The engraving to the right by Francesco Villamena depicts a street crier bellowing over the noises of busy and bustling streets of London. Notice how he flings one arm back and throws his body forward to have his voice heard. In early modern England, patrons making their way through London's streets would have heard cart wheels rumbling, the tolling of bells, peddlers selling their wares, ferryman yelling for passengers, and dogs yelping.
Sounds continue to fill our daily lives today. Have you ever noticed how many sounds you hear in one day? Can you hear the musical rhythm and beats of ordinary everyday sounds? Are there certain sounds that are pleasant and others that are annoying? For example, the sound of waves crashing on a beach or rain falling on a tin roof each has a certain rhythm that can be relaxing. However, the sounds of nails scratching on a chalkboard or cars honking in traffic can be disturbing.
Keeping a sound journal of the different sounds you hear throughout the day will challenge you to hear rhythms in the sounds of everyday life and notice the effect that sounds have on your mood. Sit quietly and listen, then write down what you hear in a journal...
What sounds wake you up in the morning?
What sounds tell you what time of day it is?
What sounds do you hear outside of your window?
What sounds greet you on your way to school?
What are the sounds in your classroom? in the hallway?
What sounds lull you to sleep at night?
For one week, make a list of sounds you hear and keep track of how these sounds make you feel.
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