Assessment of urban soundscapes with the focus on an architectural installation with musical features

J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 Jul;134(1):869-79. doi: 10.1121/1.4807805.


Urban soundscapes at five locations in the city of Zadar were perceptually assessed by on-site surveys and objectively evaluated based on monaural and binaural recordings. All locations were chosen so that they would display auditory and visual diversity as much as possible. The unique sound installation known as the Sea Organ was included as an atypical music-like environment. Typical objective parameters were calculated from the recordings related to the amount of acoustic energy, spectral properties of sound, the amount of fluctuations, and tonal properties. The subjective assessment was done on-site using a common survey for evaluating the properties of sound and visual environment. The results revealed the importance of introducing the context into soundscape research because objective parameters did not show significant correlation with responses obtained from interviewees. Excessive values of certain objective parameters could indicate that a sound environment will be perceived as unpleasant or annoying, but its overall perception depends on how well it agrees with people's expectations. This was clearly seen for the case of Sea Organ for which the highest values of objective parameters were obtained, but, at the same time, it was evaluated as the most positive sound environment in every aspect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't