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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 25, 2017

The Role of Music in City Audio Guides in Italian and in English

Maria Elisa Fina
From the journal Multimodal Communication

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate city audio guides in Italian and in English from a multimodal perspective, focusing on the use of music. The audio guide genre is here described as a ‘soundscape’ (Van Leeuwen, T. (1999). Speech, Music, Sounds. London: Macmillan.), i.e. a composite semiotic system characterised by speech, music, and sounds. A Corpus of fifty professional city audio guides in Italian and in English has been qualitatively investigated in order to determine how music can be distributed within the audio guide script, whether and how it intertwines with speech, and the effects it may produce on the listener. The results show that music may be used to serve several purposes, and highlight in particular the roles played by music when this is strictly relevant to the narration. Key differences in the use of music between audio guides in Italian and in English were identified and on the basis of these differences translation issues and implications for professionals in the field are addressed by listing a series of aspects that could be taken into account when producing English versions of Italian audio guides.

Appendix 1 – Types and distribution of music in the Italian audio guides

Audio guideType of musicDistribution of music in the script
UnrelatedContent-relatedBeginning/end of each trackBetween sectionsIn a few partsIn all/most of the tour
Cagliari
Catania
Ferrara
Firenze
Genova
Lecce
Milano
Modena
Padova
Rimini
Sirmione
Torino

Appendix 2 – Types and distribution of music in the British+Irish audio guides

Audio guideType of musicDistribution of music in the tour
UnrelatedContent-relatedIntro/EndBeginning/end of each trackBetween sectionsIn a few partsIn all/most of the script
Bristol
Cambridge
Dublin
Edinburgh New Town
Edinburgh Royal Mile
Glasgow
Leicester
London by StrollOn
Portsmouth
Sligo
Westminster and West End

Appendix 3 – Types and distribution of music in the American audio guides

Audio guideType of musicDistribution of music in the tour
UnrelatedContent-relatedIntro/EndBeginning/end of each trackIn a few partsIn all/most of the script
Albany
Chicago
Denver
Downtown Houston
Elgin
Greenwich Village
Lexington
London by Rick Steves
New York NAT
Philadelphia Constitutional
Philadelphia by WelcomeWalks
Washington National Mall
Washington Capitol Hill
Washington DC by Audioviator

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Published Online: 2017-10-25
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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