When Soundscape Studies Encounter Buddhism : Methodology Development of Soundscape Studies conducted at Chinese Buddhist Temples
The ethnographic ideals of ‘reflectiveness’ and ‘openness’ inspire the researcher to think deeply about how to develop ethnographic soundscape methodology during the research process. This Paper focuses on developing adaptive research methods for soundscape studies on Chinese Buddhist temples. Chinese Buddhist temples are monasteries and dwelling places of monks. They are also the miniature of “pure land”. Temples have been considered as the landmarks of quiet and peace in China for thousands of years. What and how are the soundscapes of Buddhist temples? Have any changes happened in the soundscapes? How does the Buddhist way of thinking about hearing impact the Buddhists’ way of hearing? Within these questions in the researcher’s mind, field work is carried on in three Chinese Buddhist temples in 2011. In the course of the field work, I detected that Buddhist thinking impresses enormously Buddhists’ way of listening and forms special understanding about hearing. This way of thinking about hearing in Buddhism seems to be opposite to our encouragement on increasing awareness of soundscape and cultivating soundscape competence in soundscape studies. The paradox between soundscape studies and Buddhist thinking inspired problems in the field work in temples. I don’t give any explanations yet, just descriptions of the differences. I will analyze further two notions I paid attention to in sound preference test answers and interviews. These answers questioned the need to express soundscapes liked or disliked and the need to change in the sound environment outside. ...