Through a combination of passive and active acoustics, architects and acousticians can control the sounds of spaces to fit any kind of need. With sound-proofing and selective-amplification, we can add reverb or take it away. We can make churches sound like clubs and clubs sound like opera houses. This degree of acoustic control, however, is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Up until the early 1900s, designers and engineers knew very little about the effects of architecture on sound. Architectural acoustics were pretty much a roll of the dice in any given project. Until Wallace Sabine.