Sound Without Words

So, I decided to listen to the small podcast of where the actual language of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech is removed. All you hear during the podcast are sounds of scraping, distant voices and then the roar of applause that comes from the audience during the speech. There’s this idea that something this important such as this speech doesn’t actually lose its meaning even after removing the language. I know it sounds weird though… it’s usually the language and words that attribute the meaning and importance of something. But here, even though the actual language is gone the sounds of the applause, the shifting of paper and the distant noises all connate to something of great importance. Sometimes it’s not even the actual words that carry the meaning of something; sometimes it’s the little things that actually convey great importance. The gaps in between the Dr. King’s voices in the recording also indicate at some abruptness and urgency. The sounds indicate at the seriousness and importance of the speech even though there aren’t any actual words being said. Listening to this podcast made me realize the importance of sound even if it just is the background sounds that nobody listens to. Sounds carry meaning, emotion and communicate a message. Sounds and words almost have identical functions but they do both connote things. This could be used as a basis for a sound activity. If you took an audio piece and did no editing to it whatsoever, would it still retain its same understanding and meaning? If you had an audio of a serious topic and you had constant whispering in the background, would the message still be strong or would it be stronger if it had none of the whispering? To what extent do the background and foreground noises contribute to the overall meaning of a piece? These questions could be investigated by doing that activity and asking people about what they think and looking at these observations.


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