Subjective evaluation of music hall acoustics: Response of expert and non-expert users

Autores UPV


Many studies have attempted to measure human response in music halls in order to determine acoustic quality. However, all these works have used parameters defined by experts. This approach may be an important drawback since users who have to evaluate such concepts may not understand or misunderstand parameters which do not correspond to their own conceptual structure.This paper attempts to establish a methodology to define valid evaluation scales for different collectives and determine evaluation criteria related to the overall assessment of music hall acoustics. It analyses music hall acoustics from the user's perspective and investigates the differences of perception between experts and non-experts through Semantic Differential within the frame of Kansei Engineering.The research was carried out through a field study in 17 auditoria of the Valencia Region (Spain). Perceptions regarding the acoustic quality of these venues were studied in a group of non-experts (236) and other of experts (74). Differences of perception between both collectives were identified and analysed. The main factors characterising the subjective preference of each group were determined (5 factors for non-experts and 6 for experts) and their influence on the global acoustic assessment was quantified. Furthermore, predicting perceptual models were built and the utility of the methodology was tested through the semantic profiles of two venues not included in the above analysis.This methodology was useful for studying music hall acoustics from the viewpoints of experts and non-experts and it may also enable optimization of design features of music halls. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.