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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Hungarian invents ‘music-enhancing’ mask for concertgoers

Ivan Fischer’s music-enhancing face mask has two plastic cups shaped liked life-size palms attached to the mask’s strings for improved acoustics.

By: Reuters | Budapest (hungary) | Updated: September 16, 2020 11:54:50 am
Budapest, Hungary, Music enhancing face mask, Hungary COVID-19 updates, Coronavirus, Music concerts face mask, Hearing enhancing face mask, Trending news, Indian Express news.The acoustic mask, which costs 8,000 forints ($27) if ordered through the orchestra’s website, comes in glittery and black and white versions. (Picture credit: Reuters)

When he saw a sea of face masks around Budapest, Hungarian orchestra conductor Ivan Fischer had an idea; turn an unpopular pandemic necessity into a tool of music appreciation.

Fischer’s music-enhancing face mask has two plastic cups shaped liked life-size palms attached to the mask’s strings and designed to fit around the wearer’s ears, allowing concertgoers in the age of coronavirus to enjoy improved acoustics.

Budapest, Hungary, Music enhancing face mask, Hungary COVID-19 updates, Coronavirus, Music concerts face mask, Hearing enhancing face mask, Trending news, Indian Express news. Orchestra conductor Ivan Fischer’s acoustic mask is seen at the Mupa Budapest in Budapest, Hungary, September 11, 2020. (Picture credit: Reuters)

“I got to this idea that it should look like a hand because when we put our hands here…” he said, cupping his palms around his ears, “… we always understand the other person easier, we hear the consonants, and the music sounds much more beautiful.”

Speaking as the orchestra rehearsed for an evening of Beethoven and Strauss, Fischer – the chief of the Budapest Festival Orchestra – said his masks help to emulate church acoustics, with warmer undertones and clearer, sharper contours.

Budapest, Hungary, Music enhancing face mask, Hungary COVID-19 updates, Coronavirus, Music concerts face mask, Hearing enhancing face mask, Trending news, Indian Express news. A couple wears orchestra conductor Ivan Fischer’s acoustic mask at the Mupa Budapest in Budapest, Hungary, September 11, 2020. (Picture credit: Reuters)

Fischer’s invention is proving popular with concertgoers, with dozens of people wearing the mask as they took their seats at Friday’s performance.

The acoustic mask, which costs 8,000 forints ($27) if ordered through the orchestra’s website, comes in glittery and black and white versions.

Budapest, Hungary, Music enhancing face mask, Hungary COVID-19 updates, Coronavirus, Music concerts face mask, Hearing enhancing face mask, Trending news, Indian Express news. A woman wears orchestra conductor Ivan Fischer’s acoustic mask at the Mupa Budapest in Budapest, Hungary, September 11, 2020. (Picture credit: Reuters)

Audience member Zsuzsa Hunyadi-Zoltan said the sound was “clearly better” with the special mask in place.
“It focused the music more. I tried it, I took it off and put it back on and one can clearly feel the difference,” she said.

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