Opera House Acoustics

Topics: Acoustics, Sound, Sydney Opera House Pages: 4 (1418 words) Published: March 19, 2013
Opera House Acoustics
An opera house that “looks better than it sounds?” Who ever heard of such contradiction? When one thinks about an opera house, some may think boring; others may think amazing sound quality, among other thoughts. If an opera house is built to produce “opera” events/productions, shouldn’t the sound quality be absolutely amazing? Named one of the world’s magnificent marvels ever built, the Sydney Opera Theater has been reported to have major acoustical problems. It was very interesting to find out that this 20th Century architectural icon has several adjustments to make to improve their acoustic environment. The Sydney Opera Theater attracts millions of visitors on an annual basis, but musicians “insiders” have been muttering about the building’s acoustics for years. We can compare and diagnose opera house qualities by knowing what characteristics to look for in an opera house. After knowing what is needed to improve opera acoustics, we can detect what changes the Opera Theater must undergo to enhance their sounds. To begin, there are should a differentiation between concert hall acoustics and opera house acoustics. A traditional concert hall may have the form of a “tall shoe box, with one or two balconies.” Some characteristics of a good concert hall will include things like the clarity of music, reverberation, strength, and envelopment (Edwards & Kahn, 2012). A company called, Acoustic Dimensions, helps in the developments and architecture of different buildings and rooms, uses a geometrical acoustics model based on edge diffraction. They use these characteristics of a good concert hall to explain the associating qualities to a room shape through this model. The use of the geometrical acoustics model here is effective in concert halls due to the large wavelengths produced in this type of setting. Also, the diffracted sounds from the edges of the balconies can be considered a small component of the sound field that may be ignored when...
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