Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Collected Papers On Acoustics
Sabine, Wallace Clement
here only the case of reverberation. In this respect a music hall is 
peculiarly interesting. In a theatre for dramatic performances, 
where the music is of entirely subordinate importance, it is desirable 
to reduce the reverberation to the lowest possible value in all ways 
not inimical to loudness; but in a music hall, concert room, or 
opera house, this is decidedly not the case. To reduce the rever¬ 
beration in a hall to a minimum, or to make the conditions such that 
it is very great, may, in certain cases, present practical difficulties 
to the architect -— theoretically it presents none. To adjust, in 
original design, the reverberation of a hall to a particular and ap¬ 
proved value requires a study of conditions, of materials, and of 
arrangement, for which it has been the object of the preceding 
papers to prepare. 
It is not at all difficult to show a priori that in a hall for orches¬ 
tral music the reverberation should neither be very great, nor, on 
the other hand, extremely small. However, in this matter it was 
not necessary to rely on theoretical considerations. Mr. Gericke, 
the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, made the state¬ 
ment that an orchestra, meaning by this a symphony orchestra, is 
never heard to the best advantage in a theatre, that the sound 
seems oppressed, and that a certain amount of reverberation is 
necessary. An examination of all the available plans of the halls 
cited as more or less satisfactory models, in the preliminary dis¬ 
cussion of the plans for the new hall, showed that they were such 
as to give greater reverberation than the ordinary theatre style of 
construction. While several plans were thus cursorily examined 
the real discussion was based on only two buildings — the present 
Boston Music Hall and the Leipzig Gewandhaus; one was familiar 
to all and immediately accessible, the other familiar to a number of 
those in consultation, and its plans in great detail were to be 
found in Das neue Gewandhaus in Leipzig, von Paul Gropius und H. 
Schmieden. It should, perhaps, be immediately added that neither 
hall served as a model architecturally, but that both were used 
rather as definitions and starting points on the acoustical side of 
the discussion. The old Music Hall was not a desirable model in 
every respect, even acoustically, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, 
having a seating capacity about that of Sanders Theatre, 1500,


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