chapter  7
17 Pages

Sound and sensorial landscape

114Early modern Rome as a full urban experience
WithBrice Gruet

This chapter explores the ways in which sounds have shaped the city of Rome and, in turn, how sounds themselves were shaped by the city. It argues that the expression of “soundscape” is admissible, even though it has been criticized because sounds should not be confused with the auditory space. The early modern era witnessed some radical changes in the understanding of urban architecture and public open spaces. The sensorial landscape contributes a significant part to the final landscape, as suggested by Raymond Murray Schafer. The main types of objects within the early modern Roman landscape are the monument, the text and the emotions linked to them. The use of urban space for public performances became systematic from the sixteenth century and was constantly adapted to the new and evolving political needs of the papacy. The city center was a crowded environment because of the interactions between people and the ways in which they behaved in open spaces.