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Open Access The Application of Impulse Response Measurement Techniques to the Study of the Acoustics of Stonegate, a Performance Space Used in Medieval English Drama

The present paper provides an insight into the acoustic characteristics of one of the spaces used for the performance of the York Mystery Plays: Stonegate, a street in central York (UK). An experiment conducted in a controlled environment with the aim of determining the optimal method for acoustic measurements on this site is first presented. The methods tested were the Exponential Sine Sweep (ESS) method with the application of time averaging of eight 15-second exponential sine sweeps and the ESS method with a 90-second sine sweep. Results demonstrate the greater robustness under the test conditions of the ESS method when used with a sine sweep of 90 seconds in length. Results from measurements at Stonegate using this method are then discussed, demonstrating that the space has appropriate reverberation time and clarity values to ensure speech intelligibility but would prove less satisfactory for the performance of the plainchant items that were part of the plays. Results also indicate that Stonegate presents low levels of spaciousness and high levels of listener envelopment at most of the receiver positions studied.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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