Learning More About Global Soundscapes

Global Soundscapes

A few months ago one of our bloggers, Jerry Berrier, shared his experiences after he listened in during one of the first soundscape classes here at Perkins. His blog post provided a wonderful introduction to this exciting new science.  Here is a brief review of the components of Global Soundscapes and some resources. 

Do you enjoy the sounds of a rushing stream and the rustle of the leaves as the wind blows through the trees?  Does listening to music soothe your soul? Are you annoyed when the sound of a leaf blower drowns out the songs of the birds?  If so you have experienced the three major parts of the science of global soundscapes:  Anthrophony, Geophony, and Biophony. 


The sound of the leaf blower is a manmade sound!  Our world is full of these sounds: Cars, trucks, hammers pounding, printers printing, and of course the beautiful music we make. Anthrophony is the sound created by human activity.


The non-living aspects of our world, the earth and the atmosphere create sounds also.   The loud noises of a volcanic eruption or a landslide are both Geophony.  The wind, the rain and thunder are other sounds in this category.


Biophony is the sound of the living part of our world: the croaking of the frogs, the music of the birds, the howl of the coyote, and the songs of the whales, and so much more!  So often the manmade sounds drown out the sounds of the living world.   

Perkins students and teachers are working with researchers, professors, and others as part of a National Science Foundation Grant supporting this study.  We are in the first year of the 5 year grant period during which we will collaborate in collecting data, developing a universally designed curriculum for students and helping to create an accessible IMAX movie about Soundscapes. 

Last summer, two teachers from Perkins attended an international conference in Wells Maine to hear presentations about Global Soundscapes.  http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/28/6071399/scientists-are-recording-the-sound-of-the-whole-planet  This article about the conference features a quote from Perkins teacher Jeff Miggliozzi, one of the attendees. 

Learn more about the science of Global Soundscapes at:



Bernie Krause

Click here to watch this Ted Talk with Bernie Krause where he discusses his experiences recording wild soundscapes for the past 45 years.







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