Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound

Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound


By (author) Trevor J. Cox

List price $31.09

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  • Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 236mm x 34mm | 600g
  • Publication date: 16 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847922104
  • ISBN 13: 9781847922106
  • Illustrations note: illustrations (black and white), map (black and white)
  • Sales rank: 209,429

Product description

As an acoustic engineer, Trevor Cox has spent his career eradicating unwanted noises - echoes in concert halls, clamour in classrooms. Until the day he heard something so astonishing that he had an epiphany: rather than quashing rare or bizarre sounds, we should be celebrating these sonic treasures. This is the story of his investigation into the mysteries of these Sonic Wonders of the World. In the Mojave Desert he finds sand dunes that sing. In France he discovers an echo that tells jokes. In California he drives down a musical road that plays the William Tell Overture. In Cathedrals across the world he learns how acoustics changed the history of the Church. Touching on physics, music, archaeology, neuroscience, biology, and design, Cox explains how sound is made and altered by the environment and how our body reacts to peculiar noises - from the exotic sonic wonders he encounters on his journey, or the equally unique and surprising sounds of our everyday environment. In a world dominated by the visual, Sonic Wonderland encourages us to become better listeners and to open our ears to the glorious cacophony around us.

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Author information

Trevor Cox is Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford and President of the Institute of Acoustics. He has presented numerous science radio documentaries and has written for the New Scientist. He is an associate editor for an international journal of acoustics. Twitter: @trevor_cox

Review quote

"A riveting ear-opener, Trevor Cox describes in lyrical detail a range of sonic events and new ways of listening that can only brighten our experience of the acoustic world around us. A must-read for sound-lovers of all stripes" -- Bernie Krause, author of The Great Animal Orchestra "This is acoustician Trevor Cox's fun but thoroughly detailed tour through some of the world's aural gems. Sounds like music to our ears" New Scientist "A must read for musicians, producers, sound engineers and nerds of all kinds" -- Lauren Laverne BBC 6 Music "A David Attenborough of the acoustic realm, whose knowledge is unimpeachable yet worn lightly, whose language is vivid yet without indulgence" -- David Hendy Observer "Sonic Wonderland by Trevor Cox is one of those books that require a "this book will change your life" sticker" -- Simon Barnes The Times