The Dance Between Vision and Sound


The Dance between Vision and Sound – where do we look when we listen?

Anne Minors’ paper presented at 23rd International Congress on Sound and Vibration – From Ancient to Modern Acoustics.


Concert hall design is at a crossroads between its origins, which have been unamplified orchestral music and singing, and the forces of popular music, which depend mostly on amplified sound and multimedia accompaniment. Concurrently there has been a revolution in the way that the buildings are designed in the last 25 years. Computer modelling techniques enable architects and engineers to conceive and build complex geometrical forms and acoustical engineers to analyse future building interiors to promote a rich sound experience. However, despite a concert being a multisensory experience, relatively little work has been done on investigating how the visual aspects of the concert hall may impact on the acoustical experience. This paper examines where people look at photographs of concert halls when actively listening to music, compared to looking at the same photograph for the same time duration. Further clues as to the main features of the photograph and what candidates recall are indicated in saliency diagrams of the same photographs.