Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Collected Papers On Acoustics
Sabine, Wallace Clement
The insulation of sound as an unsolved problem in architectural 
acoustics was first brought to the writer’s attention by the New 
England Conservatory of Music, immediately after its completion 
in 1904, and almost simultaneously in connection with a private 
house which had just been completed in New York. A few years 
later it was renewed by the Institute of Musical Art in New York. 
In the construction of all three buildings it had been regarded as 
particularly important that communication of sound from room to 
room should be avoided, and methods to that end had been em¬ 
ployed which were in every way reasonable. The results showed 
that in this phase of architectural acoustics also there had not been 
a sufficiently searching and practical investigation and that there 
were no experimental data on which an architect could rely. As 
these buildings were the occasion for beginning this investigation, 
and were both instructive and suggestive, they are, with the con¬ 
sent of the architects, discussed here at some length. 
The special method of construction employed in the New England 
Conservatory of Music was suggested to the architects by the Trus¬ 
tees of the Conservatory. The floor of each room was of semi-fire¬ 
proof construction, cement between iron girders, on this a layer of 
plank, on this paper lining, and on top of this a floor of hard pine. 
Between each room for violin, piano, or vocal lessons was a com¬ 
pound wall, constructed of two partitions with an unobstructed air 
space between them. Each partition was of two-inch plaster block 
set upright, with the finishing plaster applied directly to the block. 
The walls surrounding the organ rooms were of three such partitions 
separated by two-inch air spaces. In each air space was a con¬ 
tinuous layer of deadening cloth. The scheme was carried out con¬ 
sistently and with full regard to details, yet lessons conducted in 
adjacent rooms were disturbing to each other. 
1 The Briekbuilder, vol. xxiv, no. 2, February, 1915. 


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