Why orchestral musicians are bound to wear earplugs: About the ineffectiveness of physical measures to reduce sound exposure

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Uittreksel

Symphony orchestra musicians are exposed to noise levels that put them at risk of developing hearing damage. This study evaluates the potential effectivity of common control measures used in orchestras on open stages with a typical symphonic setup. A validated acoustic prediction model is used that calculates binaural sound exposure levels at the ears of all musicians in the orchestra. The model calculates the equivalent sound levels for a performance of the first 2 minutes of the 4th movement of Mahler’s 1st symphony, which can be considered representative for loud orchestral music. Calculated results indicate that risers, available space and screens at typical positions do not significantly influence sound exposure. A hypothetical scenario with surround screens shows that, even when shielding all direct sound from others, sound exposure is reduced moderately with the largest effect on players in loud sections. In contrast, a dramatic change in room acoustic conditions only leads to considerable reductions for soft players. It can be concluded that significant reductions are only reached with extreme measures that are unrealistic. It seems impossible for the studied physical measures to be effective enough to replace hearing protection devices such as ear plugs.
TaalEngels
Pagina's3154-3164
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume142
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
DOI's
StatusGepubliceerd - 21 nov 2017

Vingerafdruk

acoustics
ear
hearing
risers
music
plugs
Musicians
Physical
Sound
rooms
shielding
damage
predictions
Players
Ear
Acoustics
Hearing

Citeer dit

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title = "Why orchestral musicians are bound to wear earplugs: About the ineffectiveness of physical measures to reduce sound exposure",
abstract = "Symphony orchestra musicians are exposed to noise levels that put them at risk of developing hearing damage. This study evaluates the potential effectivity of common control measures used in orchestras on open stages with a typical symphonic setup. A validated acoustic prediction model is used that calculates binaural sound exposure levels at the ears of all musicians in the orchestra. The model calculates the equivalent sound levels for a performance of the first 2 minutes of the 4th movement of Mahler’s 1st symphony, which can be considered representative for loud orchestral music. Calculated results indicate that risers, available space and screens at typical positions do not significantly influence sound exposure. A hypothetical scenario with surround screens shows that, even when shielding all direct sound from others, sound exposure is reduced moderately with the largest effect on players in loud sections. In contrast, a dramatic change in room acoustic conditions only leads to considerable reductions for soft players. It can be concluded that significant reductions are only reached with extreme measures that are unrealistic. It seems impossible for the studied physical measures to be effective enough to replace hearing protection devices such as ear plugs.",
author = "R.H.C. Wenmaekers and B. Nicolai and M.C.J. Hornikx and A.G. Kohlrausch",
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Why orchestral musicians are bound to wear earplugs: About the ineffectiveness of physical measures to reduce sound exposure. / Wenmaekers, R.H.C.; Nicolai, B.; Hornikx, M.C.J.; Kohlrausch, A.G.

In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 142, Nr. 5, 21.11.2017, blz. 3154-3164.

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelWetenschappelijkpeer review

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