Assessment of Acoustical Indicators in Multi-domed Historic Structures by Non-exponential Energy Decay Analysis

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ACOUSTICS AUSTRALIA, vol.46, no.2, pp.181-192, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s40857-018-0136-9
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.181-192
  • Keywords: Acoustical indicators, Multiple sound energy decay, Bayesian analysis, Sacred space acoustics, Suleymaniye Mosque, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, COUPLED SPACES, SOUND, MODELS, TIMES, MOSQUE


The key concern of this study is to discuss the reliable acoustical metrics for analyzing particular sound fields within monumental multi-domed sacred spaces with an emphasis on multiple sound energy decay formation. The potential of such structures in featuring non-exponential sound energy decay characteristics necessitates new formulation of sound decay indicators in understanding of their sound fields. The early and late energy decay components within non-exponential sound energy decays can have a unique contribution to the interior acoustic quality. These acoustical features can also provide the functional and spiritual acoustical needs of monumental sacred spaces. Suleymaniye Mosque and Hagia Sophia, two major monuments of Istanbul World Heritage Site, are examined in this regard. Field measurements are the main method of data collection. Over collected room impulse responses, relevant acoustical predictors including decay rates and decay times are computed by applying Bayesian decay parameter estimation. Analysis results disclose double or triple decay formations in both structures. Authors argue that, the detection of multiple sound energy decays in analyzed structures sets out a new vision for room acoustics studies of sacred spaces and for multi-domed monuments. Thus, implementation of new metrics, namely multiple slope decay parameters to replace classical room acoustics indicators, is recommended and discussed in light of the outcomes of this study.