Museums as Sites for Displaying Sound Materials: A Five-Use Framework

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The ways in which sound materials have been deployed in museum exhibitions and the listening practices that have resulted from them are diverse. They have long been driven by a complex interplay of circumstances. These circumstances include the underlying epistemological order and its conceptual constructs, the wider social and cultural orders in which these are enmeshed, existing and emerging technological devices and situational and specific museum practices and their management options. This article proposes a typology of five constructs to describe how sound materials have been considered by museums in conceptual terms through time and to map exhibition practices stemming from them. In greater detail, I argue that such practices tend to cluster into five categories: sound as lecturing, sound as ambiance/soundtrack, sound as artefact, sound as art, and sound as crowd curation. My work draws on two types of data: insights from academic literature and my own observations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-72
Number of pages30
JournalSound Studies, an Interdisciplinary Journal
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Sound
  • Museums
  • Sound studies


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