In Murry Schafer’s Our Sonic Landscape: The Tuning of the World in the article entitled “The Rural World”, Schafer clarifies the differences in “hi-fi” and “lo-fi” sounds. Schafer begins the article with immediately defining his version of the hi-fi sound, “the hi-fi soundscape is one in which discrete sounds can be heard clearly because of low ambient noise level” (Schafer, 43). Later on in the same page, he creates the distinction between the two by defining the lo-fi soundscape, “In a lo-fi soundscape individual acoustic signals are obscured in an overdense population of sounds” (Schafer, 43). Schafer goes on to make examples of signals that are of each distinction such as a city environment identifying with a lo-fi sound, while the country is more part of the hi-fi soundscape. While I agree with Schafer I would like to create my own example. I would like to put forth that, when thinking about musical instruments, guitars to be exact, an acoustic guitar would be part of the hi-fi soundscape. While, an electric guitar that is using distortion is part of the lo-fi soundscape. This is due to the overloading of the amplifier in an electric guitar, creating large amounts of fuzzy, white noise.
In Murray Schafer’s article “The Rural World” he mentions “keynote sounds” (Schafer, 48) which he defines as “a regular sound underpinning other more fugitive or novel sound effects” (Schafer, 48). Thus, keynote sounds are sounds that we use as a base to relate other sounds too. To Schafer, his keynote sounds all involve the farm he grew up on including butter churning, geese, and a cock crow. All of these sounds are very important to Schafer as he has grown through the years. He is able to recall fondly some very specific memories due to the sounds he recollects. In my childhood, there are a few sounds that I recollect intensely. Mostly I recall the music that my father listened to. This relation of sound to the memories of my father has drawn me to the music he introduced me to and helps me love both him and the music more.