Recognizing individual concert halls is difficult when listening to the acoustics with different musical passages

Antti Kuusinen*, Tapio Lokki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


This article presents a listening experiment in which the listeners' task was to recognize the acoustics of a seat in a specific concert hall. Stimuli included two short passages extracted from a Beethoven symphony and samples of a solo violin auralized to four real concert halls. In each trial, listeners were presented with a reference and four alternatives with one correct match. In the "same"condition, the reference and the alternatives contained the same source sound. In the "different"condition, the source sounds were different musical passages but always of the same sound type, that is, symphonic music or solo violin. Results show that on average listeners could recognize the halls when the task was performed with the same source sound but had difficulty when listening to different sounds. The patterns of erroneous responses exhibited confusion between particular hall pairs and corresponded well to the values and just-noticeable-differences of the traditional objective room acoustic parameters. While the type of music is previously well known to influence the perception of concert hall acoustics, the present results indicate that even minor changes in the source sound content may have a strong impact on the ability to recognize the acoustics of individual halls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1390
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • acoustics
  • physics


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