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What a crescendo – not to be missed: Loudness on the musical stage

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Recent research suggests that loudness, as an isolated aural quality, has an enormous ability to affect a listener’s emotional response to a musical performance – but loudness is far more complex than simply cranking the volume up or down. This article traces a history of loudness on the musical stage, exploring some compositional, orchestral, dramaturgical, and technical choices, in addition to a plethora of physical and cognitive phenomena, that contribute to a sense of musical largeness onstage, as well as its psycho-emotional consequences.
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Keywords: amplification; cognitive musicology; dynamics; instrumentation; loudness; music and the brain; psychoacoustics; sound

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Miami

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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