Anthropause on audio: The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on church bell ringing and associated soundscapes in New South Wales (Australia)

J Acoust Soc Am. 2020 Nov;148(5):3102. doi: 10.1121/10.0002451.


The use of religious bells as symbolism and ritual is prevalent in many faiths worldwide. However, the sound of bells emanating from churches is by nature not exclusive to the church, as these sounds can effectively become part of the "public domain." The value of church bell ringing can therefore be attributed to the church community and clergy as well as the wider community. Cessation of these sounds affects not only the soundscape of the area, but the people who place value on these sounds or soundscapes. Data are presented from a previous survey from 2018 investigating church bell practices in New South Wales (Australia) and compared to the current practice of bell ringing, which has been heavily influenced by regulations introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • New South Wales
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sound*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires