Colonial Hall
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA


The following are some books that may be useful in your pursuit of knowledge about acoustics and noise control.  Some may be out of print but Amazon and other sources on the web could have used versions.  Several are available from the Acoustical Society of America which is instituting a "print on demand" service.
Basic and Advanced Acoustics Texts
Acoustical Consulting Practice
General Architectural Acoustics
Specific Types of Architectural Spaces
HVAC Noise & Vibration Control
Noise and Acoustical Measurements Handbook
Noise Control Textbook
Noise Control Treatises
Hearing Conservation
History and Biography


Beranek, L.L., and Mellow, T., Acoustics:Sound Fields and Transducers, Academic Press Elsevier, 2012.  Leo Beranek at age 98 collaborated with Tim Mellow to publish this update of Beranek's classic 1954 book Acoustics.  Who else has revised a technical book 58 years later?

Prout, J., & Bienvenue, G., Acoustics for You, Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co., Malabar, FL, 1990. Primarily for students of speech and hearing sciences who do not have an engineering mathematics background.

Kinsler, L., Frey, A., Coppens, A., & Sanders, J., Fundamentals of Acoustics, Wiley, New York, 1999.  Probably the most widely used book to introduce engineering graduate students or advanced undergraduates to acoustics. 560 pages

Pierce, A., Acoustics, An Introduction to Its Physical Principles and Applications, Originally published by McGraw Hill in 1981 and reprinted by ASA. Widely used graduate text.  617 pages.

Morse, P., & Ingard, K., Theoretical Acoustics, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1986. Originally published by McGraw Hill in 1968. A classic advanced theoretical work. 911 pages.

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Salter, Charles M. & Associates, Inc., Acoustics: Architecture-Engineering-The Environment, William Stout Publishers, San Francisco, 1998. Prepared by a major acoustical consulting firm, this book describes the work of a modern acoustical consulting firm in architecture, noise control, and litigation with numerous case history examples as well as basic guidance in acoustical matters.

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Ermann, Michael, Architectural Acoustics Illustrated, Wiley 2015.  By an architect for architects, inspired by the work of Egan (below). Ermann is a professor at Virginia Tech.  241 pages

Jaramillo, Ana M., & Steel, Chris, Architectural Acoustics, Routledge, 2015, A wealth of architectural guidance in a small pocket size paperback.  Jaramillo was a student of Ermann.

Mehta, M., Johnson, J., & Rocafort, J., Architectural Acoustics Principles and Design, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 1999.  Prepared by an architectural engineering professor, a practicing acoustical consultant, and a professor specialized in audio systems, possibly the best reference for architects, though it has some omissions like the design of dining and social spaces. 446 pages.

Egan, M. D., Architectural Acoustics, McGraw Hill, New York, 1988. Very graphical treatment has probably been used more than any other book in teaching acoustics to architects.

Irvine, L., & Richards, R., Acoustics and Noise Control Handbook for Architects and Builders, Krieger Publishing Co., Malabar, FL, 1998. By two acoustical consultants, concisely presents much useful information, including some discussion of community noise and industrial noise control.

Cavanaugh, W., & Wilkes, J., Architectural Acoustics Principles and Practice, Wiley, New York, 1999.  Contributions from several consultants cover basic principles, materials, building noise control, room acoustics, sound reinforcement, and recent innovations. Easy to read to get the idea what acousticians do, but other books provide more detail.

Apfel, R., Deaf Architects & Blind Acousticians? A Guide to the Principles of Sound Design,  Prepared by an engineering professor to teach architects, introduces basic principles but not a comprehensive text.  100 pages.

Knudsen, V. & Harris, C., Acoustical Designing in Architecture, Classic early work on architectural acoustics by pioneers in the field.  Originally published in 1950 and reprinted by ASA.

Harris, C., Noise Control In Buildings - A Guide for Architects and Engineers, McGraw- Hill, Inc. 1994, republished by Institute of Noise Control Engineering, Poughkeepsie, NY, Edited by a pioneer in architectural acoustics, includes discussions of building materials, structures, and mechanical systems noise control.

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Holden, Mark, Acoustics of Multi-Use Performing Arts Centers, CRC Press, 2016.  Comprehensive work on the design of the subject spaces by Duke alumus Mark Holden.  The renovated Duke Baldwin Auditorium is on the cover and featured in the book.

Kleiner, M., and Tichy, J., Acoustics of Small Rooms, CRC Press, 2014.  Small rooms are very different from large rooms in their acoustics.

Kleiner, M., Klepper, D. & Torres, R., Worship Space Acoustics, J. Ross, 2010.  Comprehensive work on worship spaces.  Torres who was a student of Kleiner in Sweden is now a priest in New York, and Klepper a long time US consultant now resides in Israel.

Beranek, L., Concert Halls and Opera Houses, Music, Acoustics, and Architecture, Springer, 2003.  Revised edition of book below by the leading acoustical consultant of the 20th century.

Beranek, L., Concert and Opera Halls - How They Sound, Acoustical Society of America, 1996.  Very well made hardcover book with photographs and drawings of major halls of the world and discussions written to be understood by architects and musicians as well as acousticians.

Barron, M., Auditorium Acoustics and Architectural Design, E & FN Spon, London, 1993. About $140. Excellent reference on auditorium acoustics.

Jaffe, J. Christopher, The Acoustics of Performance Halls, Norton & Co. 2010.  From Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl.

Geerdes, H., Music Facilities: Building, Equipping, and Renovating, Music Educators National Conference, Reston, VA, 1987.

The following six books published by ASA contain numerous examples of projects by acoustical consultants working with architects as well as some basic guidance on the types of spaces covered..

    Bradley, D.T, Ryherd, E.E, and Ronsse, L.M., Worship Space Acoustics- Three Decades of Design, Springer-Verlag, 2016.  A follow-up to the 1983 volume below with many examples of worship space acoustical design.  Stewart Acoustical Consultants contributed several case histories to this book.

    Talaske, R., Wetherill, E., & Cavanaugh, W., Halls for Music Performance- Two Decades of Experience: 1962-1982, 1982.

    Lubman, D., & Wetherill, E., Acoustics of Worship Spaces, 1983.

     Talaske, R., & Boner, R., Theatres for Drama Performance: Recent Experiences in Acoustical Design, 1985.

     McCue, E., & Talaske, R., Acoustical Design of Music Education Facilities, 1990.

     Hoffman, I., Storch, C, and Foulkes, T., Halls for Music Performance Another Two Decades of Experience 1982-2002.  ASA 2003.

     Bradley, D.T,, Ryherd, E., and Vigeant, M., Acoustical Design of Theatres for Drama Performance, 1985-2010.  ASA 2010.

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Schaffer, M., A Practical Guide to Noise and Vibration Control for HVAC Systems, ASHRAE, Atlanta, GA, 1991.  A very good non-mathematical guide.

Ebbing, C. & Blazier, W., Application of Manufacturers’ Sound Data, ASHRAE, Atlanta, GA, 1998. Essential discussions of the source, use, and reliability of available data.

ASHRAE, HVAC Applications Handbook, Chapter on  Sound and Vibration Control, Published every four years.   Most of the methodology needed to analyze and develop controls for HVAC systems.

AHRI Standard 885, Procedure for Estimating Occupied Space Sound Levels in the Application of Air Terminals and Air Outlets, American Heating and Refrigeration Institute, Arlington, VA,  Methodology to analyze and develop controls for variable volume air distribution systems.

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Harris, C. (Editor), Handbook of Acoustical Measurements and Noise Control, Third Edition, Acoustical Society of America, Melville, NY, 1998. (Originally published in 1991 by McGraw Hill.)  Available on "print on demand" from ASA Over 1000 pages and 54 chapters covering everything from basic acoustics and noise control, to many types of measurements, standards, regulations, and noise sources.

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Lord, H., Gatley, W., & Evensen, H., Noise Control for Engineers, Krieger Publishing Company, Melbourne, FL, 1980, reprinted 1987. Good text and reference on noise control.

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Bell, L., & Bell, D., Industrial Noise Control - Fundamentals and Applications, 2nd Edition, Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, 1993. Good coverage of industrial noise control with many examples.

Bies, D., & Hansen, C., Engineering Noise Control Theory and Practice, Third Edition, E & FN Spon, London, 2003. Theory and practical noise control including many special calculation techniques and methods of estimating noise. Metric system units.

Beranek, L., & Ver, I., (Editors), Noise and Vibration Control Engineering Principles and Applications, Second Edition, Wiley Interscience, New York, 2006 (First Edition 1992). Latest in a series of classic references edited by Beranek. A cross between a textbook and a handbook.

Beranek, L., (Editor), Noise and Vibration Control, Institute of Noise Control Engineering, Poughkeepsie, NY, 1988. (Originally published in 1971 by McGraw Hill) An earlier version of the book above.

Pelton, H., Noise Control Management, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1993. Includes discussions of the management and prioritization of noise control in industry as well as noise control methodology and case histories.

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Berger, E., Royster, L., Royster, J., Driscoll, D., & Layne, M. (Editors), The Noise Manual, Fifth Edition, American Industrial Hygiene Association, Akron, OH, 2000.  A comprehensive manual for hearing conservation in industry including some guidance on noise control.

Royster, L, & Royster, J., Hearing Conservation Programs: Practical Guidelines for Success, Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, 1990.  

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Miller, L. N., An NCAC Anthology in Noise and Vibration, NCAC 2013, A collection of the writings of Laymon Miller and a few other papers he chose to include.  Miller was a highly regarded acoustical consultant and right hand man to Leo Beranek.

Beranek, L. Riding the Waves, a Life in Sound, Science, and History, MIT Press, 2008.  Autobiography of an amazing life.

Kopec, John W., The Sabines at Riverbank, Acoustical Society of America, 1997.  The history of Riverbank Laboratories and the role of the Sabines (Wallace Clement, Paul Earls and Hale Johnson) in the science of architectural acoustics. 210 pp hardcover

Melone, D, and Wood, E., Sound Ideas - Acoustical Consulting at BBN and Acentech, Acentech, 2005.  History of the most influential acoustical consulting firm.

Hirshhorn, M. Can You Hear Me? Acoustical Publications, Bay Village OH 2007.  Autobiography of Martin Hirschorn founder of Industrial Acoustics Company.

Thompson, Emily, The Soundscape of Modernity, Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933, MIT Press, 1999.   The story of the strong changes in acoustics and acoustical expectations during this period.  Review

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Ft. Defiance High School Library


Squires Studio Theatre

Photos Courtesy
Rodriguez Ripley Maddux Motley Architects
Roanoke, VA