A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
FIS/01 FIS/02 FIS/03
Learning objectives
The course aims at providing students with fundamental concepts of acoustics, with specific reference to musical and architectural acoustics. Being this the only course in physics offered, a secondary goal is to present all the necessary propedeutic elements of mathematics, measure theory, and physics.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student shall be able to master the main concepts related to the mechanisms of production and propagation of sound waves, as well as the related measurement tools and methods.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
1. General remarks on mathematics, measurement theory and physics

2. Elements of musical acoustics in history.

3. Fundamentals of acoustics
Nature of sound
Wave propagation
Sound propagation speed
Propagation in gases
Characteristic acoustic impedance and specific acoustic impedance
Wave reflection, transmission and diffraction
Wave and standing wave interference
Dissipative effects
Fundamental quantities and their units of measurement
Frequency composition
Sound sources
Doppler effect
Acoustic field free
Vibrating systems

4. Auditory perception and effects of noise
Anatomy and physiology of the auditory system
Subjective answer
Hearing damage from noise
Medico-legal aspects
Population noise and health disorder

5. Instrumentation and measurement techniques
Main transducers and measuring instruments
Acoustic calibrators
Principles of signal analysis
Frequency analysis and spectrum analyzers
Equivalent sound level measurement
Acoustic intensity
Measurement of the sound power level of the sources
Uncertainty of the measures

6. Noise in the external environment
Noise sources
Outdoor sound propagation
Acoustic barriers
Regulations and legislation
Monitoring and mapping

7. Acoustics of materials and building systems
Solid sound transmission
Acoustic absorption of materials and structures

8. Architectural acoustics
Sound indoors
Evaluation of the acoustic qualities of the show rooms
Acoustic design criteria
Music and architectural acoustics
Measurement methodologies

9. Acoustics of musical instruments:
Chordophones, aerophones.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge of elementary mathematical methods, trigonometry and mathematical analysis is required. Linear differential equations. Minimum knowledge of mechanics concepts.
Teaching methods
The frontal lessons alternate together with a critical exercise listening to specific musical pieces. Some simple examples of acoustic measurement will be addressed.
Teaching Resources
S. CINGOLANI, Acustica musicale e architettonica, Torino, Città Studi Edizioni, 2008
A. FROVA, Fisica nella musica, Bologna, Zanichelli, 2000;
R. SPAGNOLO, Manuale di acustica applicata, Torino, Città Studi Edizioni, 2008;
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral test, related to the topics covered in the course. The evaluation takes into account the level of mastery of the topics, the clarity of the exhibition and the ability to connect the themes of acoustics with various other disciplines.
FIS/01 - EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICS - University credits: 0
FIS/03 - PHYSICS OF MATTER - University credits: 0
Lessons: 72 hours