By Emily Thompson
During this historical past of aural tradition in early-twentieth-century the USA, Emily Thompson charts dramatic ameliorations in what humans heard and the way they listened. What they heard used to be a brand new form of sound that was once the manufactured from sleek know-how. They listened as newly severe shoppers of aural commodities. through reading the applied sciences that produced this sound, in addition to the tradition that enthusiastically fed on it, Thompson recovers a misplaced measurement of the desktop Age and deepens our realizing of the event of swap that characterised the period. Reverberation equations, sound meters, microphones, and acoustical tiles have been deployed in locations as different as Boston's Symphony corridor, New York's place of work skyscrapers, and the soundstages of Hollywood. The keep an eye on supplied through those applied sciences, in spite of the fact that, was once utilized in ways in which denied the particularity of position, and the varied areas of contemporary the United States started to sound alike as a common new sound predominated. even if this sound -- transparent, direct, effective, and nonreverberant -- had little to claim in regards to the actual areas within which it used to be produced, it speaks volumes in regards to the tradition that created it. by way of hearing it, Thompson constructs a compelling new account of the adventure of modernity in the US.
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Additional info for The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933
The Leipzig Gewandhaus. tion formula to ensure that the new hall would possess the same amount of reverberation as the models. : Harvard University Press, 1922), p. 66. FIG. 21. The Old Boston Music Hall. FIG. 22. The New Boston Music Hall. 43 THE ORIGINS OF MODERN ACOUSTICS different materials out of which it was constructed, including plaster on lath, plaster on tile, glass, wood, and draperies. He also factored in the highly absorbent surface that the audience and orchestra members would constitute when the house was filled to capacity.
And J. Taylor, 1790), plate IV. 24 Left to their own devices, architects like Patte constructed their own creative solutions to the problem of controlling sound. Pierre Patte's search for scientific advice at the end of the eighteenth century had been compelled by conditions that had recently rendered the need to control sound particularly acute. The commercialization of theater in Europe created new social and acoustical conditions that were perceived to demand expertise not readily available.
He sounded a tuning fork, placed the stem of the fork against the material to be tested, then measured how long the fork continued to vibrate. Believing his eyes to be more sensitive than his ears, Henry marked the cessation of vibration at the moment when he could no longer visually perceive the movement of the fork. This measure of time represented the sound-absorbing property of the different materials he tested, including cork, rubber, wood, and stone. Unlike eighteenth-century neoclassical architects, Joseph Henry had no interest in representing sound as geometric rays.