R. Murray Schafer, The Tuning of the World (1980)

(Sorry for posting this late and this short.)

Schafer sets out to ask what impact the changing relationship between "man" and his soundscape (i.e., sounding environment) has. This soundscape has been changing forever, but now that we live in a new age we should study the soundscape by all means. Soundscape studies should be viewed as a collaborative undertaking combining science, society and arts. Acoustic design should prescribe ways to deal with new technological developments. Just like musicians organize sounds, acoustic designers should organize anyone and anything that sounds to give it form and beauty. Schafer posits that there is a relationship between humankind's wellbeing and the quantity and quality of the sounds heard.

Question: In what ways do you think the ethical dimension is justified? In other words: Should we worry about this soundscape or just be laissez-faire like and celebrate the new?

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~ by Klaas van der Linden on March 24, 2009.

One Response to “R. Murray Schafer, The Tuning of the World (1980)”

  1. Do you mean whether we should worry about today’s post-industrial soundscape with all its noise pollution?

    It is interesting that we are being polluted, and I have read some articles on the fact that indeed your ears remain always open, even during your sleep and that passing trains or busy roads do have influence on you while you are sleeping.> I can fully inderstand that this has a big influence on your well-being.
    But should we worry about it? As Rosi Braidotti mentioned in our Technobodies class > sorry for quoting her so much :)> our generation will be deaf on our fourtieth and wear hearingdevices that we will be able to switch of and on anyhow. By the way, won’t our ears develop (evolutionary) with our soundscape?
    And then another trend that I have been spotting (and hearing)> the advance of silent technologies! Computershops that are called: “ikbenstil” (Iamsilent) and electric cars and buses will change our soundscape tremendously. As people are seeking for more transparent technology, ( not seeing that there is technology) they are requesting also more silent technology. (not hearing that technology is at work). I like sounddesign, it is obviously a product of our time.

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