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A Subjective Assessment of Concert Hall Acoustics

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An experimental method for studying subjective response to acoustics of halls, using a method of triadic comparisons is described. The main feature of the method is that it attempts to derive information directly from the subject's responses to the sounds without using the intermediate medium of descriptive words. The theory underlying the method is explained – a central feature being the use of Kruskal'S non-metric multidimensional scaling procedure. The techniques used to make recordings in concert halls, and to present these as stimuli to subjects are described. Tests on a group of eight halls produce meaningful results. Comparison of the results with objective measurements in the halls shows that the subjective measurements are picking out reverberation, amongst other variables, as a key factor. This fact supports the validity of the method. The method of dyadic comparisons is also described and tested, and it is shown that this method is capable of producing adequate results much faster than the method of triadic comparisons, although the latter is inherently somewhat more error-free.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1974

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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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