Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Acoustics of Stonehenge

I caught a really cool “Mysteryquest” episode on the History Channel about the “Sounds of Stonehenge.” There is some thought that Stonehenge was built like a stadium to amplify acoustics. Acoustics experts tested it to see how much the stone amplifies sounds like drumming used in ritual. They recreated ancient music at the site. When the drumming occurred, it bounced off the stones to sound like responding drum beats.

In 3100 BC, they began construction on Stonehenge but it took over 1400 years to complete, passed down through many many generations. Transporting without the wheel they moved blue stones 140 miles. They used carpentry skills in fitting the multi-ton boulders together. It was abandoned in 1000 BC. It was built to line up with the mid summer and mid winter solstices and to this day is a work of wonder and apparently acoustics.

Check out this clip from the show and then the other clip that shows a test on acoustics done at a replica site.


  1. I have always been drawn to Stonehenge.

  2. I have always held a dream of being there on the winter solstice. I just feel as if I were there at that time and touched the stones--something amazing would happen. I hope to fulfill that dream. Maybe I should bring a drum.

  3. Stonehenge is one place I would love to visit. Interesting about the stones bouncing the sounds of music off them. This is something that never occured to me but makes sense. I bet a band would sound cool playing between the stones. They could rock that place!

  4. Julie;
    Yeah, had all the stones still been intact, it probably would have been evident long ago, but it makes perfect sense to have that reverberation to empower the sound of the drums even more. You and I will have to go to Sedona some time and do a drum circle--very empowering--it bounces off the red rocks just like that.

  5. I'd love to go too! When I win the lotto I'll buy the tickets!;) I'll buy the drums too!

  6. Becca;
    I'll earn my way--I'll be the comic relief!