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Sound Perspectives
Ernesto Accolti
National Scientific and Technical Research Council Instituto de Automática Universidad Nacional de San Juan Av. San Martín (Oeste) 1109 5400 San Juan Argentina
La Semaine du Son
This is the first in a series of articles in Acoustics Today that will talk about various international activities that focus on acoustics.
La Semaine du Son (The Week of Sound) is a global initiative to consider sound as a fundamental element of personal balance in the relationship to others and to the world and is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Its main purpose is to promote several aspects of sound in our everyday life. The initiative began in 2003, and the first events were held in Paris in 2004, chaired by Christian Hugonnet, the founder and current president of the Association La Semaine du Son. Nowadays, the initiative has become global, with events called The Week of Sound in 12 countries.
A draft of the charter of The Week of Sound is being considered as a resolution for the Executive Board of UNESCO. The charter (located at expresses the aim of the association “to encourage every human being to realize that the sound is a fundamental element of personal balance in his relationship to others and to the world, in its economic, environmental, and social dimensions, as well as medical, industrial, and cultural. It considers sound matters as an access door to the world.”
The Association has organized several events since it was first launched in France in 2004. Events now take place every January in more than 80 French cities. Rep- licates have also been undertaken in 12 countries in Europe and in the Americas. The map at shows the places where The Week of Sound has been held.
The Main Topics
The main five topics and subtopics that the association promotes are listed in the charter. They are described below.
Sound Environment
This initiative involves promoting the understanding of the sound environment just as our culture understands climate or visual stimuli. An example is to compare society’s understanding of a sound scale with its understanding of the temperature scale in degrees Celsius. Murray Schafer, sponsor of the 7th Semaine du Son in 2010 in France, describes in a very interesting interview his appreciation of how the sound environment has evolved in the last 40 years and how could initiatives like The Week of Sound collaborate to improve it (
This topic focuses on the awareness of noise effects on humans. The activities in- volve informing society and its representatives on the risks of noise and how noise affects human well-being. It encourages hearing tests as well as actions to control risks and supports research on the topic. During activities at the 10th Semaine du
©2017 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved. volume 13, issue 3 | Fall 2017 | Acoustics Today | 67

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