BBC HomeExplore the BBC


Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

PROGRAMME FINDER:
Programmes
Podcasts
Schedule
Presenters
PROGRAMME GENRES:
News
Drama
Comedy
Science
Religion|Ethics
History
Factual
Messageboards
Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 

Science
ACOUSTIC SHADOWS
MISSED A PROGRAMME?
Go to the Listen Again page
Robert Sandall takes an audio journey into the real and virtual worlds of acoustical research.
Tuesday 14 September 2004 11.00-11.30am

The design and control of the acoustics of a space is as much an ancient art as it is a modern science and it has profound influence on everything from creating a sense of place to the enjoyment of a performance. But how easy is it to get it right?

Anechoic chamber
Anechoic chamber
Listen again Listen again to the programme

Acoustic Shadows

From the most reverberant room in the world to a chamber where sounds die the moment they almost leave your mouth, Robert Sandall takes a journey into the world of acoustics - its origins, its people and some of its amazing soundscapes. 

Steve Waller travels the globe seeking out unusual acoustic sites in caves mountainsides and canyons and is convinced that much of the ancient rock art found there from ancient civilisations is created in response to each sites unique acoustical properties. 

If ancient man was sensitive to great acoustics, how in the modern age have we been able to control and manipulate the reverberations and echoes of the indoor space? Acoustics is a modern science that grew out of an ancient art. We all know when a room echoes uncomfortably or when it flatters an orchestra in a concert hall. But how exact is it? 

The Royal Festival Hall on London 's South Bank for instance became the first public building that was designed with proper researched acoustics, but its sound reverberations have proved hugely unpopular. Now with an attempt to entice back leading international orchestras, the hall is finally undergoing an acoustic revamp. Larry Kirkegaard is the acoustic engineer charged with restoring the acoustic to the original dream but how enticing will its new soundscape prove to be? 

Robert Sandall experiences audio treats, from echoes of ancient Mayan temples through to Brian Eno's virtual electronic world of ambient echoes, to assess what makes a good acoustic and how to create the perfect reverberation to appeal to our senses and flatter both audience and performers in a public space.
Listen Live
Audio Help
DON'T MISS
Leading Edge
Science, Nature & Environment Programmes
Current Programmes
Archived Programmes

News & Current Affairs | Arts & Drama | Comedy & Quizzes | Science | Religion & Ethics | History | Factual

Back to top



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy