CMU School of Drama

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mystery of Greek Amphitheater's Amazing Sound Finally Solved

www.livescience.com: Cut the chatter! The ancient mystery surrounding the great acoustics of the theater at Epidaurus in Greece has been solved.

The theater, dating to the 4th century B.C. and arranged in 55 semi-circular rows, remains the great masterwork of Polykleitos the Younger. Audiences of up to an estimated 14,000 have long been able to hear actors and musicians--unamplified--from even the back row of the architectural masterpiece.

1 comment:

blue Williger said...

Having studied greek theatre in my theatre history class at school, and the fact that my school has an amphitheatre, i was curious when i saw the title of the article. The theater at Epidaurus in Greece is the subject of this discovery. The theater, dating to the 4th century B.C. is arranged in 55 semi-circular rows, remains the great masterwork of Polykleitos the Younger. It is estimated that audiences up to 14,000 have been able to hear actors and musicians--unamplified--from even the back row. To me, this is incredible. How this was achieved has been speculated by many, and though theories of prevailing winds carrying sounds or masks amplifing voices have been throw around, the "magic" is in the seats. The seats are made of limestone which provides a filtering effect, it suppresses low frequencies of voices, minimizing the background crowd noise. It also, reflect high-frequencies back towards the audience, enhancing the effect. This discovery was made by the researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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