CFP: Early Modern Soundscapes

Thursday 24th – Friday 25th April 2014

Bangor University

To include the Society for Renaissance Studies Annual Welsh Lecture, given by Professor Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University) and Professor Richard Wistreich (Royal Northern College of Music)

Early modern culture was awash with sounds.  From psalm singing to tavern songs to the reading of the riot act or town criers announcing noteworthy news, we are presented with an image of oral culture forming the basis of perpetual interaction between individuals and their communities.  Music, in particular, forms a backdrop to the soundscape, negotiating abstract sounds and speech. 

This two-day symposium will interrogate ways of conceiving the early modern soundscape.   Topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Sounds and space
  • Sounds sacred
  • Sounds profane
  • Civic noise
  • Imagined soundscapes
  • Interaction between sound and speech communities
  • Oral and literate cultures
  • Music and performance culture
  • Sounds and medicine
  • Sounds and the senses
  • The relationship between words and music

We welcome abstracts of not more than 250 words for twenty-minute papers, or proposals for panels comprising three papers, to be sent to Rachel Willie ( by December 1st 2013.