Music as a garden design aspect

That new park down the road from me being constructed as we speak. I’ve been raving about that a few times. Work is ongoing but a playground is more or less completed. It comprises a music garden. Meaning an area containing a wind chime, a drum in a trunk and a wannabe horn section. Seems kids enjoy the play. It made me ponder about music as a garden design aspect.

Music in the garden - Garden Room Style

I would say that most people reading this have been in a park hearing/listening to music. But, like, what is the story here? The story is that it goes a very long way back. A very interesting academic paper that I’ve come across ascertain that the “connections between music and gardens are of particular interest for landscape architecture”. Furthermore elaborating that it’s music in gardens that most obviously connects the two.

Bird wind chime - GardenRoomStyle

Another research paper questions whether music can represent gardens. Music and gardens have different approaches. A quote suggests that

We experience gardens primarily through the sense of sight but also through the senses of smell, touch, and kinaesthesia, with taste and hearing playing subsidiary roles. By contrast, we experience music almost exclusively through hearing, although kinaesthesia and sight do play subsidiary roles. To put it plainly, a blind person is typically unable to grasp the essence of a garden and a deaf person (pace Evelyn Glennie) typically cannot experience music in a conventional way.

Drum in the trunk - GardenRoomStyle

Then you have the Toronto Music Garden which design “is inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, with each dance movement within the suite corresponding to a different section of the garden”. Curving paths move visitors through six garden “movements” (Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuett, and Gigue) that flow from the different moods, feelings, and forms evoked by the music.

The different dimensions of music and garden. I would never have thought.