Other investigators have noticed the relationship between structure and sound in many ancient sites. Steven Waller, for one, made a seminal observation while admiring Neolithic cave art in Spain--the paintings seemed to be placed at locations where there were strong acoustical resonances. He and others have since identified hundreds of such sites around the world. "Human uses for sound, no less than the other perceptual modalities, must surely have shaped human habitations in many ways not yet considered," says Lubman.
Unfortunately, in the modern world such acoustical effects are unusually considered unwanted artifacts caused by an architect's failure to consider acoustics. Even when acoustics are considered to be paramount, there have been glitches--such as the concert hall in New York's Lincoln Center that raised an outcry in 1962 and was eventually gutted and reconstructed at great expense.
So maybe modern architects, who are mainly concerned with the visual impact of their work, should borrow a page from the artists and ancients to create environments that apprehend an equally important human sense--hearing. The next time you are in the lobby of a building or facing a grand staircase, clap your hands.