A Piece of Sound Advice: “Use Your Ears!”


Previous posts have focused mainly on text- and image-based resources. This installment will highlight audio, specifically free resources available on the Internet.  Here are a few:

The British Library’s public collections include field recordings of natural and urban soundscapes, music from around the world, a survey of English dialects, early spoken word recordings, as well as historical information on sound reproduction technology.

Xeno-Canto hosts an archive of bird sounds from across the globe and makes good use of Google Maps in its search and information display interfaces.

London Sound Survey is a nice example of how audio can contribute to an overall picture of a geographical place and its culture and history over time.

The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds (focusing only on sounds, not songs).

Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal music downloads directed by New Jersey’s freeform radio station WFMU.

This is just a small sample of what’s out there.  Now it’s up to you to decide how audio could enhance your research, project or presentation.  Here’s some inspiration:  http://tenement.org/folksongs/client/

Written by Zeke Graves