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The Journal of Sonic Studies
Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 3, nr. 1 (October 2012)Anthony Enns: THE ACOUSTIC SPACE OF TELEVISION

To refer to this article use this url: http://journal.sonicstudies.org/vol03/nr01/a08

Abstract

Critics often argue that television is primarily an acoustic rather than a visual medium, as the soundtrack anchors the meaning of the images and the sound practices developed for television are largely derived from radio. In recent years, however, the television screen has become increasingly saturated with textual information, and it has gradually transformed from “illustrated radio” into something that more closely resembles a computer or web interface. Rather than suggesting that television is no longer a primarily acoustic medium, this paper employs Marshall McLuhan’s concept of “acoustic space” to argue that contemporary television is actually more acoustic than ever before, as the television screen has become a non-linear and multisensory information space that reflects the immersive qualities of sound itself.