International Year of Sound 2020-2021

Sound and Society

Sound is omnipresent in our lives. Some sounds are useful, some are enjoyable. Some sounds are intrusive, some are hazardous


Soundscape under Covid-19 and Wiki for Sound

This news story has two parts. The first part is an update on the initiative to improve Wikipedia content on acoustics, the Wiki4YearOfSound2020, led by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The second part describes a new initiative conceived by several international researchers to measure noise levels while we have unusually quiet soundscapes due to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Wiki for Sound

This campaign was initiated by NIOSH with the goal to improve Wikipedia content related to all aspects of acoustics, sound, human communication, music, noise its effects and control, soundscapes etc. Participants are also encouraged to translate pages from the English Wikipedia into other languages. A previous report is available from and a paper on the ASA presentation on the launch of Wiki4YearofSound2020 was just released as open access, at

The launch page has guidance on how to participate.

Updated information is available from the NIOSH website. This program is continuing and even small contributions help and you can start today!

Soundscape under Covid-19

Many around the world are experiencing life with very low noise levels due to restrictions as we are confined to our home and there is a decrease in the industrial, transportation and leisure activity. This provides a wonderful opportunity to quantify and record for the future the lower noise levels of our soundscapes. With the reduction in shipping there is also a change in the underwater soundscapes.

Nowadays there are a high number of noise monitoring systems (noise monitoring terminals, city wide systems, underwater systems etc.) installed all over the world which will capture this information for the future. However there are many acousticians working from home with access to a sound level meter that can be used to capture the soundscape from their balcony or from their garden and compare the before and after the restrictions.

The IYS 2020 committee has provided a central contact between a number around the world who were thinking similarly that there would be some benefit in coordination and a little standardization in the capture of the data. Marçal Serra from CESVA has taken a lead to set up a LinkedIn group COVID-19 Noise Reduction (at and with hashtag #COVID19NoiseReduction for any posts. Contact Marçal for an invitation to join this group.

The following is a general structure for those who wish to participate and share their data in the future. But do not break your confinement to report this data!

Location: International

Source: Co-organizer IYS 2020

Source Location:

Contact: Marion Burgess

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