In the 1990s, thanks to digital convergence, many disciplines centrally concerned with the mediated uses of sound from a variety of different orientations—communication, musicology, speech, ethnography, history of technology, journalism, theater and drama, and art, to name a few—began to recognize the need for a new term to indicate their shared focus. Here I propose soundwork as that term, laying out the reasons why we need it, how it can change our thinking across a broad range of cultural forms, the kind of cultural and political work it can perform, and how linking sound to our understanding of lived experience changes the way that we perceive the world around us.

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