Why do some concert halls render music more expressive and impressive than others?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific


Research on musical acoustics and room acoustics is very seldom performed together. This is quite strange, as it is well known that musical instruments sound unpleasant in anechoic
spaces. A musical instrument needs reverberation to sound enjoyable, and therefore room acoustics is an essential part of music. Room acoustics not only reverberate the sound, but also change the timbre of musical sounds. Moreover, reverberation is an integral component of
music that binds together individual notes, helps to form phrases, and carries on the harmony between phrases.
This paper ties together musical and room acoustics. The directivity of musical instruments and the spectral changes according to played dynamics are reviewed. These issues are linked to the basics of concert hall acoustics to explain why room acousticians who design concert halls should also understand these fundamental aspects of musical instruments and their sounds. In addition, recent findings in concert hall acoustics are explained in light of the acoustics and concert halls that best support the music. In other words, what room acoustics features convey the important spectral changes to the audience as well as possible?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings – ISMRA 2016
PublisherInternational Commission for Acoustics
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic) 978-987-24713-8-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Symposium on Musical and Room Acoustics - Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 11 Sep 201613 Sep 2016


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Musical and Room Acoustics
Abbreviated titleISMRA
CityBuenos Aires
Internet address


  • room acoustics
  • concert halls


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