Bits and Pieces

Bits and Pieces

I have only a few tidbits for today’s post.

Yesterday there was news about Tommy Lee.  Yes, that Tommy Lee (of Motley Crue fame and Pamela Anderson fame).  Tommy is worried that his music is hurting killer whales at an aquarium in San Diego.  Here is a link to an article about this.

Speaking of music hurting whales, I turn to another topic that I will to return to at some point – the role of music in torture. As you may or may not know, music (usually rap or metal or ‘bad’ pop) has been used many times to stress out the enemy. The US forces used it in Panama when they were ousting Noriega. And it has been used this way for years at Guantanamo Bay.

And lastly for today – and also something I will return to in more detail in the future – do you know about the growing field of studying sound and soundscapes by social historians and ecological historians? Peter Coates has written a great piece about this topic entitled “The Strange Stillness of the Past: Toward an Environmental History of Sound and Noise”.  He had two purposes for writing the essay: one, to “review the features of recent work in aural history (mainly in the United States) that touch on our domain, but with which we may be unfamiliar.” And second, “to consider how environmental historians can build on suggestive work on things environmental within social and urban history to produce a more explicit and sustained environmental history of sound.” (637) And he does just that. As I said, I will come back at some point to say more about this essay.  But I do recommend it. If you read it, follow his references to a whole bunch of great looking essays.




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