Kerrostalokodin akustemologiaa – yksityisen äänitilan rakentuminen


  • Meri Kytö



This article deals with the articulation of sonic space in urban apartment block homes in Finland. The home soundscape does not limit itself to the inside of the apartment but includes sounds seeping from the outside like the clatter of the elevator, nearby traffic signals, a neighbour singing in the shower and the leaping steps of the paperboy on the stairs. Following the methodological idea of acoustemology (i.e., acoustic epistemology), the producing of sounds and listening are connected with cultural practices that, in their turn, produce and mould our concepts of place, space and time. What can one learn about the borders of apartment homes by listening and how do meanings like privacy make sense in the sonic relations to the neighbours and the surrounding environment? The writings gathered via the One Hundred Finnish Soundscapes project (2004–2006) produced descriptions of apartments from the 1920s to the present day, giving a glimpse of the soundscape competences of the residents. The analysis of the written descriptions suggests that there are mainly three different ways of constructing sonic privacy in apartment blocks. These include emphasizing feelings of belonging through identification and anticipation of recurring sounds. In many descriptions privacy is understood as isolation and the different techniques of constructing oneself temporary privacy are concretely shutting out the sonic presence of the outside world, fostering an attitude of disregard to the surrounding sounds or to actively enveloping oneself with sounds. The analysis is supported by an insight into the bylaws of housing cooperatives, adding an aspect of official sonic etiquette to the constant negotiation on when and what kind of sound is approved.





Kytö, M. (2010). Kerrostalokodin akustemologiaa – yksityisen äänitilan rakentuminen. Elore, 17(1).



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