Striking the Air: early modern Parisian sound worlds

13 Aug 2018

The sounds of early modern Paris are first explored through poetic and satirical depictions of urban noise, with emphasis placed on the disruption that they present. The attempt by Louis XIV to assert his absolute power becomes manifest in the means employed to control and contain those sounds deemed to be potentially subversive and seditious, especially in the threat posed by performers of songs on the Pont-Neuf, which was one of the few public spaces where people of all classes rubbed shoulders. The example of the blind singer Philippot le Savoyard shows how the Pont-Neuf became the prime locus of difference and marginality.