The Internet offers an unprecedented bounty of historic sound recordings, and the opportunity to listen in on the past has never been greater. But online sound archives also present new challenges. Public history websites must recover the meaning of sound as well as sound itself, and thereby engender a historicized mode of listening that tunes modern ears to the pitch of the past. The Roaring ’Twenties website attempts this via an interactive multimedia environment of sounds, images, and texts, recreating for its listeners the sonic culture of New York City circa 1929, a place and time defined by its din.
Making Noise in The Roaring ’Twenties: Sound and Aural History on the Web
Emily Thompson, Professor at Princeton University, explores the cultural history of sound, music, noise, listening, and technology. Her next book, Sound Effects, will examine how the art and craft of making and showing movies changed when recorded sound was introduced to the American film industry, 1926–33.
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Emily Thompson; Making Noise in The Roaring ’Twenties: Sound and Aural History on the Web. The Public Historian 1 November 2015; 37 (4): 91–110. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2015.37.4.91
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