A common complaint among musicians is that they are almost never involved in the preliminary planning stage when a new concert hall is being built. The basic planning which determines the acoustical properties of the finished building is thus left to architects, acousticians, and engineers, who are usually nonmusicians. There are certain criteria which the musicians—who must, after all, live with the hall long after the architects and acousticians have departed—consider basic. There are building materials they prefer for acoustical reasons, and configurations they consider better than others. What are these considerations, and how subjective are they? Do they have any validity when measured against the scientific data of the experts? Is it possible for the scientific community to learn from the experiences of practicing musicians who play in the halls they design—and conversely, would the musicians profit by paying closer attention to the work of scientists and acousticians?

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