Listening in the Genevan Temples
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Although the Calvinists inherited the spatially fragmented and highly reverberant Catholic edifices, they sought to make these buildings’ acoustics more favorable for intelligibility and audibility of speech. Kvicalova demonstrates that this was achieved partly by particular interior arrangements and acoustic strategies, such as the installation of benches in a three-quarter circle around an elevated pulpit, the use of wood, or the fitting of a sounding board. The chapter examines the acoustic transformations of the Genevan temples against the background of sixteenth-century knowledge of architectural acoustics and contemporary trends in church building. It proposes a link between the Genevan print industry and treatises on architectural acoustics that were emerging from Calvinist Geneva at that time.