Cover for : Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age. Click for larger imageFinished copies of Greg Goodale’s new book Sonic Persuasion: Reading Sound in the Recorded Age just arrived from the printer for an April 25 publication date.  The first book in our new Studies in Sensory History series, Sonic Persuasion analyzes a range of sounds on vocal and musical recordings, on the radio, in film, and in cartoons to show how sounds are used to persuade in subtle ways.

The author has started a great series of posts on his own blog titled The Sound of the 2012 Presidential Candidates.  Goodale believes that their individual vocal styles will help determine the outcome of the presidential primaries.  About Sarah Palin:

You’ll hear some interesting regionalisms in this speech, particularly in her tone. I suspect that her tone, cadence and inflection are all the product of the best of the Republicans’ current crop of speechwriters, Matthew Scully. Scully wrote Palin’s Vice Presidential acceptance speech before the RNC convention in 2008. Scully also worked with Palin on her sound, taking advantage of the regional accent that was latent in Palin’s earlier delivery. That RNC speech was spellbinding and, ever since, Palin has emphasized the accent. . . . Palin does have one glaring weakness, her voice is grating.

The latest is on former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty:

Much has been written about Tim Pawlenty’s recent change of vocal style. Minnesota Public Radio, for example, covered the former governor’s shift to a Southern accent in his recent appearances in Iowa. Normally, the governor has a pretty standard Midwestern accent, a fact that MPR will always remember because it has thousands of hours of Pawlenty “on tape” (it’s actually recorded and archived digitally these days). But now that he is campaigning on the national stage, he has begun to sound, as one MPR listener commented, “like he’s from the South.” MPR’s side-by-side comparison of Governor Pawlenty with Presidential Candidate Pawlenty is devastating.

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