Why soundscapes are as important as landscapes in creating ‘happy places’

Through soundscapes, we map the landscape acoustically and by doing this we become – albeit subconsciously – acoustic ecologists.  

“A soundscape is a sound or combination of sounds that forms or arises from an immersive environment.”

The idea of the soundscape refers to both the natural acoustic environment, made up of natural sounds, including animal noises as well as the sounds of weather and other natural elements, and environmental sounds,  created by man, including controlled sound, such as musical composition, sound design, and language, work, and sounds of mechanical origin resulting from use of industrial technology. Crucially, the term soundscape also includes the listener’s perception of sounds heard as an environment.

It is this very personal interpretation of the soundscape that, hand in hand with a familiar, much loved visual landscape,  completes the picture,  rekindling happy memories and boosting wellbeing.  For some it may be the sound of sky larks rising over a salt-marsh on a summers day – or boat halyards clinking in a brisk breeze.

What’s your favourite soundscape that takes you to your happy place?

( Ref: Barry Truax, Acoustic Communication and  Bernie Krause, Voices of the Wild: Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes)


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