The Book of Acoustics

Chapter 1.0 The fundamentals of sound control

Summary of chapter 1.0


Key Lessons

  1. The aim of acoustic design is to serve the function of a space and the collective needs of the people using it.
  2. Sound is a vibration that travels through air or another elastic medium as a series of mechanical waves.
  3. The way sound behaves in an indoor space depends on the acoustic characteristics of surface materials and the location of boundaries and objects.
  4. There are four main strategies for managing acoustical issues: Absorb, Block, Cover and Diffuse.

Terms & Concepts

  • Acoustic environment
  • Sound wave
  • Frequency
  • Decibel
  • Absorption
  • Reflection
  • Diffusion
  • Diffraction
  • Refraction
  • Transmission
  • Reverberation
  • Echos
  • Absorb
  • Block
  • Cover
  • Diffuse

Major insight:

Managing sound in indoor spaces isn’t just about addressing the source. It’s about manipulating how sound behaves once it has been set into motion.


The Book of Acoustics

This is a handbook for architects and interior designers who want to create acoustically beautiful spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more productive.