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The Music Room in Early Modern France and ItalySound, Space and Object$
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Deborah Howard and Laura Moretti

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265055

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265055.001.0001

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Assessing the Acoustic Performance of Small Music Rooms: A Short Introduction

Assessing the Acoustic Performance of Small Music Rooms: A Short Introduction

Chapter:
(p.157) 9 Assessing the Acoustic Performance of Small Music Rooms: A Short Introduction
Source:
The Music Room in Early Modern France and Italy
Author(s):

RAF ORLOWSKI

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265055.003.0010

The performance of music in early modern French and Italian music rooms typically created an aural impression of ‘Intimacy’ and ‘Clarity’ whereby the individual instruments could clearly be perceived spatially. These qualities arise from the close proximity of the audience to the performers and the acoustic characteristics generated by the room geometry. Generally, the rooms were rectangular with high ceilings, between 4 and 8 metres, with volumes between 200 and 1000 cubic metres. Such rooms, when occupied, have moderate reverberance, which helps maintain the individuality of separate voices. The size and volume also give rise to short-delay reflections from the walls and ceiling, which enhance ‘Clarity’, ‘Intimacy’ and ‘Envelopment’. The acoustic characteristics of these rooms will be discussed in terms of current subjective and objective parameters developed for assessing concert venues.

Keywords:   acoustics, musical performance, clarity, intimacy, envelopment, ceilings, music rooms

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