What is Architectural Acoustics?
Some building such as ancient tombs produce echo whatever sound you make inside the building. Sometimes you can hear the same sound being echoed many times over. But if a programme of music or a lecture of a play is taking place in such a building, it will be very difficult to hear what is going on if too much echo is being produced. To avoid this cinema halls, lectures halls, auditoria are designed in a special way so that the sounds produced can be clearly heard by the audience.
The branch of science that studies and deals with this aspect of sound is called architectural acoustics. The fact that some materials such as plaster, reflect sound well while some others like cloth absorb sound, is taken into consideration while designing these buildings.
Echo and reverberation are the two important properties of sound. A reverberation is defined as a close group of echoes. When a sound produced inside a hall reflects back after hitting the wall we hear an echo, another echo is produced when the first one reflects back from the wall. Emit successful echo produced in this way is less intense than the previous one. These reverberations can be minimized by using sound absorbent material in the hall. But if there are absolutely no reverberations the sound in the room will have a ‘dead’ quality. A small amount of reverberation is required to produce a balanced audible sound. The loud-speakers, seating arrangement, size, walls, draperies, etc. are planned and designed in such a way that everybody in the audience is able to hear clearly.