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Time and Space: Musical Tempo and Room Acoustics
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance. (Tolkningsrum (Room for Interpretation))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2005-5397
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance.
Norges musikkhøgskole, Oslo. (Tolkningsrum (Room for Interpretation))
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2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this presentation we discuss the influence of acoustics on temporal aspects of performance for different instrument constellations. In a concert hall with mechanically variable acoustics, professional soloists and ensembles each performed a programme of 3–4 pieces at three trials throughout the same day in the presence of an audience of experienced musicians–researchers. The instrument settings included solo instruments, chamber ensembles and a chamber choir. The trials were recorded for later analysis. The microphones were placed so as to minimize audible differences in acoustics between the recordings.

For the solo instruments musicians tended to use slower tempi and allow themselves more agogic freedom in larger acoustics. A similar tendency, though less marked, was observed in conducted ensembles. For ensembles without conductor, the acoustics did not seem to influence the chosen tempi.

When playing in larger acoustics, performers tended to feel more comfortable and relaxed – and more satisfied – which was often reflected in the choice of slower tempo as well as in a greater degree of tempo fluctuation. The listeners in the hall, on the other hand, did not always share the performers’ preferences. A different picture emerged in the evaluations of the recordings: here musicians viewed recordings made in drier acoustics, often using faster tempi with less fluctuation, in a more positive light. For some pieces in slow tempi, however, performances in larger acoustics were preferred. Generally, the preferences of musicians and listeners were more in agreement for the recordings than for the live performances.

The results show that the room acoustic in many cases does seem to influence tempo and agogics, but also that this influence varies considerably between different instrument settings (especially solo vs. ensemble) as well as between individual pieces in different tempi and styles. Performers’ preferences may vary considerably between the live situations and listening to recordings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
room acoustics, concert hall, variable acoustics, musical performance, tempo, agogics
National Category
Music Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Musical Performance; Audio Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66985OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66985DiVA, id: diva2:1165598
Conference
Musikforskning idag, Musikhögskolan, Piteå 12-14 June 2017
Projects
Tolkningsrum (Room for Interpretation)Available from: 2017-12-13 Created: 2017-12-13 Last updated: 2018-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Jullander, SverkerBerg, JanKjekshus, HelgeSundkvist, Petter
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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