Musicians' demands for acoustic comfort on concert hall and theatre stages


When designing concert halls and theaters, providing excellent stage environments is an acoustic challenge. For centuries, acousticians have been focusing on the acoustics in the hall from an audience point of view. The past decades, also the importance of acoustic comfort for musicians on the stage is recognized. Good stage acoustics is important for the orchestra to easily play together and to avoid hearing damage caused by excessively high sound pressure levels.

Up to 74% of the professional musicians suffer from hearing disorders, which is a major health problem. So far, few solutions have proven valid that can prevent hearing damage to musicians and at the same time improve the ease of playing together by orchestra members. Moreover, just a few satisfying correlations have been found between the musicians' judgment of stage environments and stage acoustic parameters. To be able to better understand the musicians' demands for acoustic comfort on stage more research is necessary.

The aim of this project is to improve the objective measurement and prediction methods to assess the influence of architectural measures on stage acoustic parameters and musicians' noise exposure. For the first time, the influence of the orchestra will be taken into account. The final result will be a measurement and prediction method as well as guidelines that can be used by researchers and engineers when designing stage environments. This will lead to improved acoustic comfort for musicians in concert halls and theaters from a musical as well as a health point of view.

Keywords: acoustics, architecture, concert halls and theatres, stage, health, music.



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Dr. ir. M.C.J. Hornikx

Verbonden aan

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Faculteit Bouwkunde, Building Physics and Services (BPS)


N Hoekstra, Ing. B Nicolai, Drs. R.H.C. Wenmaekers


01/09/2013 tot 31/08/2017