The Lost Sounds of Stonehenge

Press/Media: Research

Description

There are many questions surrounding the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge but might sound help in the search for answers?

Thomas Hardy said it had a strange "musical hum". Tess of the d'Urbevilles ends at Stonehenge and features the "sound". Modern-day druids also say they experience something special when they gather at Stonehenge and play instruments within the stone circle.

However, Stonehenge is a ruin. Whatever sound it originally had 3,000 years ago has been lost but now, using technology created for video games and architects, Dr Rupert Till of the University of Huddersfield has - with the help of some ancient instruments - created a virtual sound tour of Stonehenge as it would have sounded with all the stones in place.

Dr Till says there's a great deal of evidence that ancient people were intrigued and drawn to places that had a distinctive sound and Stonehenge had a "strange acoustic". Even today, the wind or drumming can, he says, help generate a 47hz bass note.

He first got a taste of what the circle might do to sound when he visited a concrete replica of the original intact Stonehenge in Maryhill in the US state of Washington.

He has now developed an app which will help people blot out the sounds - including those made by tourists, and cars on the nearby A303 - and go back to the soundscape of 3,000 years ago.

He's used instruments that were used at the time, such as bone flutes and animal horns, to give people a sense of what music would have sounded like within the reverberation of the intact stone circle and says the site has some of the characteristics you might expect of a rock concert venue.

 

Subject

 

 
Period6 Jan 2017

Media coverage

1

Media coverage

  • TitleThe lost sounds of Stonehenge
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletBBC News
    Media typeWeb
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Date6/01/17
    DescriptionThere are many questions surrounding the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge but might sound help in the search for answers?
    Producer/AuthorDavid Sillito (Media and Arts Correspondent)
    URLwww.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-38530755
    PersonsRupert Till