Sonic disorientation in the kitchen


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On occasion of our last visit to the cottage of my wife’s parents one evening we spoke lengthily about the research question and methodology of the Functional Sounds-project. The following morning, preparing the breakfast for all siblings and relatives, suddenly we encoutered a living proof for the necessity of this project: Working together in the kitchen suddenly a regular and annoying beep started off; and due to the similarity of most of the signal tones in the kitchen all of us were immediately in utter disorientation. We stopped our actions and stared at each other, helplessly. We could just not rightaway say, what appliance it was that emitted this annoying signal. Was it the microwave oven? Was it the espresso machine? Was it the water heater? Or was it the big oven or some smartphone signalling? We had to laugh, remembering our discussion about functional sounds the night before.