Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Positive Soundscapes: Re-evaluation of Environmental Sound


This looks like an extremely interesting and worthwhile multi disciplinary project based in Manchester.
Here is some info from their website:

In the acoustics community, sound in the environment, especially that made by other people, has overwhelmingly been considered in negative terms, as both intrusive and undesirable. The strong focus of traditional engineering acoustics on reducing noise level ignores the many possibilities for characterising positive aspects of the soundscapes around us. Desirable aspects of the soundscape have been investigated in the past, mainly by artists and social scientists. This work has had little impact on quantitative engineering acoustics, however, perhaps because of barriers to communication across different disciplines.

The team behind this project comes from a very wide range of disciplines – social science, physiological acoustics, sound art, acoustic ecology, psychoacoustics, product perception and room acoustics. They will apply their breadth of experience to investigate soundscapes from many aspects and produce a more nuanced and complete picture of listener response than has so far been achieved.


The aims of the project are:

  1. To acknowledge the relevance of positive soundscapes, to move away from a focus on negative noise and to identify a means whereby the concept of positive soundscapes can effectively be incorporated into planning; and
  2. The evaluation of the relationship between the acoustic/auditory environment and the responses and behavioural characteristics of people living within it


Check out their site for more info -
Positive Soundscapes Web

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