Noise is a widely recognized and ever-increasing problem—and a growing health concern—in the modern world. In Discord, Mike Goldsmith looks at the science and history of the long battle between people and noise—a battle that has changed our lives and molded our societies. He investigates how increasing noise levels relate to human progress, from the clatter of wheels on cobbles to the sound of heavy machinery; explains how our scientific understanding of sound and hearing has developed; and looks at noise in nature, including the remarkable ways in which some animals, such as shrimps, use noise as a weapon or to catch prey. Goldsmith also examines the importance of managing noise levels and developing suitable “soundscapes” in industry, schools, or public spaces. In addition, the book shows that noise, in the sense of dissonance, can also be used positively: composers have employed it from Baroque music to Rock feedback; medicine harnesses it to shatter kidney stones and treat cancer; and even the military uses it in (real and rumored) weapons. Goldsmith concludes by turning to the future, discussing ways in which new science and new ideas may change the way the world will sound.