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Exjobbspresentation: Stage acoustics in concert halls
Boka in i min kalender
Datum4 september 2014
Tid13:00 - 14:00
PlatsChalmers, Teknisk akustik
Dear all,

Emma Gjers will defend her his Master's thesis on thursday September 4th, 13:00 in our teaching lab. The title of the thesis is "Stage Acoustics in Concert Halls: a study of musicians' acoustical environment".

Designing concert hall acoustics is a prestigious task which demands high accuracy of acoustical measures such as support, strength, reverberation, and other numerous parameters. However, little is known about the acoustical environment on stages in concert halls and how the design of environments are perceived by musicians. Therefore, Norconsult/Akustikon supported an investigation of measures that can be used by acousticians in the design process to evaluate the quality of sound environments on concert hall stages.

The method for evaluating the acoustical environment was through measurements and calculations of several stages. Four concert halls in Sweden were measured in the following cities: Gävle, Jönköping, Västerås, and the current hall in Malmö. Out of these four halls, calculations of Gävle, Jönköping, and Västerås were performed. However, the new hall in Malmö was used instead of the old concert hall. In addition to these calculations, Musikverein in Vienna was calculated to compare the data to a concert hall which is famous for its acoustical qualities. Through surveys, the opinions of the musicians concerning their home stages were gathered in four concert halls with a total of 102 participants. Statistical tools such as arithmetic mean, median, standard deviation, and Spearman's ranking coefficient were some of the tools used to evaluate and compare the collected data.

This master's thesis investigates the acoustical environment on concert hall stages and correlation between subjective opinions of musicians and objective measured and calculated parameters. The purpose is to explore the tools used by acousticians in architectural acoustics and understand the effect that various design choices have on the opinion of the users. Furthermore, correlation between calculations and measurements was studied in order to understand relevance of tools used by acousticians.

A literature study of concert hall acoustics was implemented concerning both physical aspects of sound as well as measures currently used to evaluate the acoustical qualities of spaces for music. In addition, previous research and common rules for stage design were presented along with descriptions of some of the top ranked concert halls and halls included in this study. Basic statistics was also presented to explain the calculations used in this master's thesis and the relevance of collected data.

As for the results, the hearing self [HS] category in the survey has similar opinions among most of the participants, except for outliers. In Malmö, the opinion of HS varies more than the three other halls. In the dynamics [DYN] category of the survey in Malmö, significant differences between different instrument groups are found. Nonetheless, further investigations with more concert halls are needed to establish any correlation. A higher ranked hall is more likely to have a neutral colored sound in contrast to dark or sharp. Halls with a lower rank tend to yield more responses of sharp coloration. Yet, it can always be discussed whether a neutral sound is optimal or if coloration of the sound may actually contribute to further depth of the sound in the hall.

As for similarities and differences between measurements and calculations, late support values are similar while early support differs between calculation and measurement. Lateral fraction [LF] has yielded unpredictable results for the measurements and the reason for this is unknown. High measurements of LF were found in both Gävle and Malmö. CATT-Acoustic tends to overestimate measures such as clarity, definition, and treble ratio. In contrast, early decay time and early support tend to have lower calculated values as opposed to measured.

No significant monotonic relation between the measures for architectural acoustics and subjective opinions of musician in concert halls have been found. However, in the individual halls there are moderate to high correlations suggesting that there may be certain monotonic relations which are strictly individual to the concert hall in question. ​

stage acoustics, concert halls, symphony orchestra, correlation, survey, musicians, measurements, calculation, opinions, support, musical acoustics, architectural acoustics


Carsten Hoever

Carsten Hoever
Chalmers tekniska högskola
Teknisk akustik
Sven Hultins gata 8a
SE 41296 Göteborg
Tel.: +46 (0)31 772 8605
Uppdaterat 2014-08-28
Utskriftsvänlig sida
Svenska Akustiska Sällskapet, 0705 948142, hans.jonasson@sp.se, PG 320856-8
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