Silent Soundwalking: an urban pedestrian soundscape methodology

Drever, John L.. 2013. 'Silent Soundwalking: an urban pedestrian soundscape methodology'. In: AIA-DAGA 2013, the joint Conference on Acoustics, European Acoustics Association Euroregio, 39th annual congress of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik and the 40th annual congress of the Associazione Italiana di Acustica. Merano, Italy. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

The spatial-temporal auditory practice of soundwaking in its classic form involves a group focusing on listening whilst being lead in silence through an everyday environment, a model developed by the World Soundscape Project in the early 1970s, under the rubric of acoustic ecology. Today the discipline of soundwalking is being employed more and more as an active form of social science fieldwork within the meeting points between soundscape studies and noise control: a method of in-situ soundscape surveying/ data gathering. It is also at home in artistic/ music composition territory engendering themes of participation, social context, aesthetic listening, environmental sensitization, interpretation, pedagogy, awareness raising, psychogeographic musings, even catharsis. This complex is manifest when participants are invited to verbalize their experience at the summative discussion when the silence is broken. Urban soundwalking can elicit something of the human (inter)relationship with everyday soundscapes that lab work evades. Furthermore, it can acts as an ear-opener to the sonic dimension of the city, helping re-prioritize the auditory within the rich mix of urban design and the evolving paradigm of ecological urbanism. This paper reflects on the author’s soundwalking strategies and feedback from participants’ experiences undertaken over the past 10 years.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


soundwalking; soundwalk; acoustic ecology; soundscape studies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Unit for Sound Practice Research


20 March 2013["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

Merano, Italy

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Jul 2013 07:54

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:52


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