Acoustics of Worship Spaces

David Lubman and Ewart A. Wetherill, Eds.

Published in 1985




Consideration for the Design of Worship Space Acoustics: An Acoustical Consultant's Viewpoint
David L. Klepper, Klepper Marshall King Associates, White Plains, New York

Notes on Conflicting Acoustical Requirements for Speech and Music in Worship Spaces, and the Use of Electronics for their Reconciliation
David Lubman, D. Lubman and Associates, Westminster, California

Accommodating Listeners with Special Needs in Worship Spaces Anna K. Nabelek, Ph.D., Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The Use of Acoustical Consulltants for Worship Space Projects

Summary of Worship Spaces

Poster Presentations and Data Sheets

Index of Acoustical Consultants

Photographic Credits

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1. For Whom this Book is Intended

This book is intended primarily for people involved in the practical acoustical planning of worship space interiors of buildings such as chapels, churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues. Acousticians, architects, building committees, clergy, choir and music directors, and sound system designers are among the intended audience.

2. The Use of this Book From these drawings, photographs, and accompanying data one may gain insight into the nature of worship space acoustics and its current practice. In this book readers will find a rich variety in the approach taken to worship space acoustics arising from differences of denominational and congregational style and budget. Within each style, the alert reader will also find recurring issues, problems, approaches, and compromises arising from an underlying similarity of concerns, objectives, and technology.

Readers involved in planning their own projects may find more immediate and practical benefit from this collection and distillation of worship space project experiences. We hope they may harvest valuable ideas and inspirations for the prevention as well as the solution of a wide variety of worship space acoustical problems.

Since the projects shown cover a wide variety of new constructions and renovations made over a narrow span of time and also cover a broad denominational base, this collection can also be seen as a period piece documenting current acoustical practice in sacred architecture circa 1983.

To increase the value of this book for those persons with little background in acoustics, we have included brief essays on some aspects of worship space acoustics that are implied by the recurring themes inherent in the Poster Papers.

3. How it Came About

The collection of drawings, photographs, and technical data on worship facilities contained herein is an outgrowth of three Special Sessions organized around the theme "Acoustics of Worship Spaces," which took place at the 106th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, 7-11 November 1983 at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, California. The theme was organized by the Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics, with the participation of the Technical Committee on Musical Acoustics and other elements of the Acoustical Society.

The theme's centerpiece was a Poster Session that presented in visual form over forty acoustical projects involving worship facilities as described by the acoustical consultants and architects who were responsible for them. The Posters--on display throughout the meeting--drew enthusiastic audiences from all disciplines of acoustics, as well as architects, musicians, and related professionals from throughout the United States and abroad.

Related sessions on "Organ Technology Today" and "Architectural Acoustics for the Organ" rounded out the theme.

4. What the Poster Papers Tell Us

The Poster Papers collected for this publication show sectional and plan drawings of worship space interiors, using standardized scales throughout. Architectural drawings are supplemented with photographs intended to aid in their interpretation and to provide an overall impression of the finished interior. A visual format was chosen to facilitate communication with architects and others involved in the practical planning of worship space interiors. The standardized scales were chosen to facilitate rapid visual compariso of different facilities. A one-page written description of each project is also included. This fact sheet identifies the building, architect, acoustical consultant, and project completion date. In some cases a brief description of acoustical design features and measured data is included. In a few cases, a concise statement of the problem, objective, and approach is also provided.

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© 1998 Acoustical Society of America