MusingMuso Posted October 5, 2011 Share Posted October 5, 2011 It's a bit difficult knowing where to start with such a complex subject; not least because acoustic engineers have a language all their own, and it is not easy to get into the groove of their thinking and science. Perhaps a good starting point might be to consider how different types of music, as well as instrumental/vocal ensembles, require different types of acoustic. The music of Gabrieli positively thrives on a spatial acoustic; as does plainsong and much of the old catholic repertoire. The composers of organum exploited the sonorities of the great abbeys and cathedrals, with long held notes and sustained suspensions. The effect is quite overwhelming in the right building; especially with the right instruments and vocal style. The music of Bach, being largely confined to Lutheran churches with more modest acoustic properties, exploits countrapuntal ingenuity, simply because it was possible to hear what was going on. The same music heard in a vastly resonant catheral, loses clarity and impact; no matter how superb the underlying quality of writing. Chamber music is just that, and thrives on a more intimate room acoustic. Baroque theatres often had a very special warmth; more often than not having wood clad interiors: ideal for Handel Oratorios and organ concertii. The list goes on and on, and there can be no doubt but that music is not just music, but music with a particular acoustic in mind; from small chambers and theatres, right through to opera houses and vast cathedrals. Composers such as Mozart and Haydn wrote very differently for different situations; that much is obvious. So before we hopefully disuss the organ and the acoustic environment of a concert hall, here is an interesting example of what happens when the wrong style of instrument is placed in the wrong acoustic environment. It is the exact reverse of that which we normally complain about; a classical organ in a dead room. This example is a theatre organ designed for an acoustically dead theatre, placed in a big acoustic. Does it come any worse than this, I wonder? More to follow....... MM Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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