Posted in education, museum, music, physics

The physics of acoustics

This article marks the anniversary of the Boston Symphony Hall. Within that article, the author points out that this was one of the first music halls built in the U.S. that focused on acoustics. They hired Wallace Clement Sabine, a young assistant physics professor at the time from nearby Harvard, to help design the acoustics.

This article just reminded me of a) how important acoustics is to a good music-listening experience, and b) just how much science and physics can play into the creation of that experience [and c) that Boston seems to have a pattern of being on the cutting edge of music].

Note to high school career counselors: this is great selling point to make to any kid who doesn’t think that Physics class is worth their time. I think “acoustics designer” would be the perfect job for any music buff who also likes to tinker, plus it just sounds cool.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.