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Co-Founder of Marshall Day Acoustics

Sir Harold Marshall

Co-Founder of Marshall Day Acoustics

Sir Harold Marshall, is the joint founder of Marshall Day Acoustics, specialising in theatre and concert hall design. He is an architect, engineer and physicist who is recognised internationally for his contribution to concert hall design. 

Formerly Professor of Architecture in the University of Auckland and Head of the Acoustics Research Centre, Dr Marshall has over 45 years experience in the acoustical design of auditoria and concert halls. His work is widely cited in technical literature and his interest in these fields has been sharpened by his active involvement in musical performance both as a chorister and as a bass-baritone. The composer with whom he feels the greatest affinity is J S Bach.

His major discoveries are:

  • The particular importance of lateral reflected sound and of the architectural means to achieve this in concert halls

  • The necessary and sufficient conditions for excellent ensemble for both instrumental groups      and singers

  • Discussion of acoustical and architectural relationships in the design process

He has received the following medals :

  • The Walllace Clement Sabine Medal of the ASA

  • The Pickering Medal of RSNZ

  • the Rayleigh Medal of the UK, IoA

You will also be interested to know:

  • Harold is a published poet and the second edition of his verse will be available at the conference.

  • His autobiography "Korowai of Life and Love" will be available at the conference.

  • He has been involved with Acoustics for over 60 years

In 1994 Harold was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He also holds Fellowships in the Acoustical Society of America, the Acoustical Society of New Zealand and the NZ Institute of Architects.

Concert Hall Acoustics and the Christchurch Town Hall

Mon 2 Sept 11:00am

This presentation explores the idea that the desirable acoustical effects in listening to music - envelopment, clarity, and musical Gestalt  - is  enhanced by a weakening of  localisation – the aural identification of the location of the sound source. 

The effect of enclosure upon sounds has been known and exploited since antiquity - enhancing the mystical qualities of worship spaces and music from mediaeval cathedrals to present day concert  halls. 

In this discussion I will recount some seminal moments in the design process for what was at that time a revolutionary approach  to concert hall acoustics and the origins of what 50 years ago was a unique concert hall design for Christchurch Town Hall.

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