Home Engineering Building Acoustics
The acoustics of the place and the musical works performed inside are often quite linked one to each other. For example, in the first half of the 18th century German composer Johan Sebastian Bach was writing his organ pieces for rather small churches with lots of fittings; this resulted in a rather low reverberation time value that enabled him to practice a dense melodic writing. On the opposite end, his French contemporary Nicolas de Grigny was writing for large and bare churches; as the articulation in such spaces would be problematic, he resorted to a dense harmonic writing .
In the olden days, the sound insulation requirements with regard to the outside for community noise control purposes were not that high, as the sound power level of the music instruments of the time was not that high. There were no sound systems except the eventual symphonic orchestra. Gradually, sound systems were introduced and the frequency domain of interest was steadily enlarged. But even then, some facilities had been tackling the low-frequency range: An organ with a 32 ft tube can generate sounds down to 16 Hz, which are useful as a fundamental for creating sounds, and those were in existence in the 19th century.
Nowadays, modern sound systems can generate high noise levels over a very broad spectrum. This means that the sound insulation with regard to the outside must be treated accordingly. There usually are some legal requirements (e.g., in France, a decree on musical venues using amplified music ). In addition, care must be taken regarding the protection of the hearing of both the audience and the musicians.
Therefore, the fundamental questions will be: What does the end user want to do, and what will the project actually allow him to do?
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