Soundscaping health: Resonant speculations

Marcia Jenneth Epstein

Abstract


Among the challenges arising in the fields of Acoustic Ecology and Sound Studies is the often contentious process of defining soundscapes that promote health. Questions arise: Should recommendations be based on individual preference, or are there universal principles that apply regardless of circumstances? Are there such things as toxic and nourishing sounds, comparable to elements of nutrition? Do R. Murray Schafer’s calls for quieter and more harmonious soundscapes still make sense amid new assessments of urban noise as a vector for intercultural communication? Are both stances due for reconsideration? Decades of medical research on the effects on health and mood of ambient noise and recreational music can provide answers to some of these questions, even as studies from the social sciences raise others.

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ISSN: 1904-500X

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