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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: A French horn player’s physical response to virtual acoustic environments
Degree Type: Other
Degree Specialism: Performance
Supervisor(s): Dr Philip Graydon
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: September 2008
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Dublin Institute of Technology
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1 (51pp.)
Thesis Location / Link: DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama Library
Abstract: This study attempts to discover whether French horn players are affected by changes in their virtual acoustic environment. That performers are affected by different performance spaces is well known – the acoustic being thought by many as an extension of their instrument. Primarily, this study investigates the extent to which this may be a physical response to external factors or an internal one to subjectively perceived stimuli. Does the fact that no actual change in the acoustic parameters have any effect on the musician?
A cross section of eight French horn players took part (four of my students at DIT and four colleagues from the RTE National Symphony Orchestra). Although the proposed sample is one of convenience, it covers a range of standards from beginner to accomplished professionals. Whereas some of the younger participants found it strange to play with headphones the older players were not unfamiliar to the sensation of artificial sound. Participants’ reactions to different acoustic environments were thus ascertained and evaluated.

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