acoustic ecology
n. The study of the relationship between living organisms and their sonic environment.
Other Forms
Acoustic ecology is an emerging field of study that began in Canada in the late 1960s with a composer, author and professor of communication studies at Simon Fraser University, Murray Schafer.

Today, acoustic ecology attracts musicians, psychologists, sound designers, health practitioners and environmentalists who are interested and concerned about the interaction between humans and all living organisms and aural environments or soundscapes.

In his book The Tuning of the World, Schafer makes the case that our listening skills have been eroded through the dominance of what some people refer to as the "eye culture". He has also suggested that we use sound as an "audio-analgesic" to block out thoughts and emotions. "
—Wendy Champagne, “Take down the volume,” Sydney Morning Herald, October 20, 2005
More than a defensive tactic to fight noise pollution or block out sound, "acoustic ecology" seeks to accentuate — and revel in — the delicate balance between organisms and their sonic environment.
—Anjula Razdan, “The Father of Acoustic Ecology,” Utne, July 01, 2005
1992 (earliest)
Princess of the Stars will be performed as part of a conference on acoustic ecology featuring such composers as Schafer, John Cage and Hildegard Westerkamp.
—Chris Dafoe, “At the Banff Centre, radio makes some unusual waves,” The Globe and Mail, February 11, 1992
The field of acoustic ecology is also somestimes called sound ecology, audio ecology, or sonic ecology, and the acoustic ecological equivalent of the landscape is the soundscape.
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