National Park Service: Sound and Picture Gallery

arrowheadBecause the National Park Service works to protect and enhance both park resources and visitor experiences, the Natural Sounds Program differentiates between the physical sound sources and human perceptions of those sounds. The acoustical environment can be defined as combination of all the physical sound resources within a given area. Acoustic resources include both natural sounds (wind, water, wildlife, vegetation) and cultural and historic sounds (battle reenactments, tribal ceremonies, quiet reverence), and a soundscape can be defined as the human perception of those physical sound resources.

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The Natural Sounds Program also likes to differentiate between the use of sound and noise, since these definitions have been used inconsistently in the literature. Although noise is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for sound, it is in fact sound that is negatively evaluated (undesired) or extraneous to an environment. Humans perceive sound as an auditory sensation created by pressure variations that move through a medium such as water or air and is measured in terms of amplitude and frequency (Harris, 1998; Templeton and Sacre, 1997).

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Explore natural sounds at the National Park Service website.

GRSA Site Photo

Yosemite National Park/courtesy of GRSA

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….Yosemite National Park/photo courtesy of GRSA

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2011 WORLD FORUM FOR ACOUSTIC ECOLOGY CONFERENCE

2011 WORLD FORUM FOR ACOUSTIC ECOLOGY CONFERENCE

Crossing listening paths

IONIAN UNIVERSITY, CORFU, 3-7 OCTOBER 2011
CALL FOR SCIENTIFIC AND ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTIONS

Soundscapes are seldom simple; on the contrary, they tend to be complex sounding systems continuously changing in time, which no art or science can approach in depth on its own. Listening is the “corner stone” for the appreciation, participation and study of the sonic environment that surrounds and includes us. As Westerkamp (2002) remarks, it is the ecological balance of our planet that becomes audible “to those who care to listen.”
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