Article provided by National Library Board

Collecting the sounds unique to Singapore

Photographs have long immortalised special moments in time, documenting faces, places and the peaks and troughs of life in visual form. But there is a soundtrack to history too: What might someone from the future gather about life in Singapore today based on its aural heritage?

This is where SoundscapeSG - a crowd-sourcing initiative which aims to build a sound map of Singapore - comes in. Launched by the National Library Board (NLB) in August to mark the 55th National Day, the project invites the public to contribute sound recordings of everyday life today before they disappear.

Capturing snippets of Singapore's soundscape

You can contribute sound recordings that are unique to Singapore and Singaporeans in these five areas:

  • Local accents and dialects (e.g. the language spoken by a specific region or social group);
  • Wildlife and nature (e.g. sounds of plants, animals and landscapes like parks and trails);
  • Sounds of the heartlands (e.g. sounds at home, wet markets, hawker centres, void decks, etc.);
  • Sounds at the workplace (e.g. sounds in workplaces of various industries);
  • Festivals and celebrations (e.g. sounds of festivals celebrated in Singapore).

Visit, select the theme (e.g. local accents and dialects) of the sound recording you wish to upload, then click on the map to indicate where it was recorded in Singapore. You will then need to input details such as the title and description of the recording.

All sound recordings will be assessed for suitability before they are uploaded on the National Archives of Singapore's Citizen Archivist portal. This aural repository will form an invaluable part of Singapore's shared heritage. Sounds, like pictures, can be worth a thousand words too.


Members of the public can click on the map to indicate where in Singapore the sound recording was recorded


Input details of the sound recording uploaded

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