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Researchers building 'sound map' of religion in Midwest

Feb 7, 2015

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan and Ohio researchers are building a "sound map" of religion in Midwestern communities to explore religious diversity in a novel way.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Religious and comparative studies professors from Michigan State University and Ohio State University received a $30,000 grant from the Humanities without Walls consortium. It's funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

  Researchers will record what they call "canonical" sounds, such as calls to prayer and chanting, and "non-canonical" sounds in homes and workplaces during festivals and secular gatherings. They will be combined with interviews, images and stories into a public online platform.

  Michigan State says this week the project is expected to launch next year, and the team will archive recordings at Ohio State's library. Museum installations and traveling exhibits are planned in which listeners can upload recordings.