I can hear you loud and clear!

The sounds of concert halls, Courtney Hoffman

What makes a concert hall so great?

When we go to a concert hall, we have an expectation that no matter where we sit, we will be able to hear everything. This is because concert halls are designed to provide us with this ability. Everything from the walls, seats, floors and ceiling are set up to bounce sound waves around the whole room so the sounds are loud and clear (The Royal Philharmonic Society, 2015). For around 100 years, we have been able to use what we know about sound to increase the way concert halls are designed and improve them along the way (The Royal Philharmonic Society, 2015). Using speakers pointed in different directions allows designers to test the halls and see where, or what, needs to be improved.

Propagation of Sound

Sound is in the form of waves and these waves travel, during the travel they can be reflected, refracted, or absorbed (Goldstein, 2014). Understanding how this works allows us to build halls to bounce the sounds around in a manner that allows all attending clients to experience an amazing sound performance at a concert hall. Attending outdoor concert halls will most likely result in sounds being thinner and not as loud and clear because the sound waves just keep traveling away, they are not bouncing back or around the room since there is no walls or ceiling.


Britt, A. (2011). Midgette on World's Best Concert Halls. Retrieved from www.dwell.com: http://www.dwell.com/three-buildings/article/midgette-worlds-best-concert-halls

Goldstein, E. B. (2014). Sensation and Perception (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Panoramio. (n.d.). Dalhalla Outdoor Concert Hall. Retrieved from www.panoramio.com: http://www.panoramio.com/m/photo/188483

SUWON CULTURAL FOUNDATION. (n.d.). 1st Suwon Outdoor Concert Hall. Retrieved from www.english.swcf.oc.kr: http://english.swcf.or.kr/?p=51

The Royal Philharmonic Society. (2015). The Ingredients of a good Concert Hall. Retrieved from www.icls.fimc.net: http://icls.fimc.net/hearhere/article.asp?id=725191