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The acoustics of the Royal Festival Hall, London

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The Royal Festival Hall was opened in London in May, 1951. This paper describes in some detail its acoustical design, the test concerts held in it before the opening, the objective measurements made in it, and the comments about its acoustics that have been made during the first eighteen months since its opening. These comments show that the “definition” is excellent, but that for some types of music more “fullness of tone” would be desirable. It is concluded that the reverberation time is the only objective measurement which, at the present stage of development, is of practical use. Its value in the Royal Festival Hall when full is 1.5 seconds (at 500 c/s), which is 0.2 seconds shorter than the optimum value given by Knudsen and Harkis for a hall of this size. It seems probable that the “fullness” would be adequate if the reverberation time could be lengthened to 1.7 seconds or somewhat longer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1953

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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