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Acoustic Communication by Barry Truax Coursework

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The central point of Barry Truax’s acoustic study is the “acoustic community”. Truax defines it as “any soundscape in which acoustic information plays a pervasive role in the lives of the inhabitants…it is any system within which acoustic information is exchanged.” (Truax, 65 – 66) Drawing from this expanded and specific definition, acoustic communities can be groups of people working together in one office, students that study in a classroom or live in a dormitory or even whole villages and towns where the acoustic environment is the same for all their inhabitants. On the basis of the above-presented definition of the acoustic community, I can state that I have also been a member of such a community. Once, I had an opportunity to rent a flat in a multi-story house where I had many neighbors. I am convinced that this experience of mine can be called living in an acoustic community because, according to Truax (2000), acoustic information played a pervasive role in the lives of all inhabitants and participated in the information exchange. The sounds that were typical of that acoustic community ranged from the quarrels of neighboring families to announcements made for all the inhabitants regarding the need to pay the rent or carry out some repair works in the house’s gas supply system, etc. The keynotes, signals and sound marks were essential for creating the community, as acoustic information present in it was not always relevant for all its members and was considered to be noise by those who did not relate to it directly. Thus, the acoustic community was functional because all its members could obtain useful information from the acoustic environment; at the same time, it was unbalanced as acoustic information was not always relevant to the needs of all the community members.

Works Cited

Truax, Barry. Acoustic Communication (Second Edition). Ablex Publishing, 2000.

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