Sounding the Media

Open access

Abstract

Sound remains significantly underresearched as a form of communication, as a modality of experience, and as a resource for cultural expression and social action. This article provides an overview of the several disciplinary and interdisciplinary sources of contemporary sound studies. As a point of departure, the article identifies and contextualizes three prototypes of sound - speech, music, and environmental soundscapes - with reference to previous work in linguistics, musicology, history, and other fields of study. A wide range of contributions are reviewed with particular reference to their explanatory value concerning different types of sound media. The article distinguishes between three degrees of media, enabling communication in the flesh, mechanically or electronically reproduced communication, and digitally mediated communication. In each case, sound can serve as a vehicle of information, as a mode of communication, and as a means of action. The article outlines a conceptual matrix, integrating the sound prototypes, the media forms, as well as the social uses of sound, with a view to further research. Finally, some specific issues on the agenda of current sound studies are discussed.

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Journal information
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CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.223
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.270


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