Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Sound (music?) as a behaviour modifier

On Mon, 01 Sep 1997 10:09:29 +0200, 
John Darcy Evans   <jdevans@ctcc.gov.za> wrote:

>What is meant by *good sounds*??  And *good feelings*??  [Whitney
>Houston? Sting? UB 40? Pavarotti? a nightingale/whip-o-will? a sitar? a
>swarm of bees? dead silence?]  Good to some, very bad to others.  And
>I dare say Whitney creates a lot of *warmth, solidarity and conviviality*
>amongst those who are attracted to her style, et cetera.  A Franklin
>Graham campaign in a local stadium was *good sounds* to a lot of
>people [including me]: a kilometre away, it was an awful noise.

  The issue of "good" vs. "bad" sound has been a topic of discussion 
recently on the WFAE mailing list (acoustic-ecology@sfu.ca).  

  I think the approach of "good sounds - OK, bad sounds - NOT OK", is 
hopelessly flawed because we will never all agree on just what sounds 
are bad or good.  There are some in the acoustic-ecology movement who 
are looking for universally "good" sounds.   Not just in the sense of 
what's pleasant but what's "good for you" in the same sense some 
people have about what foods are "good" for your body.  If possible, 
they would then saturate the planet with these "good" sounds, and 
think it a boon to mankind.  Personally, I would think it hideous.
   What we should focus on, I think, is not whether sounds are 
"good" or "bad", but rather whether or not there is *consent* on the 
part of the hearer.  If not, that's all that really matters.  Whether 
anyone else thinks that sound is "good" is irrelevant.  It doesn't 
even matter if the *hearer* will admit the sound is "good".  It 
depends entirely upon the context and that depends entirely upon the 
hearer.  I will admit, for example, that an a cappella choir or a solo 
oboe both sound "good" but, if I were trying to work, I absolutely 
could not tolerate the distraction, and would say "no" if either were 

David Staudacher - quiet@igc.org
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