Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Which music is worst for hearing problems?

Which kind of musician suffers most from hearing damage?  The metal guys?  Industrial groups?  Grunge bands?  Would you believe CLASSICAL musicians? 

It’s true.  Rock music has been long demonized as the music that makes people deaf.  But if you want the truth, it’s the members of the symphony orchestra that are in the greatest danger of losing their hearing. 

Anywhere from 5 to 30% of rock musicians will experience hearing problems—-but up to 52% of classical musicians have problems.  That’s because when you spend your living sitting in an area surrounded on all sides by loud instruments 8, 10, 12 hours a day (as many classical musicians do), the sound begins to take its toll on your ears. 

For example, if you’re near the brass section, you will experience the government’s maximum weekly noise allowance for industrial noise in just 10 hours.

The last post looked at the controversial lineup of the 1996 Lollapalooza Festival.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37868 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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