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In order to listen, we need to stop or at least slow down—physically and psychologically, becoming a human being instead of a 'human doing.'
—Kendall Wrightson



The soundscape
Environmental psychology, noise
Design of public places
Sound in exhibits
Aging, access, and exhibit design
Acoustics and sonification
Activities

The Soundscape
Schafer, R. Murray. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1977, 1994.
A rich resource from the Canadian composer who coined the term "soundscape." Surveys the history of the sonic environment and its relationship with music; approaches to recording and analyzing the soundscape; and acoustic design. Reading this book is a great start at the "ear cleaning" Schafer recommends.

World Forum for Acoustic EcologyWorld Forum for Acoustic Ecology
A rich and thought-provoking collection of articles about the soundscape, physics of sound, listening and hearing, sonic arts, and other aspects of acoustic ecology.

Wild Sanctuary Krause, Bernard L. The Niche Hypothesis: A virtual symphony of animal sounds, the origins of musical expression and the health of habitats. The Soundscape Newsletter. Number 6, June 1993. Traditional knowledge, and recent scientific work, suggest that each creature seems to have its own "sonic niche (channel, or space) in the frequency spectrum and/or time slot occupied by no other at that particular moment." More reports are available on Krause's web site, Wild Sanctuary.

Environmental psychology, noise
Evans, Gary W. Learning and the physical environment. In Public Institutions for Personal Learning, eds. John H. Falk and Lynn D. Dierking, 119-126. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 1995.
Good overview of major dimensions of the physical context of the museum experience from the perspective of an environmental psychologist.

Design 
              of Child Care Centers and Effects of Noise on Young Children Maxwell, Lorraine E. and Gary W. Evans. Design of Child Care Centers and Effects of Noise on Young Children. Design Share: the source for facilities.
Brief review of research on effects of noise on attention, memory, reading ability, and academic achievement in classroom settings, with comment on ways design of interior spaces can reduce noise.

Moore, Gary T. The Physical Environment and Cognitive Development in Child-Care Centers. In Spaces for Children: The Built Environment and Child Development, ed. Carol Simon Weinstein and Thomas G. David, 41-72. New York: Plenum Press, 1987.

Noise and Its EffectsSuter, Alice H. Noise and Its Effects. 1991.
Extensive review of literature prepared for a U.S. government agency, apparently on the closing of EPA's Office of Noise Abatement and Control. Reviews research on effects of noise on hearing, communication, school performance, sleep, task performance, social behavior, and stress. Cites a 1971 World Health Organization working group, which concluded: "Noise must be recognized as a major threat to human well-being."

Classroom Acoustics National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities: Classroom Acoustics
Extensive list of annoted resources on design of educational facilities, primarily classrooms.

Noise and Its Effects on ChildrenNoise and Its Effects on Children.
An advocacy group's web site, with summaries of some research on noise.

Noise Pollution ClearinghouseNoise Pollution Clearinghouse
Another resource for articles about noise.

Access Board: Classroom AcousticsU.S. Access Board: Classroom Acoustics

Design of public places
Carr, Stephen et al. Public Space. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. See for example profile of Greenacre Park in New York City, a "vest-pocket park" with a waterfall. Quotes Burden who found in a 1977 study what happens when the waterfall is turned off for maintenance: "People halt conversations abruptly and make ready to leave. The sounds of the city suddenly fill the park, absorbing it and transforming an oasis into an adjunct of the street" (p.103).

Semper, Rob. The Importance of Place. ASTC Newsletter, 1996
General overview of public space aspects of museum settings.

Sound in exhibits
Davidson, Betty. New Dimensions for Traditional Dioramas: Multisensory Additions for Access, Interest and Learning. Boston: Museum of Science, 1991.
Summary of NSF-funded work to widen access to natural history exhibits for visitors with disabilities. Audio labels were among the strategies used. As the museum found, the result was a more effective experience for all visitors.

Marsh, Caryl. In Praise of Sound at the Royal Ontario Museum. Curator, Volume 41, Number 1, March 1998, 50-56.
Review of use of sound in an archaeology exhibit. The author suggests that having given attention to touching and handling, museums now should "give thought and attention to providing visitors with quality sound. I do not mean uncontrollable sound blaring unceasingly in the background. Nor do I mean the boiler-factory noises so prevalent in too many science centers. I do mean the kinds of high-quality, carefully designed, private sound oases that I found so refreshing and informative at the ROM."

Aging, access, and exhibit design
Accessible Practices
Rich set of resources on ASTC web site, including this section on Live and Recorded Media.

Hull, John. Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness. Vintage Books, 1992.
Beautifully written memoir of the period in this English professor's life when he went from having poor vision to total blindness. Hull has spoken on National Public Radio, and tapes are available from Soundprint.

Smithsonian Guidelines Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design
In addition to many other aspects of design, provides guidelines for making audiovisual and interactive exhibits accessible to people who are blind and have low vision, and people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Includes sample of audio description for film.

Fast noisy speech Tun, Patricia A. Fast noisy speech: age differences in processing rapid speech with background noise. Psychology and Aging 1998; 13: 424-434.
Her research is summarized in an article at this web site, which says: "Older adults' occasional difficulties in following conversation may arise from simple background noise and mile-a-minute talkers -- not failing hearing, which affects fewer than 40 percent of those over age 75."

Acoustics and sonification
Auditory displayInternational Community for Auditory Display. Listing of books and publications.

Activities
Attentive ListeningAttentive Listening and Soundscape Study
Readings and activities by Gary Ferrington, including "Take a Listening Walk and Learn to Listen" and "Keep Your Ear Lids Open."

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