Disney Concert Hall

Enhancing sound experiences of concert halls


Norwegian Acoustician, Magne Skålevik, is a real sound enthusiast. In this guest post, he tells us a bit more about his research project on concert halls and invites us to visit AKUTEK, an independent site for knowledge on room acoustics and concert halls in particular, founded by Magne himself.

What’s in between noise and silence?

Hamburg concert hall

It may sound like a riddle but it’s not.

While many acousticians are occupied with unwanted sound, i.e. noise, and noise control, there are others who want to learn more about how to control WANTED SOUND. How can we make it sound even better?

I count myself as one of those acousticians that are preoccupied with enhancing sound experiences. This fixation has led me to initiate and run a research project, The Online Concert Hall Acoustics Rating Survey, which asks visitors to evaluate their experience of more than 80 concert halls around the world. Have you been to Albert Hall in London? Or the Concert Hall in Copenhagen? Or the NHK Hall in Tokyo? Let us know what you thought! 

The purpose is of course not to hold a competition, but for researchers to be able to find a correlation between physical properties of concert halls and how they are being perceived.

Wonder how the online ratings correlate with Beranek’s Rank-orderings of 58 concert halls?

Or – what properties appear to correlate with preference?

You’ll find it in this paper: “Concert Hall Acoustics, Online Rating And Beranek’s Data Collection”. Why don’t you check it out?


An independent open source library – AKUTEK

Alongside my consultancy practice at Brekke & Strand, in Oslo, Norway, I have since 2006 run an independent site on room acoustics for music and speech, www.akutek.info. The site is non-profit, scientific purpose only. The intention was, and still is, to create and maintain an open source library; a centre for free sharing of knowledge in room acoustics. Visitors will find lots of scientific articles, slide presentations, search tools, links to open source documents and other relevant information on the web.

As part of AKUTEK, I’m also running AKUTEK Research; an independent research activity without the involvement of any commercial or public interests. It runs several projects in parallel, some of them involving master students at universities. Results, updates, preliminary conclusions, papers and articles on the research topics are published on the website. The rating survey mentioned earlier is one of the examples.


Portrait of Magne Skålevik
Magne Skålevik, Senior Acoustician, Brekke & Strand

Feel free to email me if you have any questions or suggestions for AKUTEK, I would love to hear from you.

Or if you prefer, join us on Facebook!



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