Chapter

Berlin Sounds

Nicole Dietrich

in Germany in the Loud Twentieth Century

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199759392
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918911 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759392.003.0006
Berlin Sounds

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The chapter investigates auditory socialization mirrored in the ambient sounds of East and West Berlin, before and after 1989. These two urban entities produced different typical city sounds, according to rules of technical and industrial design, media taste, and local accents. Based on a series of interviews with residents of former East and West Berlin, this chapter argues that each side of Berlin had a unique sound, one that resonates with personal memory and is closely linked to national identity. Fountains, traffic sounds, the Friedrichstraße train station, and the Berlin Wall serve as four examples that illustrate the divergent acoustic identities of formerly divided Germany.

Keywords: Berlin; interviews; fountains; traffic sounds; berlin wall; train station; divided Germany; ambient sound; memory; national identity

Chapter.  7354 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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