Sporting Sounds

Benjamin Powis, Thomas Carter

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter considers some of the ways that sound forms an important aspect of sport by paying attention to how the senses play roles in performance and consumption – a range of topics that is almost always taken for granted, if not actively ignored, throughout sport studies. Nevertheless, a casual perusal of sport makes it abundantly clear that even the simple act of spectating at a local sporting contest encompasses more of the sensorium than “watching sport”. The auditory is a crucial element of any sporting experience. From the distinctive syncopated pattern of a table tennis rally to the visceral grunt of the front rows locking horns in a rugby scrum, the experience of playing and watching sport is made up of a number of unique soundscapes. A soundscape is a distinct form of “auditory weather” that contributes overall to each unique sporting experience. As the acoustical environment changes, sometimes dramatically and suddenly, in a sports event, it drastically affects the overall experience and atmosphere. Thus it behoves us to push for the development of an acoustemology (Feld 1996) along the lines of meteorology, a scientific approach that explicitly addresses how “sound is central to making sense, to knowing, to experiential truth” in sporting environments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Sound Studies
    EditorsMichael Bull
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315722191
    ISBN (Print)9781138854253
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018


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