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Research project

Sounding History

Project overview

Sounding History is a new podcast on music’s global histories focusing on unheard links between music, technology and the environment. It is presented by Dr Thomas Irvine (University of Southampton) and Prof Christopher J Smith (Texas Tech University). The podcast links to Irvine and Smith’s book project Labor, Energy, Data: A Global Music History for the Anthropocene. Each 30-40 minute episode focuses on two “postcards” from global music history illustrating the book’s main theme: that the history of music since 1500CE cannot be separated from histories of the environment, technology and labour, and that these histories can and must be told using the voices of the unheard: workers, indigenous people, outsiders and the mainly anonymous music makers who have made the world’s sounds in the past 500 years.


Lead researcher

Professor Thomas Irvine

Head of Department

Research interests

  • Global History of Music
  • Music and the Anthropocene
  • Science and Technology Studies

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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