The study of acoustic communication between animals forms an important theme in research into behavioural biology at universities around the world. Particularly bird sounds have therefore been studied and continue to be studied in the Netherlands, and they are also extremely popular among amateur sound-hunters. As a result of technological developments over the last century in the fields of sound recording, production and processing quite a number of technical tools have become available to scientists as well as hobbyists. This article briefly describes the contribution of several historically important biologists and a selection of discoveries about and insights into the vocal language of animals. The examples have been chosen to illustrate how scientific progress has been made as a result of technological advancement. The article concludes with a short summary about how the acoustic medium is being exploited by several groups of people in modern society to gain and share knowledge, and above all to enjoy the beauty and diversity of sounds from the natural world.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Slabbekoorn, Hans. (2009). Geschiedenis van de bioakoestiek in technologisch perspectief. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 12(2), 205–232. doi:10.18146/tmg.567