Umberto Berardi is an Assistant Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Professor Berardiâ€™s research focuses on applied physics to buildings, with focus on acoustics and sustainability. He earned a PhD in building engineering and architecture at the Politecnico di Bari. He also received an MS in sound and vibration from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research of the University of Southampton (UK).
As acousticians, the interest in churches’ acoustics was inspired by the fact that very little research had been published on church acoustics, compared to the amount on the acoustics of concert halls and theatres. The lecture will analyze how developments in worship demand new physical surroundings – so that sound, whether spoken, sung, or played, could be properly heard. The lecture will move from discussing the influence of architecture on music, and music on architecture; the relationships between liturgy, acoustics and architecture; developments in sacred music in the Christian liturgy since the Middle Ages. This is followed by an analysis of many Italian churches. Church ‘types’ covered are: Early Christian, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Modern and Contemporary churches. This talk reports a major systematic study aiming at characterizing churches in terms of their acoustics both using measurements and simulations.