Music to the ears....or not

Some of the best and worst concert halls for acoustics

Designing a hall with good acoustics requires planning

In order for a concert hall to provide the maximum level of enjoyment to both the patrons and the performers, many factors must be considered during the design phase. This includes the major factors of reverberation time, intimacy time, bass ratio, and spaciousness factor (Goldstein, 2014). In addition, there are also finer, more minute details that must be considered such as dead space between rows or levels of seating which could alter the calculations (Ouroussoff, 2007). These factors alone do not dictate the design of the hall as acousticians must also work with architects in the overall design to choose a design that is true to the original concept in terms of aesthetic appeal or contemporary design. Below are examples of concert halls that have some of the best acoustics in the world and some that may have missed some of those finer details during the planning process.

The Good

In order as pictured below:

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA

Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan

Kitara Hall, Sapporo, Japan

Tenerife Concert Hall, Canary Islands, Spain

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The not so good...

The following two concert halls could use some input from acousticians in order to address issues with their sound quality. In regards to the Metropolitan Opera House, the issue could be related to the amount of levels and the resulting spaces as the sound does not travel throughout the building as it should (Kamenev, 2011). The architecture of the Sydney Opera House has many areas that could be addressed in order to improve the acoustics (Kamenev, 2011).
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References

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

Kamenev, M. (2011). Sydney's opera house: easy on the eyes, not the ears. Time. Retrieved from http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2097247,00.html

Ouroussoff, N. (2007). The best buildings you'll ever hear. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/arts/design/03ouro.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0