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Presentation of 'The Noisy Renaissance' by Niall Atkinson



Presentation of 'The Noisy Renaissance' by Niall Atkinson

Art and architectural historian Niall Atkinson presents his latest book

The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture
and Florentine Urban Life

Thursday, January 19th at 6pm
Italian Cultural Institute
500 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450




Registration at 


From the strictly regimented church bells to the freewheeling chatter of civic life, Renaissance Florence was a city built not just of stone but of sound as well. An evocative alternative to the dominant visual understanding of urban spaces, The Noisy Renaissance examines the premodern city as an acoustic phenomenon in which citizens used sound to navigate space and society.
Analyzing a wide range of documentary and literary evidence, art and architectural historian Niall Atkinson creates an “acoustic topography” of Florence. The dissemination of official messages, the rhythm of prayer, and the murmur of rumor and gossip combined to form a soundscape that became a foundation in the creation and maintenance of the urban community just as much as the city’s physical buildings. Sound in this space triggered a wide variety of social behaviors and spatial relations: hierarchical, personal, communal, political, domestic, sexual, spiritual, and religious.By exploring these rarely studied soundscapes, Atkinson shows Florence to be both an exceptional and an exemplary case study of urban conditions in the early modern period.


The Noisy Renaissance: Sound, Architecture, and Florentine Urban Life
The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2016
Copies of the book will be available for sale.


Free and open to the public.


Date: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Entrance : Free