08 July 2015

Noise, Pt. 6 - Airs July 8th

Tuning the Body from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
In the Middle Ages sound played a key role in the battle between Good and Evil. There were horrible sins of the tongue - idle words, boasting, flattery, lying, and blaspheming – as well as sins of the ear: eavesdropping and the seduction of devilish words. The ears were the gateway not just to the body, but also the soul. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex considers the importance of noise to Medieval morality.

Heavenly Sounds from Noise: A Human History of Sound and Listening
Worshippers in the Middle Ages would have been struck not just by the visual spectacle of great churches and grand cathedrals, but also their sound. Medieval churches in the west had very different acoustics to the low-roofed, wattle and daub homes where most of their congregation lived. David explores how preachers and singers created sounds that fitted these holy spaces beautifully, from Romanesque churches, to the musical pillars of Hampi, and an extraordinary 16th century experiment in stereo in St Mark's in Venice.

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