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  Visitors see their voices in the Hear Here exhibition
Visitors to the Hear Here exhibition use a microphone that transcribes the human voice to a sound frequency spectrum on a computer screen.
Photo courtesy Montshire Museum of Science
The soundscape is no accidental byproduct of society; rather it is a deliberate construction by its creators, a composition which may be as much distinguished for its beauty as for its ugliness.
—Murray Shafer, The Soundscape

The resources you'll find here come out of a workshop called Listening to Exhibits, which was held in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2001, in conjunction with the ASTC Annual Conference. The workshop was designed to heighten awareness of the museum soundscape—from ambient sound and noise to sound as an element of multisensory exhibit experiences.

Ambient sound and noise

Controlling ambient noise, by Robert Fry

Insights into perception of acoustic space from John Hull's memoir Touching the Rock: An Experience of Blindness

Sound as an element of exhibit design

Aesthetics and understanding, by J. Shipley Newlin

Making sense of sound in multisensory exhibits, by Betty Davidson

Sound, delight, and imagination, by Tom Nielsen

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References and links

Readings and resources on the soundscape; environmental psychology and noise; design of public places; sound in exhibits; aging, access, and exhibit design; and acoustics and sonification. Also includes links to listening activities.

Live and Recorded Media: Audio Description and other areas of the Accessible Practices area of the Resource Center.


 

The workshop

A synopsis of the October 2001 workshop, Listening to Exhibits

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