• Boz̊ena Kostek
Part of the Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing book series (STUDFUZZ, volume 31)


Acoustics is a very old domain of science, with notions of both architectural and musical acoustics appearing in classic Greek and Latin studies. Certainly some concepts were known in even more ancient epochs, with the Sumerian civilization already using such musical instruments as flutes, harps and lyres. The Sumerians passed along their artistic traditions to the Assyrian culture, and ancient Egypt also had its own musical culture. It is said that the world’s first bugging systems, based on acoustical principles, were installed in the palaces of the Pharaohs. The first notions of theater date back to the fifth century BC, but with more emphasis on the architectural than the acoustical issues. This is unfortunate, because even now in some of the outdoor theaters that still exist (e.g. Epidaurus, Greece), sound energy spreads from the source evenly. Regrettably, the ancient architects did not leave their acoustical designs for us to study. In researching history, one may find works by Heron which indicate that the sound phenomenon results from vibrations in air in the form of waves. The Roman architect Vitruve, who in his ten books on architecture included notions on acoustics, should also be mentioned. In the index of his fifth book, one may find “theaters and the choice of location where they should be founded”, “resonators in theaters” (in modern acoustics called Helmholtz’ resonators), “Roman and Greek theaters”, etc. It should be said that apart from the mentioned book, there are no references to any other books dealing with empirically based acoustics. Some previously written sources, like those of the Greek philosophers Phythagoras, Plato, Aristotle and Aristoxenes of Tarent, are based on mathematical principles. Further observations on acoustics appear in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. There are also contemporary references to the book entitled “Magiae Universalis”, written in 1657 by Kasper Schott, a Jesuit professor of physics. This is one of the earliest book sources on the subject of acoustics [21].


Soft Computing Method Pipe Organ Acoustical Design Musical Acoustics Subjective Test Result 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boz̊ena Kostek
    • 1
  1. 1.Sound Engineering Department, Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications & InformaticsTechnical University of GdańskGdańskPoland

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