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Worship Space Acoustics

3 Decades of Design

  • Book
  • © 2016


  • Provides detailed acoustic and architectural information for 67 worship space venues from 12 major religions directly from the acousticians who designed the spaces
  • Features contributions from acoustical consulting firms and worship space designers worldwide, with spaces indexed by consulting firm and by geographic location
  • Includes high-resolution photos and renderings, full-page architectural drawings, scientific data, an overview of acoustic design for worship spaces, and a glossary of common worship space acoustics terminology

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About this book

Worship Space Acoustics: 3 Decades of Design is a beautiful collection of recent work. This is a comprehensive compendium that far surpasses previous publications in the field in its depth, design, and information. Worship spaces of all major U.S. religions are covered. This book should be an obligatory reference for any consultant involved in church architecture and acoustics.”
-Mendel Kleiner, author of Worship Space Acoustics, Acoustics: Information and Communication Series (J. Ross Publishing 2010)

“All involved in their design will appreciate this presentation of recent rooms for religious worship.”
-Leo L. Beranek, author of Concert Halls and Opera Houses: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture (Springer-Verlag 2004)

“Through descriptions, photos, drawings, and acoustical data, this book provides valuable information on existing worship spaces designed during the past thirty years. This very well-edited book, including the Editors' Preface and six excellent essays from key people involved in worship space design, provides valuable information and ideas on the aesthetic, acoustic, and liturgical design of worship spaces for a number of faiths and in several countries.”
-Robert Coffeen, principle at R. C. Coffeen, Consultant in Acoustics LLC, Lawrence, Kansas

This book takes the reader on a wide-ranging tour through churches, synagogues, mosques, and other worship spaces designed during the past 30 years. The book

begins with a series of essays on topics ranging from the soundscape of worship spaces to ecclesiastical design at the turn of the 21st Century. Perspective pieces from an architect, audio designer, music director, and worship space owner are also included. The core of the book presents the acoustical and architectural design of a wide variety of individual worship space venues. Acoustical consulting firms, architects, and worship space designers from across the world contributed their recent innovative works in the area of worship space acoustics. The contributions include detailed renderings and architectural drawings, as well as informative acoustic data graphs and evocative descriptions of the spaces. Filled with beautiful photography and fascinating modern design, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in religious architecture, acoustical design, or musical performance.

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Reflections from Key Design Team Members

  2. Worship Spaces


“Each case study documents the community’s strengths and struggles with sound and space, making the narratives accessible to a wide range of readers. Designed as a primary resource and reference, with appendices that include a glossary of key terms, and a design overview with a summary of the design process for each of the worship spaces, the book is written by professionals intimately linked to the spaces investigated: an audio systems designer, music director, acoustical consultant, architect, and a builder/owner.” (Heather Murray Elkins, Homilectic,, Vol. 42 (1), August, 2017)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Physics + Astronomy Department, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, USA

    David T. Bradley

  • Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Omaha, USA

    Erica E. Ryherd

  • Audio Arts & Acoustics Department, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, USA

    Lauren M. Ronsse

About the editors

David T. Bradley, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Physics + Astronomy Department at Vassar College.

Erica E. Ryherd, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Lauren M. Ronsse, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Audio Arts & Acoustics Department at Columbia College Chicago.

Bibliographic Information

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