Skip to main content
< Back

Concert Halls and Opera House Acoustic Design


Alain Tisseyre










This book is a synthesis of 30 years of research and development on room acoustics, and joint work with R. LAMORAL and L.CREMER.

The first part, while taking up the objective and subjective criteria that allow us to qualify and quantify the acoustic performance of rooms, is also intended to be pragmatic through a certain number of concrete cases. In particular, it covers the history of halls over the centuries and around the world to explain to readers the current state of knowledge on the acoustics of concert and opera halls and the genesis of this knowledge.

The second part of the book is devoted to the large opera and concert halls that Alain Tisseyre has studied and for which he presents his methodology and the results obtained.

It tries to answer two questions: why the Berlin Philharmonic remains today a reference in terms of concert halls, and why other forms of concert halls do not appear?

His suggested responses are as follows:

The acoustic success of this room, renowned throughout the world, is due to the achievement of a balance achieved by mastering the temporal scheduling between early and late reflections. This is what leads to the acoustic envelopment ( LEV) raised at each place occupied by the spectator.

This could have been perfected thanks to the R&D work of the middle of the last century, which L. Cremer applied to the Philharmonie. Currently, thanks to the visualization of the temporal scheduling and the direction of the energy of the wave trains received at the listener's ears, modeled by the HallAcoustics computer model, based on finite elements, and developed by A. Tisseyre, we perfectly visualize the acoustic performance of any volume, shape and material.

The Apollon room in Nice designed by L. Cremer and R. Lamoral was thus the first room to be designed based on the finite element computer model, HallAcoustics: the acoustic quality obtained is at the height of the Philharmonie from Berlin.

In this book, Concert and Opera Halls, Acoustic Design, Alain Tisseyre has shown that the acoustic and architectural design processes of a hall are totally linked and form a whole.

Also, the form of concert halls will evolve the day when the owners will be attentive to these new procedures rather than those which consist in plagiarizing forms of halls without really understanding the essential acoustic phenomena, LEV and ASW.

In the meantime, concert halls similar in shape to the Berlin Philharmonic have a bright future ahead of them.
You should know that this copy is neither a guarantee of success nor even less a response to the evolution towards what will have to be the concert hall to respond to the new concert programs that we see arriving in this century.

China is today the country where the largest number of concert halls and opera houses are being built in the world. Alain Tisseyre takes up in this book the many rooms studied and in progress in this country to illustrate this process of acoustic design linked to the architecture of these places.