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Acoustics and the Performance of Music: Manual for Acousticians, Audio Engineers, Musicians, Architects and Musical Instrument Makers / Edition 5

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Overview

Acoustics and the Performance of Music connects scientific understandings of acoustics with practical applications to musical performance. Of central importance are the tonal characteristics of musical instruments and the singing voice including detailed representations of directional characteristics. Furthermore, room acoustical concerns related to concert halls and opera houses are considered. Based on this, suggestions are made for musical performance. Included are seating arrangements within the orchestra and adaptations of performance techniques to the performance environment. In the presentation we dispense with complicated mathematical connections and deliberately aim for conceptual explanations accessible to musicians, particularly for conductors. The graphical representations of the directional dependence of sound radiation by musical instruments and the singing voice are unique. The German edition has become a standard reference work for audio engineers and scientists.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews of the fifth edition:

“The present book is a translation of the fifth German edition published in 2004. The translator, Uwe Hansen, deserves praise for the quality of his writing in the English language. … Given the material in this text, orchestral musicians and conductors can … appreciate how to use any given acoustical space most advantageously and acousticians and architects can optimize the spaces in which musical groups perform. … The book will certainly benefit all those involved with musical performance.” (Leo Beranek, International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration, Vol. 14 (2), 2009)

“The abundance of easy to understand graphic illustrations help the reader go through the relatively complex subjects. The writing is easy to read … . The quality and quantity of illustrations (some of them color plates) are exceptional. … A well written subject index helps find subjects of interest to the reader. There is also a composer-composition index at the end of the book. In summary, this is a highly recommended valuable book for professionals as well as for students interested in musical performance.” (Alberto Behar, Noise Control Engineering Journal, Vol. 58 (5), September-October, 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441918604
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 11/25/2010
  • Series: Modern Acoustics and Signal Processing Series
  • Edition description: Softcover reprint of hardcover 5th ed. 2009
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 438
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Honors:

Helmholtz-Medal of the German Acoustical Society (DEGA) 2004
Medal of Honor of Verband Deutscher Tonmeister (VDT) 2004
Fellow of the ASA

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to Acoustics 1

1.1 Fundamental Physical Principles 1

1.1.1 Sound Pressure 1

1.1.2 Particle Velocity 2

1.1.3 Sound Power 3

1.1.4 Frequency 4

1.1.5 The Speed of Sound 4

1.1.6 Wavelength 5

1.2 Characteristics of the Auditory System 6

1.2.1 The Sensation of Loudness 6

1.2.2 Masking 10

1.2.3 Directional Characteristics 13

1.2.4 Directional Hearing 15

1.2.5 The Cocktail Party Effect 16

1.2.6 Masking for the Musician 18

1.2.7 Sensitivity to Changes in Frequency and Sound Pressure Level 20

2 Structure of Musical Sound 23

2.1 Introducing the Model 23

2.2 Frequency-and Level: Structures 26

2.2.1 The Harmonic Tone Structure of Sound Spectra 26

2.2.2 The Frequency Range of Sound Spectra 28

2.2.3 Formants 30

2.2.4 The Effect of Individual Partials 32

2.2.5 Frequency Width of Partials 33

2.2.6 Noise Contributions 33

2.2.7 Dynamics and the Sound Spectrum 35

2.2.8 Dynamic Range and Sound Power 36

2.3 Time Structures 37

2.3.1 Deviations from a Steady Vibration Process 37

2.3.2 The Starting Transient 38

2.3.3 Inharmonic Components 40

2.3.4 Decay of Resonating Systems 42

2.3.5 Decay Time and Reverberation Time 42

2.3.6 Fluctuations in the Quasistationary Part 44

3 Tonal Characteristics of Musical Instruments 45

3.1 Brass Instruments 45

3.1.1 The French Horn 45

3.1.2 The Trumpet 53

3.1.3 The Trombone 58

3.1.4 The Tuba 62

3.2 Woodwind Instruments 64

3.2.1 The Flute 64

3.2.2 The Oboe 70

3.2.3 The Clarinet 74

3.2.4 The Bassoon 79

3.3 String Instruments 85

3.3.1 The Violin 85

3.3.2 The Viola 95

3.3.3 The Cello 97

3.3.4 Double Bass 100

3.4 The Piano 103

3.4.1 Sound Spectra 103

3.4.2 Dynamics105

3.4.3 Time Structure 105

3.5 The Harpsichord 111

3.5.1 Sound Spectra 111

3.5.2 Dynamics 112

3.5.3 Time Structure 113

3.6 The Harp 114

3.6.1 Sound Spectra 114

3.6.2 Dynamics 115

3.6.3 Time Structure 115

3.7 Percussion Instruments 116

3.7.1 Timpani 116

3.7.2 The Bass Drum 118

3.7.3 Snare Drum 119

3.7.4 Gong 120

3.7.5 Cymbals 122

3.7.6 The Triangle 122

3.8 The Singing Voice 123

3.8.1 Sound Spectra 123

3.8.2 Dynamics 124

3.8.3 Time Structure 125

3.8.4 Choral Singing 127

4 Directional Characteristics 129

4.1 Foundations of Directional Sound Radiation 129

4.1.1 Directional Effects and Polar Diagrams 129

4.1.2 Evaluation and Representation 130

4.2 Brass Instruments 133

4.2.1 The Trumpet 133

4.2.2 The Trombone 135

4.2.3 The Tuba 136

4.2.4 The French Horn 137

4.3 Woodwind Instruments 140

4.3.1 The Flute 140

4.3.2 The Oboe 143

4.3.3 The Clarinet 146

4.3.4 The Bassoon 147

4.4 String Instruments 148

4.4.1 General Considerations 148

4.4.2 The Violin 152

4.4.3 The Viola 156

4.4.4 The Cello 159

4.4.5 The Double Bass 161

4.5 The Grand Piano 163

4.5.1 Lid Open 163

4.5.2 Lid Closed 167

4.5.3 Lid Half Open 167

4.5.4 Lid Removed 168

4.5.5 The Harpsichord 168

4.6 The Harp 169

4.7 Percussion Instruments 170

4.7.1 The Timpani 170

4.7.2 The Drum 172

4.7.3 Gongs 173

4.8 The Singing Voice 175

Color Plates Following Page 178

5 Foundations of Room Acoustics 179

5.1 Reflection and Refraction 179

5.1.1 Reflection from a Flat Surface 179

5.1.2 Reflection from Curved Surfaces 180

5.1.3 Influence of the Wavelength 182

5.2 Absorption 186

5.3 Reverberation 188

5.4 Direct Sound and Diffuse Field 190

5.4.1 The Energy Density 190

5.4.2 The Direct Sound 192

5.4.3 Diffuse-Field Distance 194

5.5 Temporal Structure of the Sound Field 196

6 Acoustical Properties of Old and New Performance Spaces 203

6.1 Concert Halls 203

6.1.1 Tonal Requirements 203

6.1.2 Reverberation Time and Hall Size 205

6.1.3 Sound Field and Hall Shape 215

6.1.4 Acoustic Conditions on the Stage 224

6.1.5 The Location of the Conductor 231

6.2 Opera Houses 234

6.2.1 Reverberation Time and Room Size 234

6.2.2 Direct Sound and Early Reflections 238

6.3 Churches 245

6.4 Chamber Music Halls 250

6.5 Studios 254

6.6 Special Purpose Rooms 256

6.7 Open Air Stages 258

7 Seating Arrangement in the Concert Hall 263

7.1 Customary Positioning of Instrument Groups 263

7.2 The Tonal Effect in the Hall 273

7.2.1 String Instruments 273

7.2.2 Woodwind Instruments 294

7.2.3 Brass Instruments 305

7.2.4 Timpani 322

7.2.5 Grand Pianos 325

7.2.6 Harps 328

7.2.7 Combined Sound of the Orchestra 328

7.2.8 Singing Voices 343

8 Acoustic Considerations for Instrumentation and Playing Technique 347

8.1 Strength of Ensembles 347

8.1.1 Historical Development 347

8.1.2 Adapting to the Hall 350

8.2 Dynamics 359

8.3 Performance Technique 370

8.3.1 Articulation and Tone Presentation 370

8.3.2 Vibrato 377

8.3.3 Playing Positions of Wind Instruments 380

8.4 Tempo and Room Acoustics 384

9 Acoustical Problems in the Opera House 389

9.1 Strength of the Orchestra 389

9.1.1 Historical Development 389

9.1.2 Sound Level in the Hall 390

9.1.3 Sound Level in the Orchestra Pit 393

9.2 Seating Arrangement in the Orchestra Pit 394

9.2.1 Customary Arrangements of Instrument Groups 394

9.2.2 The Tonal Effect in the Hall 397

9.3 Balance between Singers and Orchestra 403

9.4 Arrangement of Choirs and Music on Stage 407

9.4.1 Musicians in the Scene 407

9.4.2 Musicians behind the Scene 410

Appendix: Table for Angular Dependence of the Statistical Directivity Factor 413

References 415

Subject Index 427

Author, Composer, and Composition Index 435

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