Beijing soundscape

My Favourite Beijing Sounds

My Favourite Beijing Sounds is an album by Brit Peter Cusack

What does Beijing sound like? A news item about the sounds of The Netherlands made me wonder about this. Walking home from my Chinese class I came up with the following list:

  • the sound of impatient traffic on a big intersection, with taxi’s and cars honking their horns
  • somebody clearing his (usually it is a he)throat and nose followed by a spitting sound
  • the murmur of tourists below when you are standing on the hill at the Summer Palace
  • the sound of people singing, dancing and making music in one of Beijing’s parks
  • the automatic woman’s voice announcing that the bus is coming
  • the sound of traffic on the third ring road
  • the next stop announcement on the metro
  • the noise of a Chinese restaurant at lunch time, with someone shouting “fuwuyuan” at the top of their voice
  • the sound of an orange clad worker  sweeping the street with a broom
  • the hissing of chuanr and other cooking pots
  • someone speaking in a “rrrr” heavy Beijing accent
  • construction work
  • the wind blowing between the high buildings

A lot of man-made/created noises if I look at the list. Others have thought about Beijing sounds too. Read here what British musician Peter Cusack has to say about the sound of Beijing and check out his Favourite Beijing Sounds album here.

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