Sound Recordings

The barking owl is one of the 53 endangered bird species featured on the album.

Trending Today

Bird Call Album Flies Over Taylor Swift on Australian Pop Charts

<em>Songs of Disappearance</em> soars to the number-three spot as Australians show support for endangered bird species

Numerous books, films and other works first published in 1926 enter the public domain on January 1.

Winnie-the-Pooh, an Ernest Hemingway Classic and a Massive Library of Sound Recordings Will Enter the Public Domain on January 1

Works newly available to copy, republish and remix in 2022 also include poems by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker

Healthy reef habitats are usually alive with the diverse sounds of marine life.

Bizarre Fish Songs Raise Hope for Coral Reef Recovery

Audio recordings show a once-dying ecosystem has transformed into a lively soundscape

Swift&#39;s extended version of &quot;All Too Well&quot; surpassed&nbsp;the length of the previous record holder, Don McLean&#39;s 8-minute, 42-second&nbsp;&quot;American Pie (Parts I and II).&quot;

Trending Today

Taylor Swift Sets Record for Longest No. 1 Song, Beating Out 'American Pie' and the Beatles

The pop star's 10-minute, 13-second rerecording of "All Too Well" debuted at the top spot in Billboard's Hot 100 chart

&ldquo;Bless whoever it was who came up with the idea,&rdquo; jazz historian Dan Morgenstern says in a Smithsonian interview about Armstrong&rsquo;s rendition of the holiday chestnut.

The Little-Known Recording of Louis Armstrong Reciting 'The Night Before Christmas'

Shortly before he died, the jazz legend offered his own rendition of the classic holiday poem

A man in Laruns, southwestern France, whistling as a form of speech. Like others in the Canary Islands and elsewhere, local people have learned to whistle their language to communicate across long distances. Linguists are studying whistled speech to help understand which sound elements are essential to comprehension.

More Than 80 Cultures Still Speak in Whistles

Dozens of traditional cultures use a whistled form of their native language for long-distance communication. You could, too.

Here are 12 of the rarest doo-wop records ever made. “Can’t Help Loving That Girl of Mine” (1954) by Philadelphia’s 
Hide-A-Ways is, Shively says, the “holy grail of vocal group
collecting.”

A Peek Inside the World's Greatest Record Store

A lovable grouch, obsessed with the magic of American sidewalk harmony, runs the Philadelphia shop

A pygmy blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda) crosses the Indian Ocean and passes near Mirissa, Sri Lanka.

Using Nuclear Bomb Detectors, Scientists Overhear the Secret Songs of a Never-Before-Seen Pygmy Blue Whale Population

The new group is named 'Chagos' after the islands close to where the melodies were detected

A creek runs by moss-covered rocks not far From Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park. Researchers have found that listening to natural sounds like running water may benefit human health.

Listening to Nature Gives You a Real Rocky Mountain High

Sounds like birdsong and flowing water may alleviate stress, help lower blood pressure and lead to feelings of tranquility

Fin whale songs are some of the loudest animals in the ocean, producing calls that can reach 189 decibels and are almost as loud as container ships.

New Research

Researchers Use Whale Calls to Probe Undersea Geology

The study finds that fin whale songs are powerful enough to reverberate through the Earth’s crust, allowing scientists to study its thickness and structure

Paredon Records produced music that was literally revolutionary.

From the 'Sidedoor' Podcast: How a Woman-Led Record Label Spread Songs of Protest and Revolution

This episode from the sixth season of the Smithsonian's "Sidedoor" podcast delves into the history of Barbara Dane's revolutionary Paredon Records

The website identifies Iceland’s Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon as one of the world's most relaxing soundscapes.

Virtual Travel

Take a Free Audio Tour of the World's Most Relaxing Destinations

From bird songs in an Indian jungle to the flowing waves of a Sardinian beach, a new tool spotlights 50 soothing soundscapes

No longer masked by city noise, San Francisco sparrows are singing a new tune

The Pandemic Shutdown in San Francisco Had Sparrows Singing Sexier Tunes

Birds adapted to singing above the urban noise chirped lower, softer melodies

A scale model of Stonehenge used to test the ancient monument's acoustics

New Research

Scientists Map Stonehenge's Soundscape

Study of small-scale model sheds light on how conversation, music moved through the massive monument

The sequencer on the 808, a row of 16 color-coded buttons, offered artists a way to store beats they programmed.

The TR-808 Drum Machine Changed the Sound of Pop Music Forever

Sometimes, technology has more impact after it's obsolete

The deadline to submit a haiku for the "Social Distancing, Haiku and You" project is April 16.

Covid-19

This Sound Artist Is Asking People to Record COVID-19 Haikus

Called "Social Distancing, Haiku and You," Alan Nakagawa's project will result in a sound collage that interweaves a multitude of voices

Nesyamun was a priest and scribe whose duties included ritualistic chanting and singing.

Education During Coronavirus

Listen to the Recreated Voice of a 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Mummy

Media outlets have likened the sound to a "brief groan," a "long, exasperated 'meh' without the 'm,'" and "rather like 'eeuuughhh'"

When the scientists played the sounds of healthy coral ecosystems at damaged reefs, 50 percent more species showed up than at quiet sites.

One Way to Lure Fish Back to Damaged Reefs? Play the Sounds of Living Coral

The find is fascinating, but can’t save these marine ecosystems by itself

A fan carries a copy of ‘Abbey Road’ as he traverses the infamous crosswalk that appears on the album’s cover.

How the Beatles Took Recording Technology to a New Level in 'Abbey Road'

An expert in sound recording details how the band deployed stereo and synthesizers to put a unique artistic stamp on this iconic album

Cool Finds

Listen to the First Known Song of the North Pacific Right Whale

Researchers spent years trying to trace the source of the rhythmic, gunshot pattern to the endangered whale species

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