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Episode 15 of 30

Professor David Hendy hears how new codes of conduct in the 16th and 17th centuries outlawed noise of every kind.

The 16th and 17th 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 16th and 17th centuries.

30-part series made in collaboration with the British Library Sound Archive.

Producer: Matt Thompson.
A Rockethouse production for BBC Radio 4 first broadcast in 2013.

11 days left to listen

15 minutes

Last on

Sat 8 Jun 2019 02:15


Noise retold by Matthew Herbert

Noise retold by Matthew Herbert

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