202211292049Excessive sound levels at the ears of musicians in a symphony orchestra

 

Excessive sound levels at the ears of musicians in a symphony orchestra

 

 

This video shows the sound levels at the ears of musicians in a symphony orchestra playing the first two minutes of the 4th movement of Mahler’s 1st symphony. The levels are based on a validated computer model simulation. The color shows the sound level which the individual musicians receive at their left and right ear. The time averaged sound level is shown in a table below. Note that the short-term averages in the video are both higher and lower, following the music dynamics. For instance, the trumpet player receives peaks of over 110 dB(A) while his average exposure is 100 dB(A). In general, sound levels above 85 dB(A) can be damaging to the ears when exposed to on a daily basis for 8 hours. Sound levels of 100 dB(A) should be limited to 15 minutes per working day. More than 15 minutes of playing such loud music requires hearing protection to avoid hearing damage. This video is part of the research paper titled: “Why orchestral musicians are bound to wear earplugs: about the ineffectiveness of physical measures to reduce sound exposure” Authors: Remy Wenmaekers, Bareld Nicolai, Maarten Hornikx, Armin Kohlrausch (Eindhoven University of Technology) Published in the Journal of Acoustical Society of America 2017 LAeq levels averaged over the 2 minutes excerpt of the 4th movement of Mahler’s 1st symphony (left ear/right ear): 1st violin: 99.2 / 97.8 2nd violin: 99.0 / 97.9 Viola: 97.9 / 98.0 Violin cello: 91.1 / 92.1 Double bass: 91.2 / 92.9 French horn: 98.5 / 96.7 Clarinet: 98.3 / 98.6 Bassoon: 98.5 / 99.3 Oboe: 97.4 / 100.0 Trumpet: 100.0 / 99.4

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