News

Concert hall acoustics influence the emotional impact of music

Aalto University researchers found that the emotional impact experienced by music listeners depends on the concert hall’s acoustics.

Vienna Musikverein is a classic shoebox-type concert hall.

Earlier research has shown that the strongest emotional experiences by music listening may elicit shivers or goosebumps in the listener. Much weaker reactions can be detected from the variations in the electrical skin conductance. Based on this knowledge, the researchers presented the test subjects an excerpt of Beethoven’s symphony with the acoustics measured in different concert halls. During listening, the skin conductance was measured with sensors attached in the listeners’ fingers in order to record the magnitude of the emotional reactions to different acoustic conditions.

The results revealed that an identical performance of classical orchestra music evoked stronger emotional impact when presented in the acoustics of shoebox-type concert halls, such as Vienna Musikverein or Berlin Konzerthaus. The study included identically selected two positions from six European concert halls: Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerhaus and Philharmonie, Cologne Philharmonie, and Helsinki Music Centre.

“Some interpretations of a same music piece can evoke stronger emotions than others. Similarly, our study has succeeded in demonstrating that the hall’s acoustics plays an important part in the overall emotional impact. After all, emotional experiences are a key factor in music to many listeners,” says Dr. Jukka Pätynen.

For decades, researchers on concert hall acoustics have aspired to explain the acoustical success of certain halls with room-acoustic parameters. The study by Finnish researchers is the first to assess the acoustics of existing concert halls as the emotional impact.

Helsinki Music Centre represents a more modern concert hall design.

Dr. Jukka Pätynen works as an Academy of Finland post-doctoral researcher in Professor Tapio Lokki’s Virtual Acoustics research group. The group aims to understand how room acoustics affect sound signals, and how people perceive room acoustic properties. Research focuses on improved prediction and understanding of concert halls and other acoustically demanding spaces. 

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) Article: “Concert halls with strong and lateral sound increase the emotional impact of orchestra music”, by Jukka Pätynen and Tapio Lokki.

URL: http://scitation.aip.org/content/asa/journal/jasa/139/3/10.1121/1.4944038

Video with sound examples: http://patynen.kuvat.fi/kuvat/press/JASA2016/jasa2016demo.mp4

For more information:

Dr. Jukka Pätynen
+358 440 585547
[email protected]
Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science

Professor Tapio Lokki
+358 40 5782486
[email protected]
Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science

 

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Related news

ARTS open science roadshow, pic of the session
Research & Art Published:

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Finnish Forum webinar on 25th January

One of the speakers is Karel Luyben, the first president of the EOSC Association and a member of board at Aalto University.
Installation Talk 2020, Jarkko Niiranen
Research & Art Published:

Professor Jarkko Niiranen on the computational mechanics of microarchitectural solids and structures

'When developing models, we spend a lot of time on mathematical physics, numerical mathematics and computer programming, but the fundamental concepts of mechanics remain the same' says Niiranen in his installation talk.
A photo showing Dr. Dorothea Golze
Research & Art Published:

Computational physicist Dorothea Golze receives prestigious Emmy Noether Award

Dorothea Golze received funding from the German Research Foundation within the Emmy Noether Programme to establish her own junior research group at the Technical University of Dresden.
Dronen ottama kuva Otakaari 1:sestä, kuva: Mikko Raskinen
Research & Art Published:

How do you know where a drone is flying without a GPS signal?

In Jouko Kinnari's doctoral dissertation, the location of a drone can be determined using map data and sensors.