Analyzing Sound Levels Produced by a Choral Ensemble During a Choral Concert Event




Taylor, Meghan


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Purpose: Efforts to quantify the sound levels produced by instrumental ensemble-based instructional activities and understand the role of the conductor in these activities has a robust history. However, these factors have not been widely studied in choral ensemble-based instructional activities. Additionally, the World Health Organization's current estimation that 1.1 billion young people are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, there is a need for investigating sound levels produced by choral ensembles. The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the sound characteristics associated with a choral concert event. Methods: This study examined the UNT A Cappella Choir's spring concert event in the Winspear Performance Hall. Sound measurements were taken using two noise dosimeter microphones; one microphone was positioned downstage and another in the choir loft. An aggregate view database and a time series database were created to analyze the data collected during each aspect of the choral event. Results: Obtaining temporal sound measurements during this type of activity is possible regardless of microphone placement. Variability in the sound measurements revealed that the ensemble was able to sing more musically while reducing their overall risk. Conclusion: This research presents a novel understanding of the conductor's role in a choral ensemble-based instructional activity for reducing the risks associated with NIHL. Additionally, this research determined that temporal views of sound can be obtained from multiple vantage points in the room, making it easier for researchers to unobtrusively obtain this data during these events.