The 19th Century Discovery of Perfect Reverberation

The discovery and application of perfect reverberation within opera houses, theaters, university concert venues, etc. was devised by Harvard University physicist Wallace Sabine in the 1890’s. By playing the pipe organ and using a stop watch, Sabine took thousands of measurements and discovered the perfect ratio between room volume and sound absorbing materials. A reverb time of 1.9 seconds, an application of the Sabine Equation, allows for perfect reverberation so that speech and music is intelligible to all audience members, no matter their position in the venue which would otherwise be impossible (e.g. cathedral reverberation)

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