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Virtual Audio and Past Environments: Audio and Acoustics in Heritage Applications Workshop Report

Report by Damian Murphy and Jude Brereton


This report is a summary of the workshop event held on 17 March 2008 at the National Centre for Early Music in York, focusing on audio and acoustics in past environments and heritage applications. An audience of 40 delegates listened to and discussed a wide variety of presentations given by 11 invited speakers already working in this area. These speakers were from diverse backgrounds across the spectrum of arts, humanities, science and engineering research, with specific areas including musicology, archaeology, architecture, acoustics, audio engineering, speech and singing. Industry input was directed by one of our speakers from Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and wider European interests in this area were represented by our international guest speaker from the University of Aveiro, Portugal. The audience for the event also reflected the diverse multi-disciplinary programme for the day, and included representatives from English Heritage and the AHRC as well as many interested students working in the area. The main programme of presentations was followed in the evening by a ‘Sound Tour’ around a number of heritage sites in York where a wide-ranging programme of contemporary and traditional audio/musical works had been curated specially for this event.

This event was inspired by Dr Murphy’s attendance at the AHRC ICT Methods Network seminar on Theoretical Approaches to Virtual Representations of Past Environments in February 2007. There was much interesting and relevant work presented here on the role of virtual reality, graphics and interactive environments in historical and archaeological research. Audio however was very underrepresented although generated significant interest at the time. As a result and with encouragement from colleagues at the Methods Network, plans for the virtual audio and past environments event were developed.

Read the report...

AHDS Methods Taxonomy Terms

This item has been catalogued using a discipline and methods taxonomy. Learn more here.


  • Music
  • Archaeology
  • Ancient History
  • History


  • Data Analysis - Sound analysis
  • Data Capture - Digital sound generation
  • Data Capture - Digital sound recording
  • Data Capture - Music recognition
  • Data Capture - Usage of existing digital data
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Audio resource sharing
  • Data publishing and dissemination - Streaming audio
  • Data Structuring and enhancement - Sound editing
  • Data Structuring and enhancement - Sound encoding
  • Practice-led Research - Digital sound generation
  • Practice-led Research - Digital sound recording