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The Science and Technology of Music


Research Project: The Virtual Haydn


The Virtual Haydn: A complete recording of his solo keyboard music in simulated historical concert venues

  Research Project Information
Runtime: Jan 02, 2006 until Dec 28, 2009
Project coordination: Tom Beghin (McGill, Music Performance)
Scientific staff: Tom Beghin (McGill, Music Performance); Martha De Francisco; Wieslaw Woszczyk (McGill, Sound Recording)
Funding: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($180,000, 2004-2007); Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture Québec ($39,000, 2004-2007)

A ground-breaking recording of Haydn's complete solo keyboard music combines novel applications of sound recording and acoustics with new insights in musicology and historical performance. Ten programs, each with their own socio-historical focus are cast in various "virtual rooms" reconstructed from acoustic measurements in historical locations. The performer sits at his instrument in a 3D hemispherical dome of 24loudspeakers that simulate the room and plays as if in the actual location. This performance, precisely recreated in the recording laboratory, is reproduced with surround-sound recording techniques and virtual acoustics.