This paper concerns flexural and axial wave motion in a cracked beam. A combined finite element (FE) and spectral element (SE) model of a cracked beam is presented. A portion of the beam, which contains the crack, is modelled using FE analysis and combined with semi-infinite SEs. From the combined model the reflection and transmission coefficients of the crack are estimated. To determine the accuracy of this approach, a beam with a mass discontinuity is considered in the first instance. The reflection coefficients are estimated numerically and compared with experimental results. Secondly, a slot-type transverse crack is cut along the width of the beam. The experimental results are compared with both an FE model and a conventional lumpedparameter spring model. The purpose of this work is to investigate further the use of audiofrequency wave propagation as a basis for crack assessment and provide a valid model to use in the development of an assessment procedure.