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Acoustics, Liturgy and Architecture in the Early Christian Church. From the domus ecclesiae to the basilica

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In general, studies on the history of construction of Christian churches have neglected to include essential aspects such as the development of the Christian liturgy, or its relation to the evolution of spatial organization. In churches, the liturgy establishes the dynamic relationship between the different foci of the celebration: the altar, the cathedra, the ambo, the choir, places and sound sources from which word and music are proclaimed. In the historical evolution of Christian churches from their origins, liturgy, music and acoustics are clearly interconnected and related to their architecture. However, little research has been done on these interconnections. This article aims to examine them focusing on early constructions: from the domus ecclesiae to the large early Christian basilicas which preceded Romanesque and Gothic medieval cathedrals. To do so it is essential to carry out an acoustic assessment of these spaces for worship in their original historical form. Since almost all of these have disappeared or undergone considerable transformation the method of computer simulation was used to set up and analyze acoustic models for these early churches.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2013

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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