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Fundamentals of Acoustics Hardcover – Dec 30 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 4 edition (Dec 30 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471847895
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471847892
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 19 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
Before beginning a discussion of acoustics, we should settle on a system of units. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Format: Hardcover
Personally, I was disappointed by the fourth edition of this venerable text, for it has become increasingly mathematical and problem oriented. If you like sitting down and whiling away your afternoon with a problem set -- this is the text for you. But if instead you wish to study acoustics through a pedagogical method that is more verbal and graphical in nature -- better texts are available.
Indeed, in my opinion, prior editions (1950, 1962, 1981) of this same text are superior, particularly the second edition. Although these too have their share of integral calculus and complex algebra, the quantity is more appropriate for a discipline that is mostly science and engineering but with aspects of art to it as well.
Bear in mind that aside from a few specialized areas -- like ultrasonics and its use in non-destructive testing, or the use of digital processing in sound generation and analysis -- little new has come about in the field of acoustics since World War II. Thus unlike with most fields of science, there is no necessity to have the most modern texts to gather a wholly modern understanding of the field.
Indeed, I recently examined almost every text relating to acoustics contained in the circumferential stacks of the Barker Engineering Library under the Great Dome of M.I.T. (and sadly, there aren't as many texts as one might hope). I was surprised both at the age of most volumes in the collection -- and the fact that most had not been checked out of the library in years.
Indeed, from the "Date Due" slips in the back, you could see the field was very popular in the 1960's and 1970's, but popularity seemed to wain in the early 1980's -- approximately contemporaneously, curiously, with the introduction of the digital CD format of audio recording.
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Format: Hardcover
Personally, I was disappointed by the fourth edition of this venerable text, for it has become increasingly mathematical and problem oriented. If you like sitting down and whiling away your afternoon with a problem set -- this is the text for you. But if instead you wish to study acoustics through a pedagogical method that is more verbal and graphical in nature -- better texts are available.
Indeed, in my opinion, prior editions (1950, 1962, 1981) of this same text are superior, particularly the second edition. Although these too have their share of integral calculus and complex algebra, the quantity is more appropriate for a discipline that is mostly science and engineering but with aspects of art to it as well.
Bear in mind that aside from a few specialized areas -- like ultrasonics and its use in medical imaging and non-destructive testing, or the use of digital processing in sound generation and vibration analysis -- little new has come about in the field of acoustics since World War II. Thus unlike with most fields of science, there is no necessity to have the most modern texts to gather a wholly modern understanding of the field (with a few minor exceptions).
Indeed, I recently examined almost every text relating to acoustics contained in the circumferential stacks of the Barker Engineering Library under the Great Dome of M.I.T. (and sadly, there aren't as many texts as one might hope). I was surprised both at the age of most volumes in the collection -- and the fact that most had not been checked out of the library in years.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
If you are interested in a solid introduction to the science of sound, then this is your book. Kinsler and Frey is not an advanced text, nor a reference manual for research scientists. It is simply a classic introduction to the physical principles of acoustics geared toward upper level undergraduates or graduate students.
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By Guillermo Aldana on Oct. 12 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a good introduction to the subject, but I would not consider it hard core by any means. Morse is hard core, Pierce a far second in dificulty. Blackstock's book is superior. Blackstock provides a physical explanation of the theory of sound, Kinsler relies a bit too much on simple equations and does not provide insight into what the math is telling you. A good entry level book to use as a reference, and self study.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
OK, but better texts available April 29 2003
By "theophilus28" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Personally, I was disappointed by the fourth edition of this venerable text, for it has become increasingly mathematical and problem oriented. If you like sitting down and whiling away your afternoon with a problem set -- this is the text for you. But if instead you wish to study acoustics through a pedagogical method that is more verbal and graphical in nature -- better texts are available.
Indeed, in my opinion, prior editions (1950, 1962, 1981) of this same text are superior, particularly the second edition. Although these too have their share of integral calculus and complex algebra, the quantity is more appropriate for a discipline that is mostly science and engineering but with aspects of art to it as well.
Bear in mind that aside from a few specialized areas -- like ultrasonics and its use in non-destructive testing, or the use of digital processing in sound generation and analysis -- little new has come about in the field of acoustics since World War II. Thus unlike with most fields of science, there is no necessity to have the most modern texts to gather a wholly modern understanding of the field.
Indeed, I recently examined almost every text relating to acoustics contained in the circumferential stacks of the Barker Engineering Library under the Great Dome of M.I.T. (and sadly, there aren't as many texts as one might hope). I was surprised both at the age of most volumes in the collection -- and the fact that most had not been checked out of the library in years.
Indeed, from the "Date Due" slips in the back, you could see the field was very popular in the 1960's and 1970's, but popularity seemed to wain in the early 1980's -- approximately contemporaneously, curiously, with the introduction of the digital CD format of audio recording.
By the mid-1990's, at M.I.T., at least, interest in acoustics among faculty and students seem to have declined precipitiously, if the popularity of library texts and the quantity of student theses published in the field is any indication.
Of all the general texts on acoustics that I examined -- to me, one clearly stood out above the others. It was published in 1957 by the lead acoustical scientist at the RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey, Harry F. Olsen, Ph.D. It is entitled, "Acoustical Engineering", although it contains all the fundamental science as well. This text was reprinted in 1991 and is currently available.
Olsen's work is surely a magnum opus, comprising 736 pages and 567 illustrations. It has its fair share of math, but the concepts are often additionally explained through well-crafted line drawings, showing, for example, wave forms drawn in progressive fashion in serial graphs, some of which are designed so that one can even mentally rotate the graphics to gather a three-dimensional perspective. Furthermore, the graphs are often supplemented by equivalent mechanical and electrical analogs, to further assist in understanding.
Best of all, Olsen explains virtually everything acoustical you would ever want to know, from theories of acoustical wave propagation, to an enormous variety of loudspeaker designs, to the mathematical reasoning behind Johann Sebastian Bach's tempered tuning of musical instruments, an artistic practice that is almost universal today.
Thus if it is a text for a problem-oriented course in acoustics that one seeks -- the fourth edition of the "Fundamentals of Acoustics" is a fine text. However, if one wishes to have a ready reference that is extraordinarily comprehensive, or a pedagogical work that doesn't focus on mathematical derivations, better choices can surely be made.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
OK, but better texts available April 29 2003
By "theophilus28" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Personally, I was disappointed by the fourth edition of this venerable text, for it has become increasingly mathematical and problem oriented. If you like sitting down and whiling away your afternoon with a problem set -- this is the text for you. But if instead you wish to study acoustics through a pedagogical method that is more verbal and graphical in nature -- better texts are available.
Indeed, in my opinion, prior editions (1950, 1962, 1981) of this same text are superior, particularly the second edition. Although these too have their share of integral calculus and complex algebra, the quantity is more appropriate for a discipline that is mostly science and engineering but with aspects of art to it as well.
Bear in mind that aside from a few specialized areas -- like ultrasonics and its use in medical imaging and non-destructive testing, or the use of digital processing in sound generation and vibration analysis -- little new has come about in the field of acoustics since World War II. Thus unlike with most fields of science, there is no necessity to have the most modern texts to gather a wholly modern understanding of the field (with a few minor exceptions).
Indeed, I recently examined almost every text relating to acoustics contained in the circumferential stacks of the Barker Engineering Library under the Great Dome of M.I.T. (and sadly, there aren't as many texts as one might hope). I was surprised both at the age of most volumes in the collection -- and the fact that most had not been checked out of the library in years.
Indeed, from the "Date Due" slips in the back, you could see the field was very popular in the 1960's and 1970's, but popularity seemed to wane in the early 1980's -- approximately contemporaneously, curiously, with the introduction of the digital CD format of audio recording.
By the mid-1990's, at M.I.T., at least, interest in acoustics among faculty and students seem to have declined precipitiously, if the popularity of library texts and the quantity of student theses published in the field is any indication.
Of all the general texts on acoustics that I examined -- to me, one clearly stood out above the others. It was published in 1957 by Harry F. Olsen, Ph.D., the lead acoustical scientist at the RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, New Jersey. It is entitled, "Acoustical Engineering", although the text contains all the fundamental science as well. This volume was reprinted in 1991 and is currently available.
Olsen's work is surely a magnum opus, comprising 736 pages and 567 illustrations. It has its fair share of math, but the concepts are often additionally explained through well-crafted line drawings, showing, for example, wave forms drawn in progressive fashion in serial graphs, some of which are designed so that one can even mentally rotate the graphics to gather a three-dimensional perspective. Furthermore, the graphs are often supplemented by art showing equivalent mechanical and electrical analogs, to further assist in understanding.
Best of all, Olsen explains virtually everything acoustical you would ever want to know, from theories of acoustical wave propagation, to an enormous variety of loudspeaker designs, to the mathematical reasoning behind Johann Sebastian Bach's tempered tuning of musical instruments, an artistic practice that is almost universal today.
Thus if it is a text for a problem-oriented course in acoustics that one seeks -- the fourth edition of the "Fundamentals of Acoustics" is a fine text. However, if one wishes to have a ready reference that is extraordinarily comprehensive, or a pedagogical work that doesn't focus on mathematical derivations, better choices can surely be made.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good book on the mathematics of acoustics for engineers April 28 2007
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is aimed squarely at engineering students who want to learn the mathematics of acoustics. There is very little in the realm of standing back and asking "So what does this all mean?". From the very first chapter the author dives into deriving equations that use calculus, Laplace transforms, the Fourier series and transform, circuit analysis, digital filters, and the Z- transform as well as some differential equations. There are few examples in the book, but there are problem sets that expect you to understand the theory and math well enough to apply it numerically with more intuitive knowledge than is presented. It can be done, but you'll have to read carefully when doing the exercises to figure out how to get from A to B. If you are interested in acoustics this is probably an essential reference pertaining to the mathematical aspects of the science, but you'll need other books to get the big picture. I'd recommend the old Schaum's Outline of Acoustics by Seto as a companion to this book since it has lots of examples. Unfortunately, it is out of print and you'll probably have to hunt for it.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An excellent textbook Dec 5 2004
By Jill Malter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a classic engineering text on acoustics for upper division college students. It first appeared in 1950. And now it is back fifty years later in a fourth edition. In the meantime, the original two authors have passed away. However, Coppens and Sanders have done a fine job in keeping the book up-to-date.

Plenty of exercises have been added, and answers to many odd-numbered problems are in the back of the book. I think it is an excellent introduction to the field (yes, I expect you to have studied calculus and differential equations as an underclassman). It's my favorite of the classic engineering acoustics textbooks.

Two new chapters have been added in this edition, one on nonlinear acoustics and the other on shock waves. That's a very good idea. If I were teaching an acoustics class with an earlier edition of the book, I'd refer students to Landau Volume 6 (Fluid Mechanics) to get some of this missing information.

Actually, I wish the authors had added a couple more chapters, one on ultrasonics and another on instruments of music. That still would not cover all of acoustics, but I feel these topics are fairly important.

Anyway, I really like the book, and I'd be happy to teach a class using it.
8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Not hard core Oct. 12 2000
By Guillermo Aldana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a good introduction to the subject, but I would not consider it hard core by any means. Morse is hard core, Pierce a far second in dificulty. Blackstock's book is superior. Blackstock provides a physical explanation of the theory of sound, Kinsler relies a bit too much on simple equations and does not provide insight into what the math is telling you. A good entry level book to use as a reference, and self study.

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