The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Oct 1, 1993 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 320 pages
The soundscape--a term coined by the author--is our sonic environment, the ever-present array of noises with which we all live. Beginning with the primordial sounds of nature, we have experienced an ever-increasing complexity of our sonic surroundings. As civilization develops, new noises rise up around us: from the creaking wheel, the clang of the blacksmith’s hammer, and the distant chugging of steam trains to the “sound imperialism” of airports, city streets, and factories. The author contends that we now suffer from an overabundance of acoustic information and a proportionate diminishing of our ability to hear the nuances and subtleties of sound. Our task, he maintains, is to listen, analyze, and make distinctions.

As a society we have become more aware of the toxic wastes that can enter our bodies through the air we breathe and the water we drink. In fact, the pollution of our sonic environment is no less real. Schafer emphasizes the importance of discerning the sounds that enrich and feed us and using them to create healthier environments. To this end, he explains how to classify sounds, appreciating their beauty or ugliness, and provides exercises and “soundwalks” to help us become more discriminating and sensitive to the sounds around us. This book is a pioneering exploration of our acoustic environment, past and present, and an attempt to imagine what it might become in the future.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Preface
The Natural Soundscape
The Sounds of Life
The Rural Soundscape
From Town to City
THE POSTINDUSTRIAL SOUNDSCAPE
Music the Soundscape and Changing
Notation
TOWARD ACOUSTIC DESIGN
Listening
The Acoustic Designer
The Soniferous Garden
Silence
The Music Beyond
International Sound Preference
Footnotes

Morphology
Noise
A Note About the Author
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1993)

A well-known Canadian composer, R. Murray Schafer is the author of several books, including The Music of the Environment.

Bibliographic information