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Francesco Milizia (1725-1798) and the Acoustics of his Teatro Ideale (1773)

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During the 18th Century several French scientists prior to Pierre Patte proposed a new concept of theatre architecture based on a democratic vision of the theatre, which was founded on Neoclassical architecture. The French vision of theatre architecture recalled the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, designed by Andrea Palladio, and reintroduced many neoclassical (i.e. Greek/Roman) elements such as columns, semi-circular shapes and a large balcony in place of box stalls. The new French ideas of theatre architecture did not find many followers in Italy. The only scientists that accepted this new concept of a “democratic theatre” were the architects Earl Enea Arnaldi (Vicenza, 1716–1794) who wrote Idea di un teatro nelle principali sue parti simile a' teatri antichi all'uso moderno accomodato del conte Enea Arnald (Vicenza, 1762), and Francesco Milizia (Oria, 1725-1798), author of Del Teatro (Rome, 1773 and Venice, 1794) [1]. Milizia wrote his book after having read the Arnaldi's work and followed the idea of a semi-circular plan for the theatre with columns and other antiquarian elements. He was therefore influenced by the Teatro Olimpico architecture in Vicenza and introduced many Neoclassical elements into his conception of theatre architecture. He proposed the Teatro Ideale would solve several problems that existed in contemporary theatre architecture, including acoustic difficulties. In this paper, the Teatro Ideale proposed by Francesco Milizia has been acoustically analysed. Using his sketches as a starting point, a numerical model was created in order to simulate the acoustic behavior of the theatre, as is done today when a modern theatre is acoustically analysed. The results from the simulation are presented and commented on, with comparisons of the acoustic data measured in the Teatro Olimpico, and afterwards rendered by means of 3D auralisation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • 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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