Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2007
Index of content:
Soundscape: An Approach to Rely on Human Perception and Expertise in the Post‐Modern Community Noise Era3(2007); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961148View Description Hide Description
The term “Soundscape” seems like magic compared with standard measurement methods in community noise, since it considers people's minds as measuring instruments having the same relevance as “real” measurements. However, even in the 1970s, Murray Schafer's message about noise‐abatement legislation brought awareness of the necessity and opportunity to consider not just noise alone, but also its perception by the experts who are affected by noise: those who live in the soundscapes—a term Schafer coined. He clearly stated, “early noise abatement legislation was selective and qualitative, contrasting with that of the modern era, which has begun to fix quantitative limits in decibels for all sounds…the study of noise legislation is interesting, not because anything is ever really accomplished by it, rather because it provides us with a concrete register of acoustic phobias and nuisances. Changes in legislation give us clues to changing attitudes and perceptions, and these are important for the accurate treatment of sound symbolism.”
3(2007); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961144View Description Hide Description
In the winter of 2004, the public was able to listen to the sounds of an alien world for the first time. The world was Titan, a moon of Saturn, and the sounds were audio recordings taken during the descent of the Huygens probe. That marked an important step in space exploration, namely the effort to convince the scientific community of the benefits of acoustic sensing in planetary science, given the wealth of information about a planet's environment that acoustics can unlock.
3(2007); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961145View Description Hide Description
Underwater ambient noise, long an important area of study in underwater acoustics and acoustical oceanography, has recently entered the forefront of public awareness. A renewed emphasis on its study is driven in part by basic questions concerning the relation between anthropogenic noise and the ecology of marine mammals. For example, there is concern about the degree to which marine mammals are possibly habituating to, or otherwise being affected by increasing anthropogenic noise contributions. Natural ambient noise has always provided the background noise limitation on the use of sound by marine mammals, but now ambient noise contains a significant anthropogenic component.
3(2007); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2961146View Description Hide Description
Joe Stewart and his wife Ellen recently purchased a condominium in an upscale neighborhood in Playa del Mar, CA. The location was excellent, less than a mile from the beach, south of Marina del Rey. The condominium was comfortable, about 1600 square feet, and the builder had a reputation for quality. Unfortunately, even with a $700,000 price tag, the noise problems were considerable. Movements of people upstairs, both footfall on the hard surface floors and walking on carpeted floors, were loud enough to wake them in the morning. When toilets were flushed upstairs, it sounded like a waterfall running through their walls. The closing of doors, cabinets, and drawers could all be clearly heard. Walking in the upstairs hallway was plainly audible.