Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 18
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Zhang, Dongxu Zhang, Mei Liu, Daping and Kang, Jian 2016. Soundscape evaluation in Han Chinese Buddhist temples. Applied Acoustics, Vol. 111, p. 188.

    Altomonte, Sergio Rutherford, Peter and Wilson, Robin 2015. Human factors in the design of sustainable built environments. Intelligent Buildings International, Vol. 7, Issue. 4, p. 224.

    Brown, Brian Rutherford, Peter and Crawford, Paul 2015. The role of noise in clinical environments with particular reference to mental health care: A narrative review. International Journal of Nursing Studies, Vol. 52, Issue. 9, p. 1514.

    Skouvig, Laura 2015. Genre Theory in Information Studies.

    Szczepańska, Agnieszka Senetra, Adam and Wasilewicz-Pszczółkowska, Monika 2015. The effect of road traffic noise on the prices of residential property – A case study of the polish city of Olsztyn. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 36, p. 167.

    Berg, Per Olof and Sevón, Guje 2014. Food-branding places – A sensory perspective. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 10, Issue. S4, p. 289.

    Augusta McMahon, 2013. Space, Sound, and Light: Toward a Sensory Experience of Ancient Monumental Architecture. American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 117, Issue. 2, p. 163.

    BLONDÉ, BRUNO and VERHOEVEN, GERRIT 2013. Against the clock: time awareness in early modern Antwerp, 1585–1789. Continuity and Change, Vol. 28, Issue. 02, p. 213.

    Nevola, Fabrizio 2013. Review Essay: Street Life in Early Modern Europe*. Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 66, Issue. 4, p. 1332.

    Pijanowski, Bryan C. Farina, Almo Gage, Stuart H. Dumyahn, Sarah L. and Krause, Bernie L. 2011. What is soundscape ecology? An introduction and overview of an emerging new science. Landscape Ecology, Vol. 26, Issue. 9, p. 1213.

    Heddon, Deirdre 2010. The Horizon of Sound Soliciting the earwitness. Performance Research, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 36.

    Patrouch, Joseph F. 2009. ‘European Cities: Containers or Groups of Inhabitants? A Review of some Recent Developments in Early Modern Urban Studies’1. History Compass, Vol. 7, Issue. 5, p. 1350.

    DE WITTE, MARLEEN 2008. Accra's Sounds and Sacred Spaces. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 32, Issue. 3, p. 690.

    Butler, Toby 2007. Memoryscape: How Audio Walks Can Deepen Our Sense of Place by Integrating Art, Oral History and Cultural Geography. Geography Compass, Vol. 1, Issue. 3, p. 360.


    Ureta, Sebastian 2007. Noise and the Battles for Space: Mediated Noise and Everyday Life in a Social Housing Estate in Santiago, Chile. Journal of Urban Technology, Vol. 14, Issue. 3, p. 103.

    Murphy, Neil 2006. Receiving Royals in Later Medieval York: Civic Ceremony and the Municipal Elite, 1478–1503. Northern History, Vol. 43, Issue. 2, p. 241.

    Williams, A. and Dourish, P. 2006. Imagining the City: The Cultural Dimensions of Urban Computing. Computer, Vol. 39, Issue. 9, p. 38.


Sounds of the city: the soundscape of early modern European towns

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2003

In European towns of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the sounds people heard were very different from those of today. Yet the difference goes much deeper: whereas today we try to escape city noise, for the inhabitants of early modern towns sound served as a crucial source of information. It formed a semiotic system, conveying news, helping people to locate themselves in time and in space, and making them part of an ‘auditory community’. Sound helped to construct identity and to structure relationships. The evolution of this information system reflects changes in social and political organization and in attitudes towards time and urban space.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Urban History
  • ISSN: 0963-9268
  • EISSN: 1469-8706
  • URL: /core/journals/urban-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *