Psychoacoustics : An Introduction to Sonic Activism
Blomstedt, Tomas (2014)
Arcada - Nylands svenska yrkeshögskola
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My thesis is an analysis of existing literature about psychoacoustics, the components of sound and how they shape our perception of sound. My initial interest in the topic stems from a desire to understand what psychoacoustics are and if there are additional scientific concepts that can further explain the power that sound has over us. Because we are constantly surrounded by sounds it is crucial to understand how we are affected by these sounds and how we can in turn affect our acoustic environment. Psychoacoustics is a multi-disciplinary field that aims to explain the relations between the measurable aspects of sounds and the subjective perception of the sound by the listener. With the help of psychoacoustic models we are able to modify sounds so that the listener experiences a desired variation or indeed no variation at all. Psychoacoustic models such as these are applied in various ways in areas such as online streaming, compression algorithms, acoustical planning, development of hearing aides and noise measurement. These models rely on two dimensions and their relationship, the physical or objective, and the subjective perception of the physical. I further propose that there is an intersubjective dimension to sound that is dictated by norms, conventions and traditions within our societies. If we plan to understand the qualities and attributes, in particular the social meaning of sound, there is a need for further scientific study to explore this third dimension of sound. I am convinced that these newfound ideas and resulting scientific knowledge could help us to evolve sound in our existing environment and revolutionize how we plan our acoustical future.