Answer ANY THREE of the SIX questions presented below. Each answer will be
marked out of 10.
Each answer should be between 2 to 2.5 pages in length, double-spaced.
Please cite the course readings or lectures where necessary, but there is no need to
provide a bibliography (the syllabus is your de facto bibliography). You do NOT
have to do any outside research for this exam.
Avoid excessive direct quotation. Your task is to demonstrate your knowledge of
course ideas and concepts in your own words.
Read the questions carefully and answer the questions fully.
1) Noise is often thought of as a social problem. Why is this so? How do governments
attempt to deal with this problem? What are some of the problems inherent in such
efforts? 2) 20th Century artistic practices that involve sound have fundamentally altered our
understanding of what music might be. Discuss this with reference to 2 artists who have
contributed to this transformation.
3) Early cinema is often colloquially described as “silent cinema”. Is this an accurate
description? Might we think of contemporary cinema as a form of “silent cinema” as well?
4) In class we explored the idea of how technology helped transform musical performance
into a commodified spectacle. What are some reasons this process took place? How did
technology contribute to it? Discuss this with reference to at least two technologies
involved in this process.
5) The consideration of theater sound raises the problem of how audiences are configured
architecturally, and how such configuration contributes to an understanding of relations of
audience. Briefly explain this concept with reference to at least two different forms of
theater and the different relations of audience they promote.
6) In writing about the sound of the Mall of America, Jonathan Sterne notes that the aural
architectonics of space can transform music into sound. What does he mean by this? How
does such a transformation aid in the maintenance and promotion of a culture of