Sound Theory, Sound Practice is a great collection of essays that goes beyond the (then) current state of film sound scholarship. There were two main approaches: one dealing with psychoanalytic and semiotic theory, favored by the film theorists; and the other dealing almost exclusively with music, favored by the musicologists. This volume represents the work of important scholars who see the value in both, but also go beyond approaching the film not as a text, but as an event.
The obvious highlight is Rick Altman's many contributions that make the rest of the scholarship possible. These writers demonstrate not only a thorough knowledge of critical theory, but of the physics of sound as well. This is a rather unique approach as most authors don't want to get too technical outside the field of film. That's not to say these essays are purely technical - far from it. They simply use technical explanations when a technical explanation is required.
Overall, this is definitely the most essential book on film sound out there. Altman's previous collection "Cinema/Sound" in the French Yale Review was great for the time and still offers a lot of great ideas, but this represents a couple more decades worth of work in the field. Film sound theory has come a long way.
"Sound Theory, Sound Practice" is mainly a collection of essays covering the theoretical, historical and what the author calls "Neglected Domains" or what one could call a potpourri of topics for thought and discussion.
What's great about the book is while reading it I felt like I was sitting at a roundtable discussion with some really great sound folk who'd given some thought to what this thing called "sound" is all about.
It is specifically geared to the film industry. However, as a theatre sound designer, from the topics offered in the book I found interesting insights into the craft causing a rethinking of alot of the assumptions I previously held about what sound design as a production element can bring to a show.
I also really like the author's "Baker-Dozen Terms for Sound Analysis" which when added to a vocabulary helps when talking with others (in the industry or just interested)about what makes good sound design. The terms also offer designers a starting point or even a framework for discussions with directors during concept meetings about where the design can go throughout the production process.
A good book for film and stage designers alike. Pick up a copy!