The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World
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.
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acoustic design acoustic environment acoustic space acoustical engineers aesthetic aircraft ambient noise American animals anti-noise aural space Barry Truax birds broadcasting by-law called century CHAPTER church bell clock composer continuous culture decibels ear cleaning echo effect European factory forest frequency frog garden hear heard Hermann Helmholtz hi-fi horn human Industrial Revolution instance instruments invention keynote sounds landscape legislation listening lo-fi London loud machine man’s modern Moozak Murray Schafer musicians natural soundscape night noise abatement noise pollution notation orchestra Pierre Schaeffer pitch post horn produced psychoacoustics quiet radio recording reverberation rhythms Sacred Noise signals silence singing siren society song sonic sonological competence sound event sound level sound object soundmarks soundscape studies street symbolism symphony tape telephone tempo Thomas Hardy tone town traffic Vancouver vibrations visual voice waves whistle wind words World Soundscape Project York