Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and by Leo Beranek

By Leo Beranek

he first query any lover of classical song frequently asb an acoustician is, "Which are the simplest halls within the world?" The response-the 3 halls rated optimum by way of world-praised conductors and song critics of the biggest newspapers have been inbuilt 1870, 1888, and 1900-always activates the following question: "Why are these so stable whereas many halls outfitted after 1950 appear to be mediocre or failures?" you can find solutions to those questions during this ebook the results of a half-century's examine into the very advanced box of acoustics of halls for tune. The conversation re-enacted above bears a detailed resemblance to a different representation that usually problems tune enthusiasts. they often asl

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Extra info for Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture

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2 sec), has allowed composers a unique creative privilege: to write opera with one kind of acoustics in mind. The acoustical requirements of opera differ from those for orchestral concerts. Because the vocal part functions, lil~e speech, as a form of communication, listeners Music /5 and Acoustics should be able to hear the words clearly. To preserve a libretto's intelligibility, especially at the tongue-twisting musical speeds of Mozart and Rossini, the performance space must provide a relatively short reverberation time, so that the reverberation from one sound or chain of sounds will not mask successive syllables.

At the turn of the century, concert music as public entertainment spread across the continent, appearing in Leipzig, Berlin, Vienna, Stockholm, and elsewhere. While building in this period did reflect the growing popular appeal of orchestral performance, the architecture lagged behind the new potential of the music. The first real concert halls, built in the last half of the eighteenth century, still showed the influence of the court halls: they were almost all rectangular, seated audiences of 400 or fewer, and had relatively short reverberation times.

Strength 0/ Sound and Loudness The word loudness as employed by acousticians bears a strong resemblance to the lay person's use of the term -the subjective perception of the volume or force of a sound at one's ears. But acousticians use "strength of sound," measured in decibels, to formulate loudness with much greater precision. Measuring a sound's strength with a microphone and a calibrated sound-level meter, engineers look at loudness in two stages of its arrival at a listener's ears: early and reverberant.

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