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Conference papers

Preliminary report on the effect of room acoustics on choral performance in Notre-Dame and its pre-Gothic predecessor

Abstract : The study of acoustics as intangible cultural heritage is an active field of research with implications beyond the scientific community. This study examines the influence of the acoustics of the new Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris on the medieval singers who pioneered a style of plainchant known as the School of Notre-Dame using interactive virtual acoustic environments (VAEs) and real-time auralization. The experiment compared the approximated acoustics of the prior cathedral (torn down in 1163 CE to make room for Notre-Dame) with Notre-Dame which partially opened in 1182 CE. A speculative VAE of the pre-1163 cathedral was created by modifying a calibrated model of an extant and contemporaneous Roman basilica, while the early Notre-Dame VAE was generated by time-regressing a calibrated model of the modern cathedral to match its earlier state. A choir specializing in historically informed performance practices was studied as they sang Organum Purum and Organum Notre-Dame inside the VAEs of the pre-1163 cathedral and the early cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. Musical parameters were extracted from the recordings to examine what influence the different architectures may have had on musicians’ performances.
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Submitted on : Saturday, April 30, 2022 - 10:39:38 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 5, 2022 - 3:03:25 AM



Sarabeth Mullins, Valérie Le Page, Julien de Muynke, Elliot Canfield-Dafilou, Frédéric Billiet, et al.. Preliminary report on the effect of room acoustics on choral performance in Notre-Dame and its pre-Gothic predecessor. Acoustical Society of America 181 st Meeting, 2021, Seattle, United States. pp.A258-A258, ⟨10.1121/10.0008212⟩. ⟨hal-03656066⟩



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