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Site and Sound: The Architecture and Acoustics of New Opera Houses and Concert Halls: New Spaces for Music [Hardcover]

Victoria Newhouse

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Book Description

3 April 2012
the rock band, the building surrounding the sound has to have qualities specific to its purpose: it must fit both the musicians and the audience; the acoustics must have a high quality all the way from the stage to the last row; and the aesthetics must be suitable for the surrounding landscape, as well as for its musical purpose. And of course, the concert hall must be as distinguished architecturally as it is musically. It is the concurrence of these two facets that Victoria Newhouse takes up in Site and Sound. In this volume, a companion to the highly regarded Towards a New Museum, Newhouse examines structures built specifically for musical performance. The first chapter offers an overview of concert hall design from ancient Greek and Roman times through to the great modern works of the second half of the twentieth century. The second chapter is a detailed case study of Lincoln Center. Built between 1957 and 1969, the twelve buildings of the Lincoln Center campus have provided a close-up look at changing attitudes toward music, architecture, and the place of the performing arts within society. The third chapter ranges through recent buildings around the world: Los Angeles; Dallas; Miami; Dublin; Olso, Norway; Porto, Portugal; and more. Newhouse delves into each project in detail and offers a critique that draws on her experiences of attending concerts in the various facilities. The fourth chapter covers the building boom in music venues in China where dozens of "Grand Theaters" are under construction or newly completed. Finally, the fifth chapter looks at the future: projects in the early stages of design and planning that will define the future of an architecture for music.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of timely subject 13 April 2012
By NY musician - Published on Amazon.com
Site and Sound is an immensely readable book which approaches the subject of new concert halls and opera houses around the world, and the issues of their acoustics. These questions are approached both from the architectural/aesthetic point of view and from the planning of them as venues for music. As a musician I was struck by the level of detail, especially as it pertained to the quality of sound within these new halls. Also, the illustrations are particularly beautiful. I was impressed by the author's criticisms of some projects, and general overview of this subject, which puts important questions into historical context. The trend today in different parts of the world has been toward putting up (and naming) buildings and less so into supporting the arts that are the reason for those buildings' existences. Big subjects, covered in a thoughtful and provocative way. A highly recommended read!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 18 April 2012
By BSternecker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Book was well written has lots of stories to- you capture a pure understanding of every beautiful building. You also discover the who what and where of each building and where the future is going. Well worth it
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really covers a lot of information. 18 Jun 2013
By JohnB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had to spend quite a bit more time working my way through this delightful book than I planned as it contained so much information it required occasionally putting it down to absorb what is contained between the cover and back. A detailed account of what makes some of these great buildings to great, for the most part.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-Written; Inspiring 2 Jan 2014
By R. Nixon - Published on Amazon.com
This is a well-written and very interesting book; if you have any interest in symphony, opera, acoustics, or architecture, this book will surely please you!

It is one of the few books where I've been able to read every word of the book throughout due to me being in college at the moment and it taking most of my focus from other things. All of the book is interesting and covers great halls with a relevant amount of information on each of them; as I said, it is well-written.

I have always had a hobbyist-interest in acoustics; after reading this book, and afterwards sitting in a college course over the subject, I am seriously inspired to look at acoustics as a career.

Thank you, Ms. Victoria Newhouse!
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