Songs of the Stones: An Investigation into the Acoustic History and Culture of Stonehenge

Rupert Till


This paper investigates the acoustic culture of Stonehenge, an iconic British prehistoric stone circle. It addresses references to the structure within popular music culture, as well as Thomas Hardy’s discussion of the site. It investigates ritual activities in prehistory from an analytical consideration of its acoustics, using theoretical, digital modeling, physical modeling and field measurement approaches. Stonehenge in prehistory is found to have significant acoustic features that are likely to have had an impact in prehistory. Conclusions are drawn about what we can learn from the similarities between ritualistic musical culture in prehistory and in contemporary popular culture.


Stonehenge; Prehistory; Acoustics; Music; Sound; RItual; Solstice; Popular Music

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