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Dr Andy Moorhouse on piano ...

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- presented by Prof Trevor Cox

Concert Hall Acoustics: Art and Science

Welcome

The exhibition is intended to show how science and engineering have influenced the design of concert halls. The science of room acoustics has built up over the last hundred years. Before this, good concert halls were built by a process of trial and error. The features of the best halls were copied, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. It is often assumed that in the past we had some great talent to build good concert halls, and now we have forgotten the know-how, but this is the stuff of myth and legend. Nowadays, with the knowledge and understanding gained through acoustics research, we can build concert halls knowing that the chance of building a good, or even a great hall, is much better.

True or false?

  1. Old Halls age and so have better acoustics than new halls. Answer
  2. Good facilities such as toilets are just as important as good acoustics in a concert hall. Answer
  3. The ancient Greeks knew everything about acoustics when they built their amphitheatres. Answer
  4. Acoustic science can reduce the chance of building a poor concert hall. Answer
  5. When designing a new concert hall, we should simply copy designs of great old halls. Answer
  6. A good line of sight gives a good acoustic. Answer
  7. Concert Halls are venues for art, this has nothing to do with science. Answer
  8. Halls with wood panelling are good because the wood vibrates like the body of a violin. Answer

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