The Role of the Venue in the Creation of Music
10 Dec 2014
Few people stop to think about the effect the acoustics of a live venue have on the composer and how he/she writes songs in response to those acoustical properties.
For example, the place where anyone could be guaranteed to hear music in the Middle Ages was in the vast stone gothic cathedrals that dotted Europe. With high ceilings, massive columns and hard surfaces everywhere, these buildings were acoustic nightmares. Sounds echoed and reverberated everywhere.
This had an effect on the music that was played during mass. If a piece of music had abrupt chord changes or changes in key and tempo, the result would a sonic disaster. But if the musical works were constructed of long notes, the natural acoustics of the building could be used to create a special kind spiritual ambience. In other words, the architecture of churches shaped the sound of church music.