Mapping the acoustics of Ripon cathedral
* Presenting author
Cathedrals are amongst the most significant buildings of European cultural heritage and are of great significance for the study of intangible heritage. This paper presents a detailed acoustic study of Ripon Cathedral, an English medieval cathedral whose history goes back to the 7th Century. Experimental and simulation techniques have been applied in order to develop a better understanding and preservation of the acoustic environment of Ripon cathedral. This research addresses the acoustical conflict inherent to this kind of spaces: its extreme reverberation builds a unique environment for vocal and instrumental music, specially organ music, but at the same time those same characteristics are a challenge for the intelligibility of the spoken word, which is crucial to the delivery of sermons. Acoustic maps have been created based on the diverse uses of the space, the history of the building, and its architectural features. Such maps have been used to analyse the acoustic characteristics throughout the cathedral’s interior space. This work is part of the EC-funded Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship ‘Cathedral Acoustics’.