of the Moment (New York: Drogue Press, 1998)

Rajamani, Imke, Margrit Parnau and Katherine Butler Schofield, eds., Monsoon Feelings: A History of Emotions in the Rain (Delhi: Niyogi Books, 2018)

Richards, Jennifer, Voices and Books in the English Renaissance: A New History of Reading (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

Richards, Jennifer, and Richard Wistreich, eds., Voicing Text 1500-1700, special issue of Huntington Library Quarterly, 82 (2019)

Salzberg, Rosa, Ephemeral City: Cheap Print and Urban Culture in Renaissance Venice (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014)

Schafer, R Murray, Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1977)

Schwartz, Hillel, Making Noise: From Babel to the Big Bang & Beyond (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 2011)

Smith, Mark, Listening to Nineteenth-Century America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2001)

Smith, Bruce R., The Acoustic World of Early Modern England: Attending to the O Factor (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1999)

Smith, Simon, Musical Response in the Early Modern Playhouse, 1603-1625 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017)

Steele Brokaw, Katherine, Staging Harmony: Music and Religious change in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Drama (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016)

Stoever, Jennifer Lynn, The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (New York: New York University Press, 2016)

Truax, Barry, Handbook of Acoustic Ecology (originally published by the World Soundscapes Project, Simon Frazer University, 1978) Online edn

Trudell, Scott, Unwritten Poetry: Song, Performance, and Media in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019)

van Orden, Kate, Materialities: Books, Readers, and the Chanson in Sixteenth-Century Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)

Voegelin, Salomé, Listening to Noise and Silence: Towards a Philosophy of Sound Art (New York and London: Continuum, 2010)

Weinzweig, John, Sounds and Reflections (Grimsby: Poole Hall Press, 1990)

Wilbourne, Emily and Suzanne G. Cusick, eds, Acoustemologies in Contact: Sounding Subjects and Modes of Listening in Early Modernity (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2021) Online PDF edn

Willie, Rachel, 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God: dissonance and psalmody', The Oxford Handbook of the Bible in Early Modern England, c.1530-1700, ed. Helen Smith, Kevin Killeen and Rachel Willie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015)

Wood, Jennifer Linhart, Sounding Otherness in Early Modern Drama and Travel: Uncanny Vibrations in the English Archive (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)


Acoustic Ecology Lab

Early Modern Songscapes: English ayers and their dynamic acoustic environments

Enhancing Audio Description

Fragments of Note: the Afterlives of Medieval Manuscripts

Histories of the Ephemeral

Historical Soundscapes, c. 1200-c.1800

Listening to the Commons

The Sounding History Podcast

Sound in History book series, ed. Emma Dillon

Sounding Out! Sound Studies Blog (including a medieval sounds series)

The Soundscapes of the York Mystery Plays

Virtual Paul’s Cross Project

Voices of Reform: Music and the Masses in the Early Modern Period

World Forum for Acoustic Ecology

The World Soundscape Project


The Soundscapes in the Early Modern World Research Network is not responsible for the content of external sites.


Image: detail from Adriaen van Ostad, 'Reading the News at the Weavers' Cottage', 1673


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