Audio Communication Group

Room Acoustics and Musical Performance: New Predictors for Acoustical Conditions on Stage

In a previous project it was shown whether and in which way the acoustic conditions influence a musical performance in terms of tempo, dynamics and timbre. Some of these effects can be generalized, others depend on the musical instrument and the personality of the individual performer (Schaerer Kalkandjiev and Weinzierl 2013, Schaerer Kalkandjiev and Weinzierl 2015). This project also developed a Stage Acoustical Quality Inventory (STAQI), i.e., a consensus vocabulary for room acoustic qualities from the perspective of musicians (Schaerer Kalkandjiev and Weinzierl 2018).
The current project aims at identifying room acoustical parameters which can serve as predictors for these qualities. While the limited validity of the two parameters currently suggested in ISO 3382-1 for stage conditions is widely acknowledged, a variety of new parameters were suggested during the last two decades, none of which, however, has found its way into room acoustic planning so far. The present project aims to take a decisive step in this direction by creating a large stimulus pool for the assessment of stage acoustic conditions for different musical ensemble types (solo, chamber music, symphony orchestra) with different musicians and different musical repertoire on the basis of systematically varied acoustic conditions. These systematic variations will be realized with advanced room acoustic simulation and dynamic binaural synthesis, with particular attention to diffraction effects on stage, while the STAQI will be used as a measuring instrument for a differentiated assessment of the acoustic conditions. The analysis will use Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines aiming at selecting optimal predictors for each STAQI factor and estimating also non-linear effects and interactions. The best parameters identified will be cross-validated by analyzing the perceptual assessments of musicians immediately after their performance as well as the effect on their performance itself, both underlining the relevance of the stage acoustical features represented by these parameters.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG WE 4057/9-2


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Kriz, J., Porcinai, E., Lepa, S., & Weinzierl, S. (2023). Effect of Early Reflections on Stage Acoustic Conditions for Solo Musicians. In Forum Acusticum, Turin, in print.

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