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- presented by Prof Trevor Cox

Concert Hall Acoustics: Art and Science

This is an on-line version of an exhibition on auditorium acoustics that originally appeared at the South Bank Centre, London and the Aldeburgh Festival in 2000. It gives details of the exhibition as well as explaining how science has influenced the design of concert halls, and how music has influenced science. It is designed for a non-technical audience

On-line Exhibition

  • Welcome, With some interesting questions ....
  • Testing Testing ...., Before a concert hall is built the design is tested using an acoustic model.  Two types of models are used for these tests: scale models and computer models.
  • The Royal Festival Hall Sound, The Royal Festival Hall was a landmark acoustic design within the 20th century, this panel will discuss the historical context of the hall.
  • The Shape We're In, In the 20th century acousticians began to understand how the shape of a hall influences sound quality. This panel explains current understanding.
  • Wall of walls, This exhibits how the surfaces of a concert hall (walls,ceiling and floor) can be altered to aid a good acoustic.
  • Can you hear me at the back?, A concert hall must enable the musicians to achieve their desired dynamic, from the quietest solo to the loudest fanfare.
  • Acoustics and Music, Acoustics has been an important influence on music. Many composers have had in mind, consciously or subconsciously, the acoustics of the space in which their music will be played.
  • Unwanted sound: One of the major advances in auditorium design in the past century has been the elimination of outside noise from auditoria. Imagine all the sources of noise around a concert hall in a busy city centre - yet a modern concert hall is one of the quietest places you are likelyto visit.
  • Reverberation: This touch screen exhibit explained how reverberation influences sound quality.
  • Why the exhibition was put on, who funded it, and the education notes
  •  

    (c) Bridget Shield, Trevor Cox 1999/2000. The material maybe re-used provided a link to the website is provided and a clear acknowledgement to the curators given.