Comparison on the Soundscapes of Italian Renaissance Gardens and Ming Dynasty's Chinese Classical Gardens

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The thesis aims to compare the soundscapes of Italian Renaissance gardens and Ming dynasty’s Chinese classical gardens and figure out the reasons behind their similarities and differences through historical research on Italy and China. The research methods are case study, image analysis and literature analysis (secondary and primary). The thesis starts with research on general features of Italian Renaissance gardens and Ming dynasty’s Chinese classical gardens based on two case studies, the Villa d’Este and the Humble Administrator’s Garden. The soundscapes of Italian Renaissance gardens, featured by fountains, apply advanced water technology to make music or imitate other types of sound. Besides, the soundscapes of Ming dynasty’s Chinese classical gardens combine natural elements to make various sounds, always with the sound of water as the background. Then, comparisons are made, finding out that the soundscapes in Italian and Chinese gardens have different emphasis on technology and nature but have common stress on water. The historical contexts of Italy and China are studied to find the reasons for their soundscape designs from various perspectives. The different worldviews and cultural contexts play leading roles in soundscape designs, as social factors and political intentions also influence. Symbolization is widely used in the soundscape design in Italian and Chinese gardens, revealing the reasons for some details and elements of the soundscapes.