Responses to Water Sounds (12-04-19)

Paton and colleagues investigated human responses to sounds that water can make.  They report that “16 water sounds, with very different acoustic characteristics in the number of harmonics, fundamental frequencies, spectral information and fractal dimension (=complexity), were sampled. . . .  Relationships between sound parameters and comfort responses show that information related to harmonics is behind the preferences. . . . we demonstrated that fountains with large waterfalls or jets, produce a marked acoustic aversion to humans. It is to be expected that the same effect will happen with birds and other small vertebrates present in cities. Instead, we recommend in the design of urban parks and gardens, the adoption of artificial water channels with small jumps whose acoustic characteristics are ideal causing deep and sustained relaxation.”

Daniel Paton, Pedro Delgado, Carmen Galet, Javier Muriel, Maria Mendez-Suarez, and Matias Hidalgo-Sanchez.  2020.  “Using Acoustic Perception to Water Sounds in the Planning of Urban Gardens.”  Building and Environment, vol. 168, no. 106510,