- January 8, 2009 at 1:22 am #187710
Stonehenge: One Totally Awesome Rave Location
Stone circle's acoustics are ideal for listening to repetitive trance
By Rossella Lorenzi
updated 1 hour, 7 minutes ago
Good times in ancient times
We may practice debauchery like we invented it, but ancient peoples
knew how to party long before we were born.
Stonehenge was built as a dance arena for prehistoric “samba-style”
raves, according to a study of the acoustics of the 5,000-year-old
Using cutting-edge technology, Rupert Till, an expert in acoustics and
music technology at Huddersfield University in northern England,
discovered that Stonehenge's megaliths reflect sound perfectly, making
the stone circle an ideal setting for listening to repetitive trance
Till and colleague Bruno Fazenda first carried out mathematical
analysis of the archaeological site to make predictions of its
acoustic effects. Their aim was to look at Stonehenge as it was
thousands of years ago, rather than limit their work to the remaining
acoustic properties of the semi-collapsed site.
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“We visited a full-size concrete replica of Stonehenge at Maryhill in
Washington state. The model was built as a war memorial and has all
original stones intact, so it was possible to carry out some acoustic
tests,” Till told Discovery News.
Using specialized acoustics software, the researchers compared results
from their own calculations, computer simulations, and tests conducted
at the concrete Stonehenge replica.
“Finally, we were able to create examples of what the space sounded
like.” Till said. “Echoes in the space indicate that there might have
been rhythmic music played.”
Till speculated that most likely Stonehenge's music consisted of a
simple rhythm played in time to the echoes in the space, at the same
tempo as the echo, or at a multiple of it.
“This would be at a tempo of about 160 beats per minute, a fast tempo.
It is interesting that this is the tempo of fast trance music, of
samba…It is at the top of the range of musical tempos. It is also at
the top end of the range of the human heartbeat, the same as the heart
might beat if you were doing really vigorous exercise, or dancing
really energetically,” Till said.
Located in the county of Wiltshire, at the center of England's densest
complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, Stonehenge consists of
the remnants of a mysterious circle of large standing stones built
between 3000 B.C. and 1600 B.C.
The prehistoric monument has long baffled archaeologists, who still
argue over its original purpose, with two main theories taking shape
in recent years.
“One is that it was a healing space, the other that it was a place of
the dead. Both theories imply ritual activity. And rituals almost
always involve music as a key element,” Till said.
According to Till, who has also reproduced the sound of someone
speaking or clapping in Stonehenge 5,000 years ago, particular spots
at the site produce unusual acoustic effects, suggesting that perhaps
a priest or a shaman may have stood there, leading the ritual.
Till's research ties in with previous studies carried out by Aaron
Watson, an artist and archaeologist who specializes in the study of
Watson's research strongly suggested that the monument's builders knew
how to direct the movement of sound. Indeed, the stones at Stonehenge
amplify higher-frequency sounds, such as the human voice, while lower-
frequency sounds such as drums pass around the stones and can be heard
for some distance.
The effect would have been a “dynamic multisensory experiences,”
according to Watson.
“An audience outside the monument could not have clearly seen or heard
events within, perhaps creating a sense of mystery. In contrast, an
audience occupying the confined interior of Stonehenge would have
heard amplified sounds,” Watson wrote on his Web site.
(c) 2009 Discovery ChannelJanuary 8, 2009 at 3:57 am #223561
there's this one picture I found on google… I'll have to dig it up.
edit, that was quick:
On the night of the Summer Solstice, large numbers of people gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the rising sun. Throughout the night, revelers dance amoungst the stones to the sound of a chorus of drums. At times the celebration resembles an acoustic drum-n-bass rave.
The central stones of the henge are called the 'Bluestones' although in natural light they appear more grey. During the night of the Summer Solstice, they are floodlit (partly for safety reasons) turning them a deep blue colour. The moon can also seen setting in the background.January 8, 2009 at 4:15 am #223562
That'd be such an awesome location for a party.January 8, 2009 at 5:16 am #223563
I agree…January 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm #223564
;D ;DJanuary 8, 2009 at 11:53 pm #223565
That'd be such an awesome location for a party.
Build a replica, do it at Burning Man ;DJanuary 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm #223559
Build a replica, do it at Burning Man ;D
There was a [email protected] in 2004 that looked “kinda” like it …January 10, 2009 at 1:51 am #223566
Build a replica, do it at Burning Man ;D
heh do it in my backyard instead….
the neighbors, “Whats that hippie up to?………..is that Stonehenge?!?”January 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm #223560
hell yeah, great post!!! i love this!