The positive soundscape project

W. J. Davies, M. D. Adams, N. S. Bruce, R. Cain, A. Carlyle, P. Cusack, K. I. Hume, P. Jennings, C. J. Plack

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Positive Soundscape Project is a multi-disciplinary investigation of soundscape perception which started in October 2006. This paper communicates the aims and design of the project and discusses some early results. The project seeks to develop a rounded view of human perception of soundscapes by combining methods from several disciplines. This will involve a move away from measuring sound just as noise. In this respect artistic and ethnographic conceptions of the soundscape are more advanced than mainstream acoustic ones. (While acoustics is tentatively moving away from LAeq as the sole descriptor, artists have interpreted soundscape perception as multi-modal and multi-dimensional from the beginning.) Thus, the PSP work uses methods from sound art, acoustic ecology and social science as well as techniques from acoustics, psychoacoustics, physiology, neuroimaging and sound quality. The project has an unusual design in that there is a two-way exchange between the different disciplines. For example, an artistically conceived 'soundtoy' will be used to stimulate discussion in social science focus groups and to inspire laboratory psychoacoustic experiments. A pilot investigation of an urban soundscape in the UK has been conducted and preliminary conclusions will be drawn on the benefits and problems of an intensely inter-disciplinary approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 19th International Congress on Acoustics
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event19th International Congress on Acoustics 2007 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: 2 Sept 20077 Sept 2007


Conference19th International Congress on Acoustics 2007
Abbreviated titleICA 2007


  • acoustics sound


Dive into the research topics of 'The positive soundscape project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this