© 2024 South Carolina Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Acoustics, Part 2

We’re talking about acoustics this week. Acoustics is the science of sound, but the word has another meaning, as well. When we ask about the acoustics of a concert hall, or of any room, we’re asking about qualities, about how things sound in that room.

The list of adjectives that are commonly used to describe room acoustics is a long and interesting one. Sometimes the adjectives are simple ones, like “excellent,” or “terrible.” But acoustics can be dry, warm, reverberant, rich, clear, harsh, brilliant, live, or dead. They can be honest or deceptive, accurate, flattering, or fuzzy.  They can also be brilliant but harsh, clear but dry, dry but honest, or some other combination of qualities that’s either positive or problematic. I think it’s fair to say that the most desirable acoustics usually offer a balance between richness of sound and clarity of sound. But more on acoustics tomorrow.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Stay Connected
Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.