- Hardcover: 662 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 2nd edition (November 3, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0387955240
- ISBN-13: 978-0387955247
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,043,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture 2nd Edition
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From the reviews of the second edition:
Advance praise for Leo Beranek's "Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture" --
PHILIP GOSSETT, PROFESSOR OF MUSIC, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO:
Given the many controversies surrounding the acoustical properties of concert halls and opera houses, it is a relief to be guided by someone who is both a scientist and a devoted listener. Here, the mysteries of acoustics seem less intimidating: we come to understand why music sounds the way it does in various performance spaces, and what we can do about it. It's a terrific book!
I. M. PEI, ARCHITECT, NEW YORK:
[This book] provides an invaluable reference for the understanding and design of music facilities.
JOHN WILLIAMS, COMPOSER AND CONDUCTOR, LOS ANGELES:
Dr. Beranek has created a comprehensive and fascinating study of 100 of the world's halls for music. Visiting each of these venues would be a great delight and a marvelous adventure, but such being impractical, this great book is the next best thing. All lovers of music, acoustics, architecture, and travel will enjoy this unique work.
WILLIAM L. RAWN III, FAIA, ARCHITECT, BOSTON:
The rigor, clarity and comprehensiveness of Concert Halls and Opera Houses, balanced brilliantly by Leo Beranek's personal and subjective sense of acoustics and music, provides a powerful resource for architects and music lovers alike. Beranek's passion for music helps to make this the most significant music acoustics book of our times.
HELMUT A. MUELLER, MUELLER-BBM GMBH, ACOUSTICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS, PLANEGG, GERMANY:
Art and science are combined in Leo Beranek's new book. Presented are carefully collected plans, data and pictures of halls for music, and assessments of their acoustical quality by artists, critics and audiences, as well as measured scientific criteria. It is an easily readable, "must" handbook for anyone traveling to perform or attend concert or opera music.
"The present volume is an astonishing feat by an old gentleman who is still active. … The book explains the intricacies of modern auditorium acoustics, a much more complex science than it had been in the immediate post-WWII era … . There is a detailed bibliography and an excellent index. … This is an easily readable book. Beranek explains the complexities of the acoustical criteria lucidly, and describes the halls concisely, but clearly with the aid of illustrations and data." (Architectural Science Review, Vol. 43 (3), September, 2004)
RUSSELL JOHNSON, ACOUSTICS AND THEATER CONSULTANT, ARTEC CONSULTANTS, INC., NEW YORK:
Concert Halls and Opera Houses sets forth the harvest of six decades of intensive study of acoustics for music performance. It is a comprehensive (and indispensable) aid to architects, musicians and design teams who tackle the incredibly daunting task of creating new performance spaces.
HIDEKI TACHIBANA, PROFESSOR OF ACOUSTICS, UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, JAPAN:
This book assembles architectural and acoustical data on 100 spaces for music and rank-orders over two-thirds according to their acoustical quality as judged by musicians and music critics. It gives comprehensive knowledge of room acoustics and offers a basic foundation for acoustical research long into the future.
R. LAWRENCE KIRKEGAARD, ACOUSTICAL CONSULTANT, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS:
Beranek has created a new Rosetta Stone for the languages of music, acoustics, and architecture. Lovers of music everywhere will welcome this extraordinary work for its scope, depth, and ease of reading, and for heightening our understanding and enjoyment of the musical experiences that so enrich our lives.
ROB HARRIS, DIRECTOR, ARUP ACOUSTICS, WINCHESTER, HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND:
Beranek's latest reference work is an essential volume in every auditorium designer's library. It will also bring information and pleasure to all with an interest in music, acoustics and architecture. In our offices, a common response to a question in an acoustical design session is "Let's check in Beranek...."
CHRISTOPHER JAFFE, FOUNDING PRINCIPAL, JAFFE HOLDEN ACOUSTICS, NORWALK, CT:
CH & OH is the definitive work on the architectural acoustic design of classical music spaces. With presentation of 100 halls, it illustrates various levels of acoustical quality. Written for the lay reader it deserves to be in every school of music, architecture and science and with every musician and music lover.
From the reviews:
"For anyone interested in musical performance or in architecture, this book is a real treasure. After a short introduction to outline the approach and define the acoustical terms involved, the book plunges into a wonderful survey of 100 concert halls in 31 different countries … . The book is elegantly typeset and produced, and will be both interesting reading and a wonderful resource for architects, musicians, and concert goers." (Neville Fletcher, The Physicist, Vol. 41 (4), July/August, 2004)
From the reviews of the second edition:
"One of the most famous books in the field of room acoustics … got a new shape and an extension in the new edition. It again has an outstanding quality in layout and printing. The book is an illustrated guide to performance spaces. It provides a rich source of information on music and its relation to room acoustics. … It is also a document of cultural heritage and a help for musicians … . recommended for everybody interested in music, acoustics and architecture." (Michael Vorländer, Acta Acustica united with Acustica, Issue 3, 2004)
"This new edition (1st ed., 1996) attempts to compare more than a hundred of the world’s most important concert halls, as it takes a closer look at the acoustical properties as well as the architectural shape of each. … It is an invaluable resource for those involved in the design of spaces for the performance of music … . this book would be most beneficial to those with a greater interest in the physics of acoustics. Summing Up: Highly recommended." (R. P. Meden, CHOICE, April, 2004)
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Top Customer Reviews
Of course, a book like this can never be quite complete, and though I encountered the two halls I'd expected to see from my own country (the Amsterdam Concertgebouw again featuring as one of the world's top three), I was inevitably slightly disappointed to see my own town's hall disregarded, even though it is generally acknowledged to surpass the Concertgebouw when it comes to classical and early romantic repertoire. In a more general sense, the question is how random the selection was. You will find all the great halls you would expect in a survey like this (though Russia is conspicuously absent), but like me many readers are bound to be aware of hidden gems undiscovered (or at least unaddressed) by Beranek. London and Japan seem to be disproportionately represented (no less than 9 Tokyo halls are listed!), nor did I find all the US entries equally compelling (one wonders also why all countries are listed alphabetically, but after the US?). It should be noted, too, that the images serve to give a general impression of a hall, but are mostly of moderate quality, and sometimes quite bad. Finally, and then I'll stop complaining and resume the praise, opera houses are very much underrepresented and almost seem like an afterthought; they might as well have been left out, the focus is clearly on symphonic concert spaces.
None of this detracts in any significant way from the wonders of this unique book, which is, by the way, beautifully produced, featuring smooth, glossy paper. Whether an acoustic scientist, a regular concert goer or an architecture buff, this book will be fascinating reading for you. It may, indeed, even help you select the best available seat when you're booking a ticket in a hall you've never visited before (avoid those three back rows on the Boston Symphony Hall middle balcony!).
1- This is more thorough than Auditoria by Forsyth. It is focused soley on acoustics of the spaces, not the architecture.
2- There are 18 to 21 acoustic metrics reported for each of the halls.
3- The last sections on acoustics of concert halls and opera halls is up to date and discusses key concepts & criteria in realtion to existing facilities.
The appendices are wonderful. Appendix #2 lists additional acoutical data that is availble on the concert halls reviewed in earlier chapters. Typically this additional data inlcudes RT by octave, and may include ITDG, G (strength) & IACC.