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Room Acoustics and the Performance of Music

In music performances, the surrounding room affects the auditory impression not only of the audience but also of the musicians themselves. It appears plausible to assume that the latter adapt their playing technique to the acoustical conditions, as it is recommended already in musical treatises of the 18th and 19th centuries, and as it would be necessary to achieve a specific sound they might have in mind. However, there is little empirical evidence concerning the specific relationship between room acoustics and music performance. For instance, the often assumed relation between reverberance and playing tempo has not been empirically confirmed, and the question remains to what extent further aspects of musical performance are varied and how important the musical content and the instrument are in this respect. 

To investigate these questions, both solo and ensemble players of different instruments are recorded while performing in binaurally auralised virtual environments. The software-baed analysis of the recordings for the extraction of performance parameters as well as the measurement of room acoustical parameters on the virtual concert stages are the basis for a statistical investigation of the described questions. In addition to these measurements, guided interviews are conducted with the musicians with regard to their perception of the room acoustics and their performance concepts.


Cooperation Partners:

Prof. Dr. Heinz von Loesch [1]
Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung


German Research Foundation DFG WE 4057/9-1


Stefan Weinzierl
Zora Schärer Kalkandjiev


Schärer Kalkandjiev, Z. and Weinzierl, S. (2013): "Der Raum als Instrument. Zusammenhänge zwischen der Qualität der Akustik und der Spielweise von Interpreten" In: Wahrnehmung - Erkenntnis - Vermittlung. Musikwissenschaftliche Brückenschläge. Festschrift für Wolfgang Auhagen, Hildesheim: Georg Olms, pp. 167–178.

Schärer Kalkandjiev, Z. and Weinzierl, S. (2013): "The Influence of Room Acoustics on Solo Music Performance: An Empirical Case Study" In: Acta Acustica united with Acustica99(3), pp. 433-441.

Schärer Kalkandjiev, Z. and Weinzierl, S. (2013): "Room acoustics viewed from the stage: Solo performers' adjustments to the acoustical environment" Proc. of the International Symposium on Room Acoustics (ISRA), Toronto

Schärer, Z. and Weinzierl, S. (2012): "Empirische Fallstudie zum Einfluss der Raumakustik auf die musikalische Interpretation" Fortschritte der Akustik: Tagungsband der 38. DAGA, Darmstadt, pp. 619-620.

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