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Concert Hall Acoustics' Influence on the Tempo of Musical Performances

The acoustics of a concert hall is an integral and significant part of a musical performance as it affects the artistic decisions made by performer. Still, there are few systematic studies on the phenomenon. In this paper the effect of concert hall acoustics, mainly reverberation, on musical tempo for a selection of different genres and ensemble types is analyzed quantitatively. The study utilizes audio recordings made in a concert hall equipped with a movable ceiling enabling a variable volume and thus a variable reverberation time. The results show that there are cases where the tempo follows a change in acoustics as well as cases where it remains more or less unchanged.

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