Due Date: September 26, 2013 at 12 noon.

Assignment Description: To get you started in thinking about the place of sound and music in the world around you, you are going to complete a short analysis of the soundscape (see Schafer from the first week) that exists in different parts of the GTA. In order to complete the assignment, you must pick a particular location in the GTA (although the York campus is off limits). You must listen to this location for 30-40 minutes, at which point you should make note the sounds (natural, industrial, musical) that you hear.

To complete the assignment, you will need the following information:

  • Location (the street address as close as possible)
  • The time of day, and the date
  • A list of the sounds you heard. The sounds themselves, not just explanation of what makes the sounds. Before you say, “I heard cars”, you should be able to describe the sound that you heard not the source of it.

Tip: If possible, you might want to make a short recording of between 3-5 minutes to refer to later when you are writing up the assignment. But this is not necessary.

You will then be asked to write a short analysis of the soundscape, answering all of the following questions:

  • Describe the sounds in detail. Again, not just what made the sounds but the frequency, pitch, volume, duration, tone, and timbre of the sounds.
  • What kind of sounds are these? What do these sounds say about the place where you heard them? What is their meaning?
  • What would you call the ‘keynote’? Are there any ‘soundmarks’ in your experience?
  • Does the place where you heard them matter to their meaning?

The assignment is to be submitted online, using the course website. Instructions are below: 

1) Log into the course website and, at the top of your browser, you should see the “+ New” menu header. Select “post.”

2) Enter a title which described the place where you did your soundscape assignment (please avoid generic titles like “Soundscape.”) Titles that specify the place, the time, etc. are much better.

3) In the large text box, enter your assignment. If you are cutting and pasting from a word processor like MsWord, make sure to clear away any garbage that might enter from the transfer.

4) Map your location by clicking on the small “globe” above the main text window (it looks like this “Add Map“). Create a new map. Enter the location (street address is best, but you can sometimes use names like “CN Tower”), finally give the map a title (similar to the unique title of your blog entry.) Save the map by clicking on the “Save button.” Insert it into your post by clicking on the “insert this map.”

5) Click on the blue “publish” or “update” button to the right of the text window.

6) Visit the page to make sure everything looks right. If not, you are free to edit it until the assignment deadline.