Posted by Mark on April 02, 2002 at 10:49:40:
In Reply to: 3/24 NYTimes article posted by Mike on April 01, 2002 at 20:44:20:
While I believe the article itself was actually published, the substance of the claim of hearing damage to classical concertgoers is a full-blown Crock. The folks making the claim did no fact-based homework. Anyone in the hearing loss or noise abatement professions will tell you that the figure cited in the article of 85 or whatever decibels has NO meaning for hearing loss without contextual information.
in order for hearing damage to occur, noise levels must be averaged over time (with the exception of extremely loud peaks, beyond what an orchestra can likely produce), and weighted by frequency. A figure of "85 decibels A-weighted average over a two hour period" has meaning. I can tell you that in a typical auditorium seat in a two hour concert that figure doesn't happen. Only at an electronically amplified event (such as a rock concert)will you get that kinda noise exposure from music. To say two hours behind a jackhammer and two hours in a symphony concert are the same, based upon a peak sound measurement is just plain ignorant. Sure, symphonic music gets loud, but only for moments, and generally in a balanced manner frequency-wise.
Do a search for OSHA noise exposure if ya need the specifics.
-- Mark "loud clams damage the spirit more than the ear" Mazak