Arcane methods in architectural acoustics

Di Angelo, Adam
Thumbnail Image
Other Contributors
Calamia, Paul T.
Braasch, Jonas
Issue Date
Terms of Use
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
This electronic version is a licensed copy owned by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY. Copyright of original work retained by author.
Full Citation
This document presents a critical examination of the Enlightenment-era European conceptions, misconceptions, fancies, and accomplishments in architectural acoustics. It focuses on specific contributors and their discoveries in the nascent art. The key figures studied are German polymath Athanasius Kircher who offered unprecedented examinations of acoustical phenomena, his English rival Sir Samuel Morland, inventor and architect Sir Robert Hooke, and composer Thomas Tallis. Ancient Roman predecessors Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, the architect responsible for the tome De Architectura, and philosopher Lucretius are looked at as well as 19th and 20th century descendants and dissidents among whom are the founders of modern acoustical theory, Wallace Sabine, Hermann von Helmholtz, and John Tyndall. Included in this document are studies of historical trends in the development of physical acoustics that would serve as a basis to contemporary theory. We explore the contrast between the concepts of the aforementioned to those of Sir Francis Bacon, Christiaan Huygens, and Sir Isaac Newton. This study reveals that the historical extent of the knowledge of architectural acoustics is at once more sophisticated and more arbitrary than is generally considered.
December 2008
School of Architecture
School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
CC BY-NC-ND. Users may download and share copies with attribution in accordance with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. No commercial use or derivatives are permitted without the explicit approval of the author.