Audience noise in concert halls during musical performances

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Noise generated by the audience during musical performances is audible and sometimes disturbing. In this study, an attempt to estimate such audience noise was carried out. From the recordings of performances in five performance spaces (four concert halls and one opera house), probability density functions of the sound pressure levels were obtained in octave bands, which were fitted with three Gaussian distribution curves. The Gaussian distribution curve with the lowest mean value corresponds to a mixture of the technical background noise and audience generated noise, which is named the mixed background noise. Finally, the audience noise distribution is extracted by energy subtraction of the technical background noise levels measured in an empty condition from the mixed background noise levels. As a single index, L-90 of the audience noise distribution is named the audience noise level. Empirical prediction models were made using the four orchestra concert halls, revealing that the audience noise level is significantly correlated with the technical background noise level. It is therefore concluded that a relaxation of the current background noise recommendations for concert halls is not recommended. (C) 2012 Acoustical Society of America. []
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)2753–2761
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


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