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Noise: A Human History Episode 15 of 30

Restraint: Episode fifteen of a thirty-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries brought a new emphasis on self-discipline in every day life - and with it a revulsion against noise of every kind. City authorities banned singing and feasting from public squares and tore down maypoles, while town-dwellers raised petitions against noisy neighbours. Spitting, snorting and breaking wind - once part of everyday life - were now a cause for wrinkled noses and dismay. Professor David Hendy of the University of Sussex cocks a genteel ear to the polite sound-world of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Series producer: Matt Thompson
A Rockethouse production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Sat 7 Nov 2015 02:15

Noise retold by Matthew Herbert

Noise series retold by Matthew Herbert

The head of the New Radiophonic Workshop retells the Noise series using only the sounds.

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