“Without writing, words have no visual presence, even when the objects they represent are visual. They are sounds. …. [S]ound has a special relationship to time, unlike that of other fields registered by human sensation. Sound exists only when it is going out of existence.” (Orality and Literacy, 31-2).
Unlike a moving picture, which can be stopped on a single frame, one cannot stop sound and have sound. In most situations, pausing a moment in an audio recording produces silence, not in indefinitely sustained note. However, one could stop on a single note of music or a single syllable of speech, and extend that one moment of sound indefinitely. Read the rest of this entry »