Concert Halls

Architecture and Acoustics

Desirable Acoustic Properties

When attending a concert hall and hearing the music, the listener's experience is formed by the instruments as well as the room itself (Architecture for acoustics n.d.). How the sound is reflected in the room is a major factor in determining the quality of the overall experience. The architecture of a concert hall contributes to this and other acoustic properties. For example, a high reflective ceiling will reflect sound back to the auditorium aiding in good projection of sound to the rear of the enclosure (Architecture for acoustics, n.d.). Also, angled side walls rather than flat parallel walls allow for more evenly dispersed sound with no prominent echoes (Architecture for acoustics, n.d.).

Best and Worst Concert Halls

Symphony Hall in Boston is considered one of the best concert halls in terms of acoustics. The stage walls slope to help focus the sound out towards the audience and with the exception of wooden floors, the venue is almost completely constructed from metal, brick and plaster. Additionally, the ceiling offers incredible acoustics to every seat (Symphony Hall Boston, 2015). An example of a concert hall with bad acoustics is the Berlin Philharmonic Hall as the angles of the geometric pattern of the walls do not direct the reflected sound toward the listener, nor do they diffuse the reflected sound very well (The Anstendig Institute, 1982).

Boston Symphony Hall

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Architecture for acoustics. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Symphony Hall Boston. (2015). Retrieved from

The Anstendig Institute. (1982). Concert hall acoustics. Retrieved from