Sound Recordings

Beach primrose, Oenothera drummondii.

Flowers Sweeten Up When They Sense Bees Buzzing

A new study suggests plants can 'hear' the humming of nearby pollinators and increase their sugar content in response

Toto's 'Africa' Will Play Forever—Or at Least Until the Next Windstorm—in the Namib Desert

An art installation is playing an endless loop of the 1982 earworm in an undisclosed location in the desert along Africa's southwest coast

Listen to the Moment the Guns Fell Silent, Ending World War I

A new exhibit at the Imperial War Museum uses seismic data collected during the war to recreate the moment the Armistice went into effect

The Physics Behind a Leaky Faucet’s Maddening ‘Plink’

Microphones and high-speed cameras show that what happens when a water droplet hits water is surprisingly complicated

Scientists Record the Thunderous Call of the Loudest Known Fish

The Gulf corvina’s collective mating call is so powerful that it can damage the hearing of sea lions and dolphins

Even Without Ears, Oysters Can Hear Our Noise Pollution

Study shows that certain frequencies of noise cause oysters to clam up

The Acoustics of Ancient Greek Theaters Aren't What They Used to Be

The sound quality in ancient times was likely much better than it is today

The box set will include a 300-page companion volume featuring never-before-seen photographs, scholarly commentary and rigorous liner notes.

This Ambitious Landmark Hip-Hop and Rap Anthology Was Successfully Funded

Smithsonian's nonprofit record label launched a Kickstarter for help and got it

Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, the first two commercially popular country music acts, got their national start at the Bristol Sessions.

How the Bristol Sessions Created Country Music

Ninety years ago, a yodeller named Jimmie Rodgers laid down two of the tracks he would be remembered for

A red fox listening for prey under the snow in Yellowstone National Park. Noise can affect foxes and other animals that rely on their hearing when they hunt.

How Human Noise Ruins Parks for Animals and People

Even in America’s most pristine wildernesses, unwanted sound is changing landscapes

JFK as a Harvard student in 1939

Hear a 20-Year-Old John F. Kennedy Speak

Archivist have recently digitized a clip from a 1937 public speaking course, believed to be the oldest recording of the president

"Straight Outta Compton" just landed a spot in the National Recording Registry.

N.W.A., NPR Among This Year’s National Recording Registry Inductees

The latest class of 25 also includes Judy Garland and Vin Scully

Prayer wheels are just one of the sounds preserved and remixed in a new project.

Listen to the Sounds of Sacred Spaces Around the World

A new project documents, then remixes, religious and spiritual sounds

The Original Dixieland Jass Band included cornetist Nick LaRocca, trombonist Eddie Edwards, clarinetist Larry Shields, pianist Henry Ragas, and drummer Tony Sbarbaro.

The First Jazz Recording Was Made by a Group of White Guys?

A century ago, a recording of the startlingly novel "Livery Stable Blues" helped launch a new genre

In the summer of 1946, Holocaust survivors lent their voices to the "Henonville Songs," which psychologist David Boder recorded on this wire spool.

Spool of “Holocaust Songs” Found in Mislabelled Container

The “Henonville Songs” are being heard for the first time in 70 years

An interior shot of Hagia Sophia. Its name means "Holy Wisdom" or "Sacred Wisdom."

You Can Hear Hagia Sophia’s Sublime Acoustics Without a Trip to Istanbul

Stanford scientists have digitally created the building’s unique sound, taking listeners back to the Middle Ages

Score was a tiny communications satellite attached to a really big rocket.

Celebrate Christmas With the First Voice Ever Broadcast in Space

Eisenhower kicked off the space race with a goodwill wish

How Mozart Outsold Beyonce in CD Sales in 2016

A massive new box set catpulted the classical superstar to the top of the charts

The Only Live News Report from the Attack on Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941, an NBC radio affiliate in Honolulu made an urgent phone call to New York. In it, he begins to describe the attack on Pearl Harbor

Caedmon’s lofty slogan was “A third dimension for the printed page.”

The Christmas Tale Spoken Record That Launched the Audiobook

Narrated by Dylan Thomas, the album would go on to sell 400,000 copies

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