Overview Edit

Recording and layering environmental and artificial sounds to create a textured sonic context and collection of detail

Definition and History Edit

In their article "Voice in the Cultural Soundscape: Sonic Literacy in Composition Studies," Michelle Comstock and Mary E. Hocks refer to sonic rhetoric as the ability to identify, define, situate, construct, manipulate, and communicate our personal and cultural soundscapes. They elaborate on this by saying that sonic rhetoric (also referred to as sonic literacy in their article) is a critical process of listening to and creating embodied knowledge, of understanding our soundscapes as cultural artifacts, of achieving resonance with particular audiences, and of developing the technological literacies involved in recording, amplifying, layering, and mixing sound.

Examples Edit

A simple example would be the rhetorical device alliteration. This rhetorical device is a sonic one, which means it depends on the sounds of the words a speaker uses.

I think another example of sonic rhetoric would be music. Music involves the layering of different sounds to convey both conceptual and emotional content.

Keywords Edit


Sonic Literacy

Citations Edit

Comstock, Michelle, and Mary Hocks. "Voice in the Cultural Soundscape: Sonic Literacy in Composition Studies."Technological Literacies of Sound. Web. 21 Nov. 2014. <>

Selfe, Cynthia L. "The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing." College Composition and Communication 60.4 (2009): 616-63. Web.