Course detail

Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics

FEKT-BPC-ZHAAcad. year: 2022/2023

Students will become familiar with the physical nature of sound waves and vibrations in detail, the human way of perceiving sound, acoustics of musical instruments and acoustics in interpretation. The course also deals with recordings played on different musical instruments.

Language of instruction


Number of ECTS credits


Mode of study

Not applicable.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The student will be able to:
- explain the basic concepts of acoustics,
- explain the principle function of a musical instrument and characterize its tone,
- explain the capabilities and limitations of musical instruments,
- describe the influence of room acoustics on the interpretation of music,
- describe spaces suitable for various genres and describe a recording chain,
- name the audio formats used and describe them,
- use modern technologies to record music and for the analysis of playing a musical instrument.


The knowledge of basic concepts of musical acoustics, tempo, expression and dynamic signs, and musical instruments tuning is required.


Not applicable.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Teaching methods depend on the type of course unit as specified in the article 7 of BUT Rules for Studies and Examinations.
- Lectures provide the explanation of basic principles, supplemented by audio samples.
Participation at lectures is recommended.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Evaluation of study results follows Rules for Studies and Examinations of BUT and Dean's Regulation to the Rules for Studies and Examinations of BUT. Credit is given after successful completion of a written test and additional interview.

Course curriculum

1. Basic topics in acoustics.
2. Use of modern technology for analysis of performance and for improvement of listener impression.
3. Music as oscillations and waves.
4. Characteristics of musical instrument tones.
5. The principle and function of musical instruments.
6. Expression of an artist using musical instruments, the possibilities and limitations of musical instruments.
7. The perception of sound.
8. Acoustics in interpretation - theory.
9. Acoustics in interpretation - principles and practical uses of acoustics.
10. Acoustics in interpretation - samples.
11. Recording and playback of interpretation: spaces suitable for various genres, recording chains, microphones and sensors - the principle.
12. Recording and playback of interpretation: digitization and digital audio formats, destructive compression of MP3, AAC, etc., listening to recorded music, drivers, and spaces.
13. Digital audio recording and processing.

Work placements

Not applicable.


The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the physical nature of sound waves and vibrations, the human way of perceiving sound, the acoustics of musical instruments and acoustics in interpretation.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Forms of the checked instructions are specified by a regulation issued by the guarantee of the course and updated for every academic year.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Prerequisites and corequisites

Not applicable.

Basic literature

Syrový, V. Hudební akustika. Praha: AMU, 2003. ISBN 978-80-7331-127-8 (CS)
Špelda, A.: Hudební akustika. Praha: SPN, 1978. (CS)
Geist, B. Akustika - jevy a souvislosti v hudební teorii a praxi. Praha: MUZIKUS s.r.o., 2005. ISBN 978-8086253312 (CS)

Recommended reading

Not applicable.


Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme BPC-AUD Bachelor's

    specialization AUDB-ZVUK , 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory
    specialization AUDB-TECH , 2. year of study, winter semester, compulsory

  • Programme MITAI Master's

    specialization NSPE , any year of study, winter semester, compulsory

Type of course unit



26 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer