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Sonic environmental aesthetics and landscape research

Prior, Jonathan ORCID: 2017. Sonic environmental aesthetics and landscape research. Landscape Research 42 (1) , pp. 6-17. 10.1080/01426397.2016.1243235

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The environmental aesthetics literature has primarily focused on the aesthetic qualities and values of landscapes. Within this scholarship, there has been a modest but steady advancement towards explicitly attending to the aesthetic experience of landscape sounds. In this paper, I review the theoretical and applied sonic aesthetics literature pertinent to landscape research, and identify some existing weaknesses. In particular, I demonstrate that there is an ongoing tendency to limit discussions to what is sonically pleasing or displeasing within a given landscape, which, I argue, provides a limited point of entry through which to consider the full scope of landscape sounds. I then turn to offer some ways to address these weaknesses—notably through what I term the development of a ‘sensitive ear’, and through field recording strategies—in the hope that this will allow scholars to better enfold sonic environmental aesthetics within future theoretical and applied landscape research.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Landscape aesthetics; soundscapes; environmental values; field recording; sonic aesthetics
Additional Information: This is an Open access article distributed under the terms of the creative commons attribution-noncommercial-noderivatives License (http://, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0142-6397
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 19 April 2016
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 16:44

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