Episode 1

Notre-Dame de Paris Acoustic history and evolution

By Sarabeth Mullins & Elliot K. Canfield-Dafilou

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The primary construction of Notre-Dame began in the spring of 1163 CE. Two decades after construction began, the high altar was consectrated and the liturgical community in Paris started worshipping in the chancel of the incomplete building. By 1220, the central nave was completed. Significant architectural modifications immediately began, including restructuring of the windows and attics along the clerestory, enlargement of the transept arms, the construction of the great rose windows, and the appendage of 35 lateral chapels along the periphery of the building. Through acoustical modelling, our research investigates how these architectural changes modified the acoustic fingerprint of Notre-Dame.

S. S. Mullins, E. K. Canfield-Dafilou, and B. F. G. Katz, “The development of the early acoustics of the chancel in Notre-Dame de Paris: 1160-1230”, in Symp The Acoustics of Ancient Theatres, (Verona), pp. 1–4, 2022.

E. K. Canfield-Dafilou, S. S. Mullins, and B. F. G. Katz, “Opening the lateral chapels and the acoustics of Notre-Dame de Paris: 1225–1330”, in Symp The Acoustics of Ancient Theatres, (Verona), pp. 1–4, 2022.