A new interdiscipline combining the talents of scientists, social scientists and artists (particularly musicians). Soundscape design attempts to discover principles and to develop techniques by which the social, psychological and aesthetic quality of the acoustic environment or soundscape may be improved.
The techniques of soundscape design are both educational and technical. The latter include the elimination or restriction of certain sounds (noise abatement), the evaluation of new sounds before they are introduced indiscriminately into the environment, as well as the preservation of certain sounds (soundmarks), and above all the imaginative combination and balancing of sounds to create attractive and stimulating acoustic environments. Soundscape design may also include the composition of actual environments, and in this respect it is contiguous with contemporary musical composition.
To the extent that it attempts to understand individual, community and cultural behaviour, soundscape design takes the broad perspective of a communicational discipline, and touches such other areas as sociology, anthropology, psychology and geography. (Source: Barry Truax - Handbook for Acoustic Ecology CD-ROM Edition. Cambridge Street Publishing, 1999 - CSR-CDR 9901)
See also:Acoustic Ecology, Hi-Fi and Lo-Fi, Masking, Noise Pollution, Soundwalk