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Acoustics, Part 3

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
SC Public Radio

More today, about acoustics. Absolutely everything in the design and construction of a room, or concert hall, contributes to its acoustics… from the shape and size of the room, to the building and finishing materials, to the seating configuration and height of the stage, to the seemingly minor decorative details.

For that reason, it’s often impossible to say precisely why the acoustics are better in one room, than in another. Some things are predictable: stone tends to reflect sound, and wood tends to vibrate with sound. But a curved stone wall reflects sound differently from a straight one, and wood vibrates differently depending on what it’s attached to, how it’s attached, and how far it is from the source of the sound. It’s the total package that counts, the often mysterious and unpredictable sum of interactions of all the possible factors. But we’ll continue with acoustics tomorrow… 

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

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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.