Drum Tower: The sounds of old Beijing

Economist Podcasts

13-02-2024 • 26 mins

In some ways, Beijing now sounds like a lot of other mega cities. Yet, back in imperial times, sound was used in creative ways to display wealth, to conduct everyday business and, most importantly, to keep order. David Rennie, our Beijing bureau chief, takes us on a sonic journey through the places where Beijing’s ancient soundscape is being kept alive. He meets Colin Chinnery, a sound artist and archivist, to find out why sound has long been a vital part of Beijing’s spirit, and the ways in which it still is today.


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