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Music and Concert Facilities


Music and concert facilities of any type are usually meant to provide the audience and the musicians with a shelter from intrusions from the environment. They must enable the musicians to hear each other, while giving the audience a decent chance to look at the musicians and hear their part too.

The word music can cover quite a broad extend of sound pieces. Victor Hugo used to say, “Music is noise that thinks.” There is a bit of difference in terms of noise levels and frequency range between the baroque instruments and the electroacoustical equipment of today, as well as in their preferred listening environments! Clearly enough, the corresponding facilities will be rather different, starting with their acoustic targets [1, 2].



As with any project, there usually exists a program: What does the end user (and the payer too!) actually want? This means the various requirements must be identified and the relevant acoustic objectives stated. In today’s spirit of sustainable development, one must be conscious that a team effort (i.e., architects, structural engineers, HVAC, and acoustics, just to name a few) occurs and make sure that the various solutions that are considered at the design stage are compatible with each other. While extremely important, especially in a concert hall, acoustics often are part of a global problem that can only be solved by a complete design team fed the relevant data by the end user.

There are a couple of rules that are often quoted by the end users (Warning: The end user often is the payer too, so watch your step!). To start with, any good hall has wooden paneling (this is obviously false, but you will have to explain it very diplomatically!). Next, a volume of 10 m3 per auditor must be provided. While this number can be used for predimensioning purposes during the programming phase, it is neither sufficient nor necessary to achieve good acoustics in a classical concert hall.

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