Category Archives: Acoustics

Vinko Dvořák and Croatian musical life

The acoustic physicist Vinko Dvořák was a gifted violinist and a tireless promoter of music in Croatia. As a member of the board of the Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod between 1913 and 1919, he took an active part in organizing and financing musical events, and the Zavod za Fiziku at the Sveučilište u Zagrebu, where he was a professor of physics, owned an extensive collection of musical forks and instruments.

Dvořák kept encouraging young Croatians to develop and succeed in music until his death, and in his will he left a notable amount of money for the education of promising music students.

This according to “Vinko Dvořák: Fizičar sa sluhom za glazbu i glazbeno darovita duša u fizici” by Branko Hanžek (Tonovi: Časopis glazbenih pedagoga XV/2:36 [prosinac 2000] pp. 41–43).

Today is Dvořák’s 170th birthday! Below, a tour of the Hrvatski Glazbeni Zavod, which still looks much like it did in Dvořák’s time.

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Filed under Acoustics, Romantic era, Science

Journal of sonic studies

Launched in 2011, Journal of sonic studies provides a platform for theorists and artists to share relevant work regarding the sonic environment.

JSS presents, stimulates, and brings together a versatility of possible approaches; that is why it pays attention to the sonic design of consumer articles (cars, washing machines, coffee-makers) as well as to the influence of hearing on the relation between mother and fetus; to urban noise pollution as well as the use of sonic weapons in war zones; to interventions in public space by sound artists as well as the effects of background music in shopping malls.

JSS advocates multidisciplinary research and is open for knowledge from various fields of study—from history to philosophy, sociology and anthropology; from medical studies to architecture, legal and technical sciences; from ecology to sound art, performance and media studies; and so on.

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Filed under Acoustics, New periodicals

Cowshed soundscaping

Cows respond strongly to changes in the muted, subliminal strata of the cowshed soundscape; the elimination of such sounds, or their masking through music and other designed sound foregrounds, causes pronounced disturbances in the animals’ physiology and behavior.

A positive soundscaping for cowsheds must take advantage of the subjective implications of sounds such as the first moo of a newborn calf, which carries the strongest psychological impact even if it cannot be described as aesthetically beautiful.

This according to “The blessed noise and little moo: Aspects of soundscape in cowsheds” by Maru Pöyskö, an essay included in Soundscapes: Essays on vroom and moo (Tampere: Tampereen Yliopisto, Kansanperinteen Laitos, 1994). Below, a newborn calf demonstrates the little moo.

Related article: Radio for cows

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Filed under Acoustics, Animals, Curiosities, Nature, Science