In depth info about the terminology, concepts and methods used for this project.

Here are the basic descriptions regarding the fields on the Sound Map of Tallinn – Research Survey Form

Name/email: (print your name and email so we know who to credit)

Location(address): (write the address or describe the location of where you are making your observations from. It could be simple like ‘sidewalk -Narva Mnt 55’ or If, for example you are on a bus, then write ‘Tallinn City Bus #19 on route to Lasnamäe’).

District: (mark the district where the sound occurs. if it can be heard in more than one district, mark several. ‘seaside’ could be anywhere on the coast or out in the water)

Date/Season: (if the sonic event a single event then write the date or if it continues for a longer period of time, for example relating to snow, then write winter. If the sound is continuos write ‘all year’)

Time: (again if you are describing a single event then write the time of day. If the sound lasts a for longer time, write the duration. For example, crowd cheers from a football game will last only for a few hours, so write ‘2.5 hours, 19-21.30’)

Recording? (did you make a sound recording? while sound recordings are not necessary they can be helpful. But to keep this project simple we will focus on text and drawings. Taking a photo is also helpful but no necessary)

Spatiality: (think about the source of where the sound comes from. if it unique and only come from one localized point, like a knocking flag pole, it can be marked as ‘fixed point’. a ‘wide’ sound could be from a fixed point but is heard from many different places like a ship horn. and ‘multiple’ could be any sound that occurs in many locations, like traffic noises or common industrial sounds)

Temporality: (this is related to time, but helps to understand our relation to the sound. ‘Conditional’ means the sound can be heard only at a specific time, like ‘only when it rains’ or ‘only late at night when the city is quiet’. you can write this in the description field)

Basic Category: (the sound phenomenon or effect does not have to fit in one of these categories, but offer them as a general guide to help define the type of analysis we are engaged in. ‘Measurement’ refers to making technical measurements like SPL or Sound Pressure Level readings to see how loud a place might be. ‘Historical/Cultural’ refers to sounds that have some cultural significance like a song festival or type of instrument heard or it can refer to a sound that cannot be heard and exists as a memory like a factory that has closed down. ‘Architectural/Landscape’ can refer to an acoustic phenomenon that happens in a particular space such as a building, room, street, tunnel, park. The scale can be large or small. For example, think about why Old Town has a very different soundscape than Kristiine shopping center or Kadriorg Park. ‘Mediated/Commercial’ refers to sounds or soundscapes that are created artificially to shape the ‘ambience’ around us like music in shops or shape our behavior via signals like cell phone ring tones. These kinds of sounds can often define public and private territories. ‘Other’ can be whatever you think, just explain it in the description. As always, more than one category may apply)

Description: (write down any details that help describe or define the sound or sonic effect. this may also be personal reflections like, ‘I never noticed how many sounds snow can make’. describing sounds or what we hear is not always easy. there are relatively few words for sound effects versus the rich language imagery. but trying to write about sound helps understand our understanding of what we hear)

Sketch / Diagram / Notes: (extra space for descriptions… sometimes if written language doesn’t work and sketch or drawing can. maybe a sound creates an image for you and you want to make a visual note or you might need to draw a set of symbols to help describe a complex soundscape. close your eyes and listen carefully. see what kind of images come to mind and how you perception interprets sounds of the space you are in)

Feel free to experiment and try different methods of analysis. The rules of sonic analysis are not fixed. Observation is very much based on subjective experience. If you find something interesting fill in the Research Survey Form but then ask a friend or two to listen to the same thing and also fill in the form. Compare your descriptions and see how similar or different the results are. Discuss the reasons for the similarities or differences.

Also, consider the time and/or the conditions under which the sounds or sonic effects occur. Return to the same location multiple times and note how much the sound changes or stays the same (if you thing the sound is really continuous). Many things affect the way we hear, your mood, the weather, if you are alone or in a group, the amount of traffic in the city, how many people occupy the space.

Print out and fill out as many forms as you like.

What to do with filled out forms?

You can either scan or photograph (high quality) the form and send the file to the email on the bottom.

or send a message to the email at the bottom of the form asking for a contact point or person where to bring the filled out forms.

What is the deadline to fill out forms?

We aim to print the final Sound Map of Tallinn in June 2011. The layout and design work should start a least one month before. Really, try to get us the forms as soon as possible.

Why is the Sound Map not on the internet?

The reason to make a printed map is to encourage people to go out into the city space itself and listen, not stay at home in front of a computer. They can use the map as a reference to follow it and see what they find. So far there are no printed sound maps that we know of but many online projects. If you want to sit at home and listen to some recordings made in Tallinn click here to hear some recordings made at our workshop last spring.

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