Much has been written about the sounds of cities (and we just wrote about it), but usually from sounds other than our voices.
Cities have soundmarks, like landmarks. In San Francisco, it’s the sound of a trolley bell. In New Orleans, it may be the muffled trumpet of a nearby jazz bar.
- from The Science of Quieter Cities, by Emily Badger
But the true tone of a city comes from the voices that inhabit it. We’ve collected four short clips from four different cities around the world. Can you guess each city from the sounds of their collective voices?
Guess these cities
Listen to the following four clips, no more than 30 seconds each. If you can correctly guess all four cities (in the comments), you’ll win a spectacular prize.
At first we tried to make the prize the mayorship of all four cities, but apparently democracy exists. So instead, you’ll get a Mapped T-shirt. Which also works as an invisibility cloak*.
Send us your city
We’re looking for more sounds, more stories from more cities:
- Send us a sound clip from a city; make sure that it’s mostly voices. The more common the sound file format (mp3 for example), the more likely I’ll be able to listen to it.
- Send us your favorite story from a city where you live or where you’ve visited – what somebody said to you, or what you overheard or the sounds of voices that surprised you
Send them to email@example.com. We’ll publish the best ones, and perhaps create a piece of folklore for the future to see and hear, at least until the apocalypse.
*not actually true
Illustration by Hennie Haworth