Never before has the "everyday soundtrack" of urban space been so cacophonous. Since the 1970s, sound researchers have attempted to classify noise, music, and everyday sounds using concepts such as Pierre Shafer's "sound object" and R. Murray Schafer's "soundscape." Recently, the most significant team of soundscape researchers in the world has been concerned with the effects of sounds on listeners. In a multidisciplinary work spanning musicology, electro-acoustic composition, architecture, urban studies, communication, phenomenology, social theory, physics, and psychology, Jean-Francois Augoyard, Henry Torgue, and their associates at the Centre for Research on Sonic Space and the Urban Environment (CRESSON) in Grenoble, France, provide an alphabetical sourcebook of eighty sonic/auditory effects. Their accounts of sonic effects such as echo, anticipation, vibrato, and wha-wha integrate information about the "objective" physical spaces in which sounds occur with cultural contexts and individual auditory experience.Sonic Experience attempts to rehabilitate general acoustic awareness, combining accessible definitions and literary examples with more in-depth technical information for specialists.
Jean-Francois Augoyard, a philosopher, urban planner, and musicologist, is the founder of CRESSON at the School of Architecture in Grenoble. Henry Torgue, a sociologist and urban planner, is a researcher at CRESSON and an author, pianist, and composer.