Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage

A special issue of Acoustics (ISSN 2624-599X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2023) | Viewed by 37416

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Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
1. Departament de Història i Arqueologia, Facultat de Geografia i Història, Universitat de Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
2. Institut d’Arqueologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: room acoustics; heritage acoustics; acoustic characterisation; virtual acoustics; acoustic simulations; archaeoacoustics

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Guest Editor
1. Departament de Història i Arqueologia, Facultat de Geografia i Història, Universitat de Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
2. Institut d’Arqueologia, Universitat de Barcelona, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
3. ICREA (Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats), Passeig de Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: soundscapes; archaeoacoustics; prehistoric rock art; sacred landscapes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sonic aspects of heritage sites and heritage buildings have a significant impact on how people experience and interact with them. The sound environment of a particular site involves a number of elements that cannot be analysed independently. All of them have to be taken into account when trying to virtually recreate its soundscape or when trying to understand the implication of its acoustic behaviour in a comprehensive way. The theories and methods of room acoustics are essential for the analysis of the influence that any space has in the sonic events that take place in it. In recent decades, advances in technologies have brought growing attention to the study of acoustics and soundscapes of heritage sites and buildings from researchers of a large range of disciplines, and our aim in this Special Issue is to highlight the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach.

For this Special Issue, we would like to put together original research articles on any aspect of acoustics of heritage sites and heritage buildings, including, different and multidisciplinary approaches. Contributions related (but not limited) to the following topics are welcome: acoustic characterisation of singular case studies, soundscapes of heritage and historical sites, archaeoacoustics, and advances in acoustic characterisation methodologies and virtual acoustics. Submissions with original results, as well as reviews, are invited to the Special Issue.

Dr. Lidia Alvarez Morales
Prof. Dr. Margarita Díaz-Andreu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Acoustics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • heritage acoustics
  • room acoustics
  • virtual acoustics
  • historical soundscapes
  • archaeoacoustics
  • acoustic simulation
  • acoustic measurements

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 193 KiB  
Editorial
Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage
by Lidia Alvarez-Morales and Margarita Díaz-Andreu
Acoustics 2024, 6(2), 408-412; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics6020022 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Since UNESCO unveiled its declaration for an integrated approach to safeguarding tangible and intangible cultural heritage in 2003 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)

Research

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18 pages, 11769 KiB  
Article
Reviving the Low-Frequency Response of a Rupestrian Church by Means of FDTD Simulation
by Francesco Martellotta, Stefania Liuzzi and Chiara Rubino
Acoustics 2023, 5(2), 396-413; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics5020023 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Rupestrian churches are spaces obtained from excavation of soft rocks that are frequently found in many Mediterranean countries. In the present paper the church dedicated to Saints Andrew and Procopius, located close to the city of Monopoli in Apulia (Italy) is studied. On-site [...] Read more.
Rupestrian churches are spaces obtained from excavation of soft rocks that are frequently found in many Mediterranean countries. In the present paper the church dedicated to Saints Andrew and Procopius, located close to the city of Monopoli in Apulia (Italy) is studied. On-site acoustical measures were made, obtaining a detailed description of the acoustics in the current state pointing out, thanks to a combination of analysis techniques, the presence of significant modal behavior in the low frequencies, causing reverberation time to be about 2 s, four times longer than in the other bands, as well as being strongly dependent on source and receiver position (with variations of about 1 s when source is moved outside the chancel). However, as the church is characterized by significant degradation of surfaces and large amounts of debris cover the floor, the original acoustic conditions can be expected to somewhat differ. Acoustical modelling can be very helpful in grasping the original conditions, but given the small dimensions of the space, conventional geometrical acoustic prediction methods cannot be applied to simulate the low-frequency behavior. Thus, the present paper proposes an application of finite-difference-time-domain (FDTD) computation to simulate the low-frequency behavior and analyze a possible reconstruction of the original state. Results showed that a very good agreement was obtained between predictions and measurements, both in terms of resonance frequencies and reverberation times that differed by less than 5%. Modal response strongly affected the acoustical conditions also in the hypothetical reconstruction of the original state, although the sound field proved to be more uniform than in the current state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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21 pages, 3128 KiB  
Article
The Bacinete Main Shelter: A Prehistoric Theatre?
by Lidia Alvarez-Morales, Neemias Santos da Rosa, Daniel Benítez-Aragón, Laura Fernández Macías, María Lazarich and Margarita Díaz-Andreu
Acoustics 2023, 5(1), 299-319; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics5010018 - 6 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3056
Abstract
In the last few years, archaeoacoustic studies of rock art sites and landscapes have undergone significant growth as a result of renewed interest in the intangible aspects of the archaeological record. This article focuses on the acoustic study carried out in the rock [...] Read more.
In the last few years, archaeoacoustic studies of rock art sites and landscapes have undergone significant growth as a result of renewed interest in the intangible aspects of the archaeological record. This article focuses on the acoustic study carried out in the rock art complex of Bacinete, Cádiz (Spain). After describing the archaeological site and its importance, a representative set of monaural and spatial IRs gathered onsite is thoroughly analysed to explore the hypothesis that the sonic component of the site played an important role in how prehistoric people interacted with it. Additionally, we briefly discuss the challenges of analysing the acoustics of open-air spaces following the recommendations of the ISO 3382-1 guidelines, a standard developed not for open-air spaces, but for room acoustics. The results obtained confirm the favourable acoustic conditions of the Bacinete main shelter for speech transmission. The different subjective acoustic impressions obtained in a somewhat similar shelter located nearby, Bacinete III, are also explained, alluding to a lesser degree of intimacy felt in the latter. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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23 pages, 35718 KiB  
Article
An Acoustic Reconstruction of the House of Commons, c. 1820–1834
by Aglaia Foteinou, Damian Murphy and J. P. D. Cooper
Acoustics 2023, 5(1), 193-215; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics5010012 - 24 Feb 2023
Viewed by 2987
Abstract
This paper presents an acoustic reconstruction of the UK House of Commons between c. 1820 and 1834. Focusing on a historically important site where political decisions were debated over the centuries, we aim to simulate and present the intangible principles of the acoustic [...] Read more.
This paper presents an acoustic reconstruction of the UK House of Commons between c. 1820 and 1834. Focusing on a historically important site where political decisions were debated over the centuries, we aim to simulate and present the intangible principles of the acoustic properties and sounds heard within the space. The acoustic model was created based on available historical evidence with the aid of commercial acoustic simulation software. We discuss the decisions made for this reconstruction based on further experimentation with the acoustic characteristics of the constituent materials and settings of the available software. An additional comparison of the achieved acoustic results with spaces of similar historical importance and layout is presented, as a calibration of the model with in situ measurements was not possible in this case study. The values of T30, EDT, C50 and Ts are presented, while auralization examples are also available for a subjective evaluation of the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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17 pages, 4225 KiB  
Article
Measuring the Acoustical Properties of the BBC Maida Vale Recording Studios for Virtual Reality
by Gavin Kearney, Helena Daffern, Patrick Cairns, Anthony Hunt, Ben Lee, Jacob Cooper, Panos Tsagkarakis, Tomasz Rudzki and Daniel Johnston
Acoustics 2022, 4(3), 783-799; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4030047 - 14 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4088
Abstract
In this paper we present a complete acoustic survey of the British Broadcasting Corporation Maida Vale recording studios. The paper outlines a fast room acoustic measurement framework for capture of spatial impulse response measurements for use in three or six degrees of freedom [...] Read more.
In this paper we present a complete acoustic survey of the British Broadcasting Corporation Maida Vale recording studios. The paper outlines a fast room acoustic measurement framework for capture of spatial impulse response measurements for use in three or six degrees of freedom Virtual Reality rendering. Binaural recordings from a KEMAR dummy head as well as higher order Ambisonic spatial room impulse response measurements taken using a higher order Ambisonic microphone are presented. An acoustic comparison of the studios is discussed, highlighting remarkable similarities across three of the recording spaces despite significant differences in geometry. Finally, a database of the measurements, housing the raw impulse response captures as well as processed spatial room impulse responses is presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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25 pages, 32299 KiB  
Article
Sound Scattering by Gothic Piers and Columns of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
by Antoine Weber and Brian F. G. Katz
Acoustics 2022, 4(3), 679-703; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4030041 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4249
Abstract
Although the acoustics of Gothic cathedrals are of interest to researchers, the acoustic impact of their many columns is often neglected. The construction of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris spanned several centuries, including a wide variety of architectonic elements. This study investigates the [...] Read more.
Although the acoustics of Gothic cathedrals are of interest to researchers, the acoustic impact of their many columns is often neglected. The construction of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris spanned several centuries, including a wide variety of architectonic elements. This study investigates the sound scattering of a selection of seven designs that are relevant to this building as well as to the architectural style itself. These were measured on scale models (1:8.5 to 1:12), using a subtraction method, for receivers at about 3 m at full scale and a far-field source. They were also numerically simulated using a finite-difference time-domain method in two-dimensional space with an incident plane wave. The method integrates a finite volume framework to employ an unstructured mesh conforming to the complex geometries of interest. The two methods are in strong agreement for the considered configurations. Relative levels to the direct sound of backscattered reflections between 10 dB and 2 dB and between 15 dB and 6 dB in the transverse directions were estimated for the dimensions considered, relative to reported reflection audibility thresholds. Cross-sections with smaller scale geometrical elements on their perimeter can produce diffuse reflections similar to those of surface diffusers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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22 pages, 6855 KiB  
Article
Investigation of a Tuff Stone Church in Cappadocia via Acoustical Reconstruction
by Ali Haider Adeeb and Zühre Sü Gül
Acoustics 2022, 4(2), 419-440; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4020026 - 16 May 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3255
Abstract
This study investigates the indoor acoustical characteristics of a Middle Byzantine masonry church in Cappadocia. The Bell Church is in partial ruins; therefore, archival data and the church’s remains are used for its acoustical reconstruction. The study aims to formulate a methodology for [...] Read more.
This study investigates the indoor acoustical characteristics of a Middle Byzantine masonry church in Cappadocia. The Bell Church is in partial ruins; therefore, archival data and the church’s remains are used for its acoustical reconstruction. The study aims to formulate a methodology for a realistic simulation of the church by testing the applicability of different approaches, including field and laboratory tests. By conducting qualitative and quantitative material tests, different tuff stone samples are examined from the region. Impedance tube tests are performed on the samples from Göreme and Ürgüp to document their sound absorption performances. Previous field tests on two sites in Cappadocia are also used to compare the sound absorption performance of tuff stones, supported by acoustical simulations. The texture, physical and chemical characteristics of the stones together with the measured sound absorption coefficient values are comparatively evaluated for selecting the most suitable material to be applied in the Bell Church simulations. The church was constructed in phases and underwent architectural modifications and additions over time. The indoor acoustical environment of the church is analyzed over objective acoustical parameters of EDT, T30, C50, C80, D50, and STI for its different phases with different architectural features and functional patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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21 pages, 10323 KiB  
Article
Sound Reflections in Indian Stepwells: Modelling Acoustically Retroreflective Architecture
by Densil Cabrera, Shuai Lu, Jonothan Holmes and Manuj Yadav
Acoustics 2022, 4(1), 227-247; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4010014 - 2 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5694
Abstract
Retroreflection is rarely used as a surface treatment in architectural acoustics but is found incidentally with building surfaces that have many simultaneously visible concave right-angle trihedral corners. Such surfaces concentrate reflected sound onto the sound source, mostly at high frequencies. This study investigated [...] Read more.
Retroreflection is rarely used as a surface treatment in architectural acoustics but is found incidentally with building surfaces that have many simultaneously visible concave right-angle trihedral corners. Such surfaces concentrate reflected sound onto the sound source, mostly at high frequencies. This study investigated the potential for some Indian stepwells (stepped ponds, known as a kund or baori/baoli in Hindi) to provide exceptionally acoustically retroreflective semi-enclosed environments because of the unusually large number of corners formed by the steps. Two cases—Panna Meena ka Kund and Lahan Vav—were investigated using finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) acoustic simulation. The results are consistent with retroreflection, showing reflected energy concentrating on the source position mostly in the high-frequency bands (4 kHz and 2 kHz octave bands). However, the larger stepped pond has substantially less retroreflection, even though it has many more corners, because of the greater diffraction loss over the longer distances. Retroreflection is still evident (but reduced) with non-right-angle trihedral corners (80°–100°). The overall results are sufficiently strong to indicate that acoustic retroreflection should be audible to an attuned visitor in benign environmental conditions, at least at moderately sized stepped ponds that are in good geometric condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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Review

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18 pages, 5761 KiB  
Review
Intangible Mosaic of Sacred Soundscapes in Medieval Serbia
by Zorana Đorđević, Dragan Novković and Marija Dragišić
Acoustics 2023, 5(1), 28-45; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics5010002 - 27 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2793
Abstract
Religious practice in Serbia has taken place using both indoors and outdoors sacred sites ever since the adoption of Christianity in medieval times. However, previous archaeoacoustic research was focused on historic church acoustics, excluding the open-air soundscapes of sacred sites. The goal of [...] Read more.
Religious practice in Serbia has taken place using both indoors and outdoors sacred sites ever since the adoption of Christianity in medieval times. However, previous archaeoacoustic research was focused on historic church acoustics, excluding the open-air soundscapes of sacred sites. The goal of this review paper is to shed light on the varieties of sacred soundscapes that have supported the various needs of Orthodox Christian practice in medieval Serbia. First, in relation to the acoustic requirements of the religious service, we compare the acoustic properties of masonry and wooden churches based on the published archaeoacoustic studies of medieval churches and musicological studies of the medieval art of chanting. Second, we provide an overview of the ethnological and historical studies that address the outdoor sacred soundscapes and investigate the religious sound markers of large percussion instruments, such as bells and semantra, the open-air litany procession that has been practiced during the annual celebration of a patron saint’s day in rural areas, and the medieval assemblies that took place on the sacred sites. This paper finally points out that the archaeoacoustic studies of sacred soundscapes should not be limited to church acoustics but also include open-air sacred sites to provide a complete analysis of the aural environment of religious practice and thus contribute to understanding the acoustic intention of medieval builders, as well as the aural experience of both clergy and laity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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Other

21 pages, 6454 KiB  
Case Report
The Acoustics of the Palace of Charles V as a Cultural Heritage Concert Hall
by Jose A. Almagro-Pastor, Rafael García-Quesada, Jerónimo Vida-Manzano, Francisco J. Martínez-Irureta and Ángel F. Ramos-Ridao
Acoustics 2022, 4(3), 800-820; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics4030048 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3794
Abstract
This paper analyses the acoustic behaviour of the Palace of Charles V from a room acoustics perspective but also ponders the uniqueness of the space and its ability to engage and enhance the audience experience. The Palace of Charles V is a relevant [...] Read more.
This paper analyses the acoustic behaviour of the Palace of Charles V from a room acoustics perspective but also ponders the uniqueness of the space and its ability to engage and enhance the audience experience. The Palace of Charles V is a relevant part of the historical heritage of Granada. It has an architectural but also an acoustic uniqueness that deserves research. A measurement campaign was made to calculate parameters such as T30, IACC, C80 or Gm, and to explain the behaviour of the Palace. The BQI is quite high, but the late part of the impulse response (t > 80 ms) has strong unwanted reflections causing low clarity (C80) and listener envelopment (LEV). Nevertheless, the Palace is a successful concert venue with good feedback from musicians and the audience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acoustics, Soundscapes and Sounds as Intangible Heritage)
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