International Year of Sound 2020-2021

The International Year of Sound is a celebration of sound and how it enters our lives in so many ways. Sound is important for both humans and animals, but remember that too much sound is a bad thing!

It’s in the Tone

It’s in the Tone

Nicole Holliday reflects on what language can tell us about identity and inequality. Click here to register!
IYS2020+ ASA

Click an image below to explore sound!

What is Sound?

What is Sound?

Acoustics is the science of sound, learn more about both!

Fields of Study

Fields of Study

Learn about the many different areas of study and practice within acoustics!
Meet Acousticians

Meet Acousticians

Read different career profiles and interviews with acousticians!
Listen and Learn

Listen and Learn

Listen and learn about sounds found in nature!

Read the Research

Read the Research

Read about acoustics research, past and present!
Craft and Color

Craft and Color

Color and create, or play acoustics themed games!

Visualize Sound

Visualize Sound

Use simulators and other tools to understand acoustics properties!

Watch Videos

Watch Videos

Watch videos about acoustics and related topics!



Try out some fun experiments and projects about acoustics!

Get involved with IYS 2020!

Acoustics Today

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This special issue of features articles and other material from the pages of Acoustics Today that provide fascinating insight into various aspects of acoustics, including noise in restaurants and classrooms, the use of acoustics in forensics, the effects of environmental noise on human health, acoustics of climate change, the amazing sounds of baseball and softball bats, and the mechanical synthesis of human speech.

Our goal in doing this special issue is to help make students, educators, and others more aware of the importance of sound in their lives. We also encourage use of the articles in this special issue, as well as articles in all issues of Acoustics Today, as tools for learning about the world of sound around us.

Click the cover to read the issue!

Acoustics Today is a quarterly publication from the Acoustical Society of America and combines the importance and value of technical analysis with real-world applications and the community’s need for books, standards and instrumentation. With a global audience, Acoustics Today penetrates the market for acoustics research, education, and engineering. The pieces in the magazine are aimed at people with a general background in acoustics, but might not be versed in a specific featured subject. 

We invite you to read about acoustics from any issue at

You can learn about even more acoustics topics! Visit the ASA publications website to discover the fascinating field of acoustics! 

You can find even more research that was presented at ASA Meetings. Just visit the Acoustics Press Archives.

My World of Sounds: International Competition

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The Competition is coordinated by ICA (International Commission of Acoustics) IYS2020 Steering Committee. This is an International Competition for students of Primary, Middle and Secondary Schools from all over the world. The competition is structured in two categories:

  • Competition for students of Primary and Middle Schools (approximately from 5 to 12 years old); Students are asked to produce hand-made drawings, pictures, patchworks, collages and similar, related to their world of sounds, inspired by the the motto of IYS2020 “Importance of Sound for Society and the World” and, possibly, by melody and refrain of the song “The Sound of the World”.
  • Competition for students of Secondary Schools (approximately from 13 to 18 years old).
    Students are asked to write a stanza of 4 verses in their native language and/or in English, inspired by the melody and the refrain of the song “The Sound of the World” as well as by the motto of IYS2020 “Importance of Sound for Society and the World”.

Participants can be students: as individual or organized in groups and whole classes, considered as representatives of their school.

ICA will provide three grants for each category of competition. Grants will be vouchers for books, educational materials or equipment for the value of 300 € (first prize), 200 € (second prize) and 100 € (third prize).

The song “The Sound of the World” is available at


Please download the complete competition details and form here:

The Participation Form must be filled out in English language, signed and sent by each participant or school to

REVISING DEADLINES – The deadline has been postponed to April 30, 2021.

ASA will award the 3 national winners for each category for a total of 6 winners.
1st $200 (for each category)
2nd $150 (for each category)
3rd $100 (for each category)

See the US competition page:

Visit for all details.

Choirs and musical groups of students from the awarded schools will be asked to sing the final song and to send audios/videos to the Competition Coordinator Office. This will be assembled for the final song video.

Choirs and musical groups of students from the other (not awarded) schools could send their singing contribution as well to be considered and included in the final video if considered relevant by the Expert Jury.

The final materials will include: a booklet, a power point presentation and the musical video “The Sound of the World”, assembling all awarded and relevant pictures together with the final version of the song, sung by the students choirs from all over the world.

The video and all final materials will be uploaded on the IYS2020 and ICA websites as well as YouTube. All materials will be freely available from the web.

Student Design Competition

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The Student Design Competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students in the disciplines of Architecture, Engineering, Physics and other curriculums that involve building design and/or acoustics. This competition is intended to encourage students to express their knowledge of architectural acoustics and noise control in the design of a facility in which acoustical considerations are of significant importance.

An award of $1,250 will be made to the individual or team whose entry is chosen as “First Honors”. Commendation awards of $700 will be made to four other outstanding entries.

It is supported by the Robert Bradford Newman Fund, in conjunction with the ASA’s Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics and the National Council of Acoustical Consultants, with generous financial support from the Wenger Foundation.

The project involves designing a music pavilion with covered and lawn seating, to serve as the summer home for a city orchestra. The program also includes needs for an electro-acoustic sound reinforcement system, back of house support space, rehearsal rooms, offices, and dressing rooms.

Teams must register by April 15, 2020, and final entries are due by May 4, 2020.
Since the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America has been postponed until December 8-12, 2020 (Tuesday—Saturday), a revision to the 2020 Student Design Competition Announcement with the new timeline is listed on the Competition website.

Teams must now register by November 16, 2020, and final entries are due by December 1, 2020.

Please see the announcement at 


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Wiki4YearofSound2020 is an international campaign to improve Wikipedia content in topics related to acoustics.

During the Edit-a-thon, editors will make changes to Wikipedia articles related to sound, acoustics, aeroacoustics, audio, signal processing, architectural acoustics, bioacoustics, electro-acoustics, environmental noise, musical acoustics, noise control, hearing and psychoacoustics, physical acoustics, speech, ultrasound, underwater sound and vibration. Editors can also translate pages from the English Wikipedia into other languages.

Contributions done during January through December 2020 will be highlighted in the International Year of Sound report of activities. Even small contributions help and you can start today!

Click here to join the campaign

Click here to track the campaign

Visit the dashboard for more details.

ASA Events

13 February, 2020

US Opening Ceremony

The ASA Washington DC Regional Chapter will be hosting the US International Year of Sound Opening Ceremony on Thursday, February 13th, 6pm – 9pm in the American Center for Physics (One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740).

Press Release

3 March, 2020

World Hearing Day #JASAchat | Chat with Experts on Twitter

The editors of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America Special Issue: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Translating Risk from Animal Models to Real-World Environments will lead a discussion on one of the most common injuries for Service members and civilian workers exposed to noise. Participate by asking questions, give thoughts, and follow along using #JASAchat.

Follow JASA on Twitter

29 April, 2020

International Noise Awareness Day| #INAD

The Acoustical Society of America and the Center for Hearing are asking for 60 Seconds of No Noise from 2:15 – 2:16 pm (regardless of location/time zone). Just one minute highlights what “quiet” really sounds like and what it takes to preserve the peace and quiet in your life.


9–10 May 2020 *Cancelled*

ASA School 2020

ASA School 2020 is a two-day course for graduate students and early career acousticians being held in Itasca, Illinois. Cancelled – ASA School 2021 will be held 5-6 June in conjunction with the spring 2021 meeting in Seattle, WA (7-11 June 2021.


23 July at 1:00 pm EST

“Playing with Sound”

What can music look like? How would you build an electric guitar for space? Can you build a sound system that involves conductive play dough? How does the rock band OK Go approach music making and what would that look like in a classroom? In this talk, Dr. AnnMarie Thomas will share some sound related projects from the University of St. Thomas Playful Learning Lab.


About the Speaker

AnnMarie Thomas directs the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas. She is a Professor in the School of Engineering, the Opus College of Business, and the Center for Engineering Education. She is the creator of Squishy Circuits, and the author of “Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation.”

6 Aug at 1:00 pm EST

“Making meaning from data – from the acoustics lab to machine learning”

The characteristic sound of a Caribbean steelpan drum is easy to recognize by ear, but we still do not have a full scientific explanation for the how this musical instrument produces the distinctive tone. In this talk, Morrison will discuss what is known about the physics of the steelpan, how we have engaged with the public to help us classify our data, and how we are using machine learning algorithms to help us process large data sets. He will also discuss how this study is useful for illustrating some parts of the scientific process.


About the Speaker

Andrew Morrison, professor of physics and astronomy at Joliet Junior College, will join us to discuss his work on the steelpan drum. Morrison’s research interests include using optical methods and machine learning analysis techniques to study the vibrations of musical instruments. Dr. Morrison is a past chair of the ASA Technical Committee on Musical Acoustics, is actively involved in the ASA Committee on Education in Acoustics and has a passion for working with undergraduates in his laboratory.

20 Aug at 1:00 pm EST

“It’s in the Tone: The Acoustics of Social Judgments and Linguistic Profiling”

When you hear someone without seeing them, what types of judgments can you make based solely on their voice? Listeners are surprisingly adept at making judgments about gender, age, and race based on short speech samples, and they make these assumptions based on the voice itself rather than just content. These facts have implications for how marginalized groups and people experience the world, especially in institutions such as education and the criminal justice system. This talk explores the mechanisms by which we make sociolinguistic judgments based on the acoustic properties of the voice, and reflects on what language can tell us about identity and inequality.

About the Speaker

Nicole Holliday is an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from New York University, where her dissertation focused on how individuals with one black parent and one white parent use linguistic variation in the realm of intonation to construct and perform their racial identities. Her scholarly writing has appeared in journals such as American Speech and Language in Society, as well as in public venues such as NPR, Bloomberg News, and the Washington Post.

September - October

ESEA Meetup Soundscape in Action – Webinar Series

Organized by the East and South East Asia (ESEA) Regional Chapter of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), this online meetup aims to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer sharing between academics and pratitioners, and allow participants to take home with packs of useful examples, practices, ideas and networks.

Thu, Sep 17, 2020 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM EDT

Soundscape in Urban Cities and Metropolitan

  1. Soundscape as a new planning paradigm—where are we now?
  2. Introduction to urban sound
  3. Psychoacoustics and its benefit for the urban soundscape approach
  4. Soundscape and smart city

Dr Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp – Technical University of Berlin, Germany
Dr Dick Botteldooren – Ghent University, Belgium
Dr Klaus Genuit – HEAD acoustics GmbH, Germany
Andy Chung – ASA ESEA, Hong Kong


Thu, Sep 24, 2020 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM EDT

Learning from Peers: Soundscape Action Plans

  1. Early-stage sound planning in urban redevelopment: the Antwerp case study
  2. The application of soundscape in Welsh Government national policy and city authorities in the U.K.
  3. Augmenting urban soundscape: soundscape design approach using natural sounds
  4. Soundscape development in Taiwan
  5. From research to practice—a Japanese soundscape journey

Dr Dick Botteldooren – Ghent University, Belgium
Lisa Lavia – Noise Abatement Society, United Kingdom
Dr Jooyoung Hong – University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Dr Lucky Shin-Jyun Tsaih – National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan
Dr Takeshi Akita – Tokyo Denki University, Japan


Thu, Sep 24, 2020 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM EDT

Applying VR in Your Soundscape Projects

  1. Immersive virtual reality as a tool for sensory evaluation of urban spaces
  2. Urban Soundscapes of the world project
  3. Research on the subjective evaluation system of acoustic environment based on the data-driven algorithm
  4. Tools to help all to understand soundscape projects

Dr Luigi Maffei – University of Campania, Italy
Dr Bert De Coensel – Ghent University, Belgium
Dr Weichen Chang – Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences, China
Andy Chung – ASA ESEA, Hong Kong
Carmen Ng – ESG Matters, Hong Kong



Soundscape action plan workshop

Details to be advised.

16 October 2020 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

ASA Publications Presents: Meet the Editors and Staff Virtual Event

Come join us to learn more about The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA), and Acoustics Today. A question and answer session will follow presentations, so have your question ready!


7-11 December 2020

Acoustics Virtually Everywhere

ASA will hold a fully virtual fall meeting in December that will include scientific sessions and administrative meetings.


9 December 2020 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Acoustics at Home

This free demonstration session will help families with children and K-12 teachers to explore some basic principles of acoustics and the science of sound! Members of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) will share cool acoustics demonstrations constructed from everyday household items. Learn about the science of sound and meet researchers and professionals!


8–12 December 2020 *Cancelled*

ASA Meeting

The 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America will be held in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Cancelled – Please see Acoustics Virtually Everywhere