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The Sound of Art: Soundscape in Pictorial Descriptions

Maria Elisa Fina

Abstract


This study reports on an investigation of soundscape in twenty audiodelivered pictorial descriptions in English specifically designed for children, available on the official website of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan. The scripts of the pictorial descriptions were retrieved from the website’s dedicated section and annotated by means of QDA Miner Lite, a software for qualitative analysis. Drawing on van Leeuwen’s criteria for the analysis of soundscape (1999), the scripts were annotated according to a set of codes (type of speaker, speech, music, sounds, prosody) and then analysed in order to investigate how the different semiotic resources are combined to enhance children’s art experience. The results show that soundscape in the pictorial descriptions entails a complex web of significances, which challenge children’s observation skills and stimulate critical thinking. Furthermore, the use of soundscape may also result in edutainment strategies, which include gamification and dramatization.


Keywords


Soundscape; Pictorial descriptions for children; Immersive triggers; Content-specific music; Evocative sounds.

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References


Bubaris, Nikos. 2014. “Sound in museums – museums in sound”. Museum Management and Curatorship 29 (4): 391-402. doi: 10.1080/09647775.2014.934049

Cluett, Seth. 2013. “Ephemeral, Immersive, Invasive: Sound as Curatorial Theme 1966-2013”. In Multisensory Museum: Crossdisciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space, edited by Nina Levant and Alvaro Pascual-Leone, 109-118. New York: AltaMira.

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Neves, Josélia. 2016. “Enriched Descriptive Guides: a case for collaborative meaning-making in museums.” Cultus 9 (2): 137-154.

Tilden, Freeman. 1977. Interpreting Our Heritage. 3rd Ed. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

van Leeuwen, Theo. 1999. Music, Sounds. London: Macmillan.

Voegelin, Salomé. 2014. “Soundwalking the Museum: A Sonic Journey through the Visual Display”. In Multisensory Museum: Crossdisciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space, edited by Nina Levant and Alvaro Pascual-Leone, 119-130. New York: AltaMira.

Websites

“Museum Soundscape – Maritime Exhibit Sound Effects by Sound Designers Nick Ryan, Kimmo Karjunen and Tuomas Fränti”. foenicTM

https://www.feonic.com/blog/museum-soundscape/ (5/12/2019).

MoMA Kids

https://www.moma.org/audio/playlist/2 (23/11/2019)

QDA Miner Lite

https://provalisresearch.com/products/qualitative-data-analysis-software/ (23/11/2019)




DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2020-001-fina

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952


Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo


Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi


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