Volume 14 (1993) Issue 3 Pages 189-195
The word “soundscape” which was first proposed by Canadian composer R. M. Schafer is now very popular in world wide. In Japan several researchers are carrying on studies about the soundscapes. A survey was held with the purpose of applying the results to a design of a comfortable acoustic environment. The subjects were requested to give their preference to nineteen sorts of environmental sounds on a rating scale with seven categories of degree of “like-dislike” by own memory of the sounds. As the results of survey the sound sources were classified into four groups according to the degree of preference, and the conditions that the sound source should possess for soundscape were extracted. Thus the guide for the soundscape design is described as follows based on the results of survey and author's opinion. 1. The sound should not be so loud. 2. The sounds must have good tone qualities. 3. The sounds should be emitted at the most appropriate time and within a suitable duration. 4. The sounds should be matched with surroundings. 5. The sounds should be at least consented to residents of the neighborhood around the sounding position. The particular sounds of the soundscape or acoustic signals are generally emitted with some degree of intensity, however in some Japanese ceremonies there are no sounds at all as the performance within a particular area. Several examples of these ceremonies which are held in silence are introduced, and the author's opinion is that the most important thing in sound environment is the stillness, and that the basic concept of the soundscape design is the creation of the least quantity of sound by which the stillness is made more silent after accomplishment of the noise control.