Re: Common House Noise Calming
From: MWorswick (
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2000 08:51:34 -0700 (MST)
This topic may have already  been covered in the extensive discussion on 
common house accoustics.  But let me mention another idea on reducing noise 
at meals.  Rob makes an excellent point about the behavior of diners making a 
huge difference (loud children, etc.).  Joani's comments about music got me 
thinking of the whole MOOD thing that can be planned with a meal.  For 
example, if dinner starts with low lighting and peaceful background music 
(sounds like some romantic restaurant, right!) it tends to calm people down 
and lower the sound level.  Our common house dining room has several LIGHTING 
STRATEGIES including wall sconces, dropped fixtures over tables, and indirect 
uplighting in the central vaulted space, all of which can be dimmed to set 
the mood.  Numerous times I've  found myself turning down the lights when I'm 
really trying to turn down the noise level.  It seems to have a strong cause 
and affect relationship.  (Not to say that you can't have a raucous party in 
the dark...but that's another story).  My main point is to plan for multiple 
lighting sources on dimmers, or try candlelight, in order to set a calm and 
QUIET mood.

Matt Worswick
Resident of Harmony Village
Synergy Design
Cohousing Design Specialists
(303) 278-1880

In a message dated 12/07/2000 5:36:40 PM Mountain Standard Time, 
cohousing-l [at] writes:

<< Noise. Love Sherri's suggestions about noise taming. Here's one more.  Some
 cooks think it's cool to accompany dinners with music.  Unfortunately no
 one usually is listening to the music at dinner time, so all it does is
 make people raise their voices.  It is perhaps okay to have music playing
 for atmosphere as people collect for dinner, then maybe turn it on again
 quietly during desert/after dinner coffee or tea, especially if the dinner
 crowd has thinned.  But while the main consumption is taking place, I
 strongly prefer no music. >>

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