This assignment will be based on the writings of Jacques Attali. Re-read pp. 3-6 and add the following section from The Sounds of Power, Noise and Politics, p. 6 (middle) to p. 7 second full paragraph, which ends with: “Evesdropping on what? In order to silence whom?” Attali Ch. 1 w notes.pdfPreview the documentView in a new window

Then, on a day of your choosing within the next two weeks, walk in a downtown or publicly active area for 30 minutes or more, noting sounds that you hear, both traditionally “musical” and not. You should include everything: voices, street musicians, traffic, construction, and list these events in the order in which you notice them. If you wish, you may use a recording device to help you remember. Avoid speaking during this exercise, even if you go with someone. You are to use only your ears, with some help from your vision. You may also choose to go to stores where music is playing, or to hear music at the Cultural Center, or in Millennium Park; if you include these venues also be sure to note other sounds that occur with the music, and to frame the music by the sounds you hear entering and leaving it. Or you may choose not to hear music deliberately, but just to hear the sounds around you as you walk. (Remember that weather considerations figure in here.) Note also that 3/8 is International Women’s Day, and there may be protests or rallies to go to – sounds and music from these will also qualify.


Once you have the list, choose themes that seem to be relevant to our class. Discuss three or more of them, tying in their relevance to the political, social, and/or economic structure of urban society in the US. The paper should be two or more pages (500 words, ca.), plus one page for the list.