Immigration has increased cultural diversity in western societies. The process of integrating immigrants into their host countries can be smoothed if acousticians learn to recognize (1) the acoustic traditions of immigrant cultures and (2) the specific acoustic needs of the new society members. Two related projects are discussed. The ``Cahrisma'' project (Conservation of Acoustical Heritage by the Revival and Identification of the Sinan's Mosque Acoustics) is sponsored by the European Commission and carried out in cooperation among researchers in Turkey, Malta, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Denmark. Its purpose is to combine visual and acoustical concerns in the identification, conservation, and restoration of architectural heritage. It focuses on the famous Turkish mosques of the Osmannic architect Sinan. Some of the acoustic features of these large domed buildings and of muslim liturgy will be presented. Another project was conducted by students at the Danish Technical University, who found that speech intelligibility for non-native listeners is much more sensitive to poor speech conditions than for native listeners. Also discussed are the unique features of culturally based urban soundscapes. It is suggested that these soundscapes can provide comfort to recent immigrants by increasing their sense of being ``at home.''
|Journal||Acoustical Society of America. Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|