The word "soundscape" was coined by composer R. Murray Schafer to identify sounds that "describe a place, a sonic identity, a sonic memory, but always a sound that is pertinent to a place" (Wagstaff, G. 2000).
The soundscapes on this site comprise six separate sound packages:
Soundscapes of Canada is a pioneering series of radio programmes produced by the World Soundscape Project in the 1970s. Each programme experiments with the traditional structure of a radio feature to illustrate in sound the principle theories developed by the soundscape movement – including the use of natural sounds, noise pollution, and ideas of soundscape design.
The Sounds of Harris and Lewis is an example of community-based soundscape research. Made between 1999 and 2002 as part of the Touring Exhibition of the Sound Environment project, this package gives the listener a sound tour of the Inner Hebridean islands of Harris and Lewis, featuring urban, rural and industrial sounds, classroom sounds, and a guided audio tour of the islands.
Sounds of Dartmoor is the outcome of a UK and Ireland Soundscape Community project, which took Dartmoor as its field of enquiry in an attempt to describe and document different environments and communities through sound. It was produced by John Drever in collaboration with communities in Dartmoor.
Fog Warning Signals is a collection of warning signals from lighthouses around the coast of Britain, illustrating the development of the fog signal in line with electrification. The recordings were made from both within lighthouses and without – showing the changes in sound according to distance, elevation, and weather.
Wildlife Soundscapes is a large collection of sounds from the natural world, showing how animals respond sonically to different environments and times of day.
Industrial Mechanical Sounds Preserved contains recordings made by Benet Bergonzi. These include industrial soundscapes such as the manufacture of steam locomotives, and the sounds of ancient crafts such as hand-cooperage and farriery. The collection also features railway sounds, aircraft sounds, and road transport sounds – with special attention paid to internal combustion engines and steam engines used to power vehicles and tools. The package features the sounds of the last steam-powered brewery in the UK, the Hook Norton Brewery in Oxfordshire.