as anthropogenic is commonly used, in our context mostly in relation to
noise and ecological interferences, I'd prefer to promote the correct term
and use anthropogenic sound or antropophony.
I also would add that anthropogenic sounds have the potential to be "noise"
or "sound" depending on the context, and "noise" can also be either
positive or negative... In some cases noises contribute positively to the
soundscape and add "information" about human presence and activities (in
Italy, for example, the bells of churches can be beautiful and integrate
well into the soundscape; in other cases the "noise" of manual work in
agriculture adds a layer of information to the soundscape; on the "other
side" we may have very annoying/disturbing sounds we consider "invasive
noise" such as motorcycles and airplanes ....). This means that we have a
very subjective definition of noise usually as something disturbing or with
In a conference I did many years ago about the relationships among noise,
sound, silence and soundscapes, when I started talking about the need to
reduce the noise levels in our towns, an old woman interrupted me to say
that she don't want a silent town because all the noises she hear bring her
information about what is happening outside, the noise of buses passing in
the road give information of the time running, the noises of the kids
exiting school at 12 say her to start preparing the lunch, the noise of the
people walking says her that there is somebody outside, the noises of the
weekly market says her that another week is passed, and also the noises of
the people in the building says her what other people are doing, and she
does not feel "alone" with all those noises. This just to say that wee
need to be very careful when using the term "noise".
When teaching, I always explain to students that in the early stages of
underwater acoustics, navies' sonar operators were used to consider "sound"
the pressure fluctuations produced by ship engines and torpedoes, and they
considered "noise" those produced by marine mammals. For many years the
term "biological noise" was used for all sounds produced by marine animals =
it is also important to consider that "sound" is usually considered what
humans can hear, thus limiting the frequencies of sound to say 50 to
16000Hz and naming infra- and ultra- sounds the frequencies beyond those
limits. However, as biologists, we also can consider "sound" all acoustic
events that can be received and perceived by a living being.
2014-06-28 4:26 GMT+02:00 [naturerecordists] <
> I like "anthropophony," and it may be an appropriate correction from
> "anthrophony," but I am wondering now, is it a little too late? -
> especially after years of your public promotions. In a way, it reminds me
> of the technical name change from "Pacific tree frog" to "Pacific chorus
> frog." Almost everyone still says "tree frog." You kind of have to allow
> what has become popular, even when another way has been shown to be
> technically better suited.
> John Hartog
Centro Interdisciplinare di Bioacustica e Ricerche Ambientali
Universit=C3=A0 degli Studi di Pavia
Via Taramelli 24, 27100 Pavia