In the framework of opera house acoustics, the term ‘‘balance’’ refers to the acoustical competition between the singer on the stage and the orchestra in the pit. The mechanism allowing the operatic singers to be heard over the orchestra has to do with their skill in enhancing the vocal emission by a peculiar use of the formant frequencies. This vital factor is sensed by the listeners and, apart from the obvious sound power ratio of the stage and the pit sources, is the main cue that helps to formulate a subjective impression of the balance. To achieve its objective qualification, two calibrated sound sources can be placed on the stage and in the pit, respectively, and their sound level difference is measured at the listeners’ seats. The scope of this work is to investigate the relationship between the subjective impression and the objective indicator of the balance and to develop a scale value for the parameter in the case of a historical opera house. For this scope a set of acoustical data from the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara will be used to create synthetic sound fields with controlled conditions of the balance between the stage and the pit. This methodology employs an anechoic piece for soprano ~with piano accompaniment! and is implemented in a dead room equipped with an acoustical rendering system. The sound fields are used to investigate the appropriate balance values by means of listening tests. The results of the scaling exercise show that a suitable range of values can be extracted and that the sound from the stage and the pit is perceived as balanced when the loudness difference between the two is comprised within 22.0 dBA and 12.3 dBA.

A scale value for the balance inside a historical opera house

PRODI, Nicola;
2005

Abstract

In the framework of opera house acoustics, the term ‘‘balance’’ refers to the acoustical competition between the singer on the stage and the orchestra in the pit. The mechanism allowing the operatic singers to be heard over the orchestra has to do with their skill in enhancing the vocal emission by a peculiar use of the formant frequencies. This vital factor is sensed by the listeners and, apart from the obvious sound power ratio of the stage and the pit sources, is the main cue that helps to formulate a subjective impression of the balance. To achieve its objective qualification, two calibrated sound sources can be placed on the stage and in the pit, respectively, and their sound level difference is measured at the listeners’ seats. The scope of this work is to investigate the relationship between the subjective impression and the objective indicator of the balance and to develop a scale value for the parameter in the case of a historical opera house. For this scope a set of acoustical data from the Teatro Comunale in Ferrara will be used to create synthetic sound fields with controlled conditions of the balance between the stage and the pit. This methodology employs an anechoic piece for soprano ~with piano accompaniment! and is implemented in a dead room equipped with an acoustical rendering system. The sound fields are used to investigate the appropriate balance values by means of listening tests. The results of the scaling exercise show that a suitable range of values can be extracted and that the sound from the stage and the pit is perceived as balanced when the loudness difference between the two is comprised within 22.0 dBA and 12.3 dBA.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/1207213
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