Heard Any Good Games Recently?: Listening to the Sportscape

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Sounding Out!

Sound and music play important roles in shaping our experiences of sports. Every sport has its own characteristic sounds and soundscape; some are very silent while others can be dangerously noisy. Barry Truax, in his engagement with R. Murray Schafer’s concept of soundscape in the book Acoustic Communication, states that the listener is always present in a soundscape, not solely as a listener but also as a producer of sound (10). Both Truax and Schafer use the term hi-fi to describe environments where sounds may be heard clearly, while lo-fi, often urban, environments, have more overlapping sounds. When an audio environment is well balanced (hi-fi), there is a high degree of information exchange between sound, listeners and the environment, and the listener is involved in an interactive relationship with the other two components (Truax 57). Truax’s understanding of the concepts of hi-fi and lo-fi enable a better…

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2 thoughts on “Heard Any Good Games Recently?: Listening to the Sportscape

  1. Edin Kecalovic

    Dear Kaj,

    hope this message finds you well and healthy. I have read your artice on soundstudiesblog “Heard Any Good Games Recently?: Listening to the Sportscape”, and I really appreciate what you have discussed according to sportscape, ‘acoustic ecology’ and interaction between spectators and organizator relating to music palyback.

    I am doing research (MA) on sound trademark (sound branding) at FEUP University of Porto. Well, especially for the use at football (soccer) events by football clubs (Germany, Bundesliga) – no conventional advertisment by coorporations. The goal is to create a unique sonic logo utilizing keynote sounds of football or a specific club, without cutting them out of the soundscape.
    As you argued in the article about permeation of recorded music, is anything known to you related to playback of audio cues (sonic logos) during sport events, that possibly can/ or not emphasize spectator’s interaction with players and audience?

    At ‘Performing With Sound: An International Symposium’ you have talked about functional music in sports. Unfortunately i could not get any informations referring to this topic. Is it possible to have an insight to the mentioned theme? That would be great and very interesting.

    Hope i did not overrun you with all those questions. Your artice is very helpful to me, actually it helped me much to reflect about what I am doing 🙂 Hope hearing from you Kaj.


  2. kahlsved Post author

    Hi Edin!

    Thank you for your reply. I’m glad you found the article interesting. The functional music was a short paper presentation i did last year at a smaller symposium. Unfortunately I havent published anytning on that topic, and the headline is a bit misleading. The idea was to discuss the “engaging” and “activating” music with Stockfelts “adequate modes of listening” (Ola Stockfelt). The music during different parts of the event has different functions and requires different attention.

    Your project sounds really interesting. I wasn’t quite clrear what you ment with “without cutting them out of the soundscape”. Send me a mail to kahlsved ( at ) abo . fi and I will get back to you next week. I am on a small research trip now but will be back home at the end of the week.

    Best regards,


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