Acoustics and Psychoacoustics  book cover
5th Edition

Acoustics and Psychoacoustics

ISBN 9781138859876
Published June 12, 2017 by Routledge
518 Pages

USD $79.95

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Book Description

The acoustics of a space can have a real impact on the sounds you create and capture. Acoustics and Psychoacoustics, Fifth Edition provides supportive tools and exercises to help you understand how music sounds and behaves in different spaces, whether during a performance or a recording, when planning a control room or listening space, and how it is perceived by performers, listeners, and recording engineers.

With their clear and simple style, Howard and Angus cover both theory and practice by addressing the science of sound engineering and music production, the acoustics of musical instruments, the ways in which we hear musical sounds, the underlying principles of sound processing, and the application of these concepts to music spaces to create professional sound. This new edition is fully revised to reflect new psychoacoustic information related to timbre and temporal perception, including an updated discussion of vocal fold vibration principles, samples of recent acoustic treatments, and a description of variable acoustics in spaces, as well as coverage of the environment’s effect on production listening, sonification, and other topics.

Devoted to the teaching of musical understanding, an accompanying website ( features various audio clips, tutorial sheets, questions and answers, and trainings that will take your perception of sound to the next level.

This book will help you:

  • Gain a basic grounding in acoustics and psychoacoustics with respect to music audio technology systems
  • Incorporate knowledge of psychoacoustics in future music technology system designs as appropriate
  • Understand how we hear pitch, loudness, and timbre
  • Learn to influence the acoustics of an enclosed space through designed physical modifications

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction to Sound

Chapter 2: Introduction to Hearing

Chapter 3: Notes and Harmony

Chapter 4: Acoustic Model for Musical Instruments

Chapter 5: Hearing Timbre and Deceiving the Ear

Chapter 6: Hearing Music in Different Environments

Chapter 7: Applications: Acoustics and Psychoacoustics Combined

Appendix 1: The Fourier Transform

Appendix 2: Solving the ERB Equation

Appendix 3: Converting between Frequency Ratios and Cents

Appendix 4: Deriving the Reverberation Time Equation

Appendix 5: Deriving the Reverberation Time Equation for Different Frequencies and Surfaces

Appendix 6: The Effect of Speaker Sixe on its Polar Pattern

Appendix 7: Track Listing for the Audio Compact Disc


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David M. Howard is the Founding Head of a new Department of Electronics at Royal Holloway, University of London. David’s research interests include the analysis and synthesis of singing, speech, and music, the use of computers and apps for real-time singing training and tuning in a cappella singing. David has been involved in forensic audio casework and appears regularly on radio and TV, including as a presenter for Voice and Castrato for BBC4-TV.

Jamie A.S. Angus is Professor of Audio Technology in the School of Computing, Science, and Engineering at the University of Salford. She was one of the originators of the UK’s first university-level music technology course at the University of York in 1986. She both teaches and researches in room and speech acoustics, diffuser design, GPGPU in acoustic simulation, and audio signal processing and coding. She invented the modulated and absorption diffuser structures and was awarded an AES Fellowship Prize and the IOA Peter Barnett Memorial Prize in 2004.


"A very good and comprehensive book by authors who have been knee deep in this research for many years, a no-brainer for your bookshelf." - Todd Welti, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society