Toward an Anthropology of Ambient Sound: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Toward an Anthropology of Ambient Sound

1st Edition

Edited by Christine Guillebaud


240 pages

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pub: 2017-05-19
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This volume approaches the issue of ambient sound through the ethnographic exploration of different cultural contexts including Italy, India, Egypt, France, Ethiopia, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, and Japan. It examines social, religious, and aesthetic conceptions of sound environments, what types of action or agency are attributed to them, and what bodies of knowledge exist concerning them. Contributors shed new light on these sensory environments by focusing not only on their form and internal dynamics, but also on their wider social and cultural environment. The multimedia documents of this volume may be consulted at the address:


"Toward an Anthropology of Ambient Sound is a nice and welcome addition to a steadily growing corps of literature on sounds in and of the city. As scholarly reflection and theoretical deepening are profoundly important for me (and, I think, for the entire field of sound studies as well), the contributions written by Chandola, Guillebaud, Battesti, and Thibaud stand out as they go beyond the mere noticing of specific sonic events."

- Marcel Cobussen, Journal of Sonic Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Multiple Listenings: Anthropology of Sound Worlds Christine Guillebaud Part 1: Listening into Others 1. Noising the City: Revealing Popular Neapolitan: “Soundciabilities” in Pyrotechnical Practices Olivier Féraud 2. Sounds of Hell and Sounds of Eden: Sonic Worlds in Ethiopia in the Catholic Missionary Context, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Anne Damon-Guillot 3. An "Obscene" Calling: Emotionality in/of Marginalized Spaces: A Listening of/into “Abusive” Women in Govindpuri (Delhi) Tripta Chandola Part 2: Sound Displays and Social Effects 4. Standing Out From the Crowd: Vocal and Sound Techniques for Catching People’s Attention in an Indian Bus Stand Christine Guillebaud 5. Melodic Refrains in Japanese Train Stations: The Management of Passenger Behavior Through the Use of Electric Bells Pierre Manea Part 3: Sound Identity and Locality 6. Acoustic Communities Represented: Sound Preferences in the Scottish Village of Dollar Heikki Uimonen 7. Mics in Their Ears: How to Ask People in Cairo to Talk About their Sound Universes Vincent Battesti 8. Mapping Out the Sounds of Urban Transformation: The Renewal of Lisbon’s Mouraria Quarter Iñigo Sánchez 9. Listening to the City: The Sonorities of Urban Growth in Barcelona Claire Guiu Part 4: Sound Arts and Anthropology 10. Not Just Tones, Noises too! On Sound Poetry Jean-Charles Depaule 11. Tribute to a Footbridge: Dance and Sound Spaces Improvisations in Choisy-Le-Roi Vincent Rioux Afterword. The Sonic Attunement of Social Life Jean-Paul Thibaud

About the Editor

Christine Guillebaud is a senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientifi c Research (CNRS), and member of the Centre for Ethnology and Comparative Sociology (CREM-LESC), based at the University of Paris Nanterre, France.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Anthropology

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies