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 Post subject: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2000 6:27 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Just last weekend when I went to a performance of the Georgian Singers and Dancers (and wrote of my view of it in "Other Dance") I mentioned that my only complaint was the volume at which it was miked. This is an ongoing complaint of mine.<P>We had tickets once for a performance of the Netherlands Danse Theater. It was the only dance performance that I can ever remember walking out of. In this case we had traveled one hundred miles to the theater and spent the night at a hotel behind the theater - so it entailed a fair investment of time and funds. All of which would have been well worth while except that both I and my companion could not bear the volume of the taped music.<P>As a dancer, the last thing I want to do is walk out of a theater in the midst of a performance, but we found the level of sound utterly unbearable. There were complaints all around us, as others in the audience also felt similarly assaulted. Not only can such volume be extremely uncomfortable, but it is also quite dangerous. I think that the generation younger than I, are really in trouble, if not immediately, then eventually, from the volume of sound to which they exposing themselves.<P> There have been a fair number of articles in U.S.News & World Report on this matter as well as in some journals that deal with hearing, deafness and tinnitus. Some venues that cater to younger people (such as video game arcades and movies that market to a young audience) purposefully turn up the volume at even higher levels than normal. <P>I think that the only way this issue can be addressed is for people to be aware of it. The nerves in your ears are the most sensitive nerves in your body - and the most delicate - and there is no way yet known to rehabilitate damaged nerves.<P> We as dance teachers have a role to play in this. We also play music for young people. In ballet class the music is usually at a fairly modest level, but I have witnessed some jazz, tap and modern classes where the volume could be heard literally across a college campus. On one occasion I mentioned it to the teacher (I have the bravery of age) and she told me she was aware of it, but that she had already lost much of her hearing do to the loud music, so it didn't concern her. Wow


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 12:45 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
I know what you mean Basheva. Some anecdotes from my own experiences:<P>I can remember a fine perfromance by The Cholmondeleys, which was wrecked for me by the <B>VERY</B> loud live jazz accompaniment. Actually it was very loud only at the start, but from then on I cringed whenever i thought it was going to get really loud again. I was in such a temper that I didn't enjoy the dance at all.<P>I also attended a Ballet Gwent performance at Bexhill where the recorded accompaniment was much too loud. I went out and spoke to the Front of house people and they turned it down a bit. At the interval I pointed out that it was still too loud and some other audience members agreed and they turned it down further. Sometimes you can take action.<P>I'm an enthusiastic applauder and bravo-er, but a woman next to me at Merce last night had a very piercing whistle, which made me cover my ears every time she did it, after 'Biped'.<P>When I was at College, an Acoustics lecturer of mine got permission to go to a Jimi Hendrix concert to measure the sound levels. He left after 5 minutes, as the sound levels he was seeing in his instruments scared him more than somewhat. i seem to remember a survey that showed that, on average, US students have a measurably lower hearing facility at the end of their course compared to the start.<P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 12, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 5:04 am 
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agree, basheva!<P>i find it bothersome, too, that one appears to be a wimp of some sort, by being concerned about it.<P>as you say, age brings the courage of one's convictions, so i now don't care TOO much about covering my ears discreetly with my hands as a protective measure...and i've probablty commented to management once (but no more) on one occasion when the volume was at assault level.<P>i guess what surprises me - and salzberg can fill us in here, i'm sure - is "isn't there some permissible maximum limit within a concert hall/theatre?" (i'm not talking about rave venues or nightclubs here..), and wouldn't that permissible limit be a commonly acceptable volume, i.e. (at the top end of) reasonably comfortable, at all spots in the theatre....? <P>basheva, like your teacher story, i was having a private little apoplexy last week when my 2 year old neice with virgin ears stood in front of her big sister's drum kit speakers, while older sis accompanied some heavy metal music......in an instant turmoil of 'what to do?!?' because 'mum' was oblivious, standing by, while i couldn't wait to get baby out of there....when i mentioned it to 'mum', she said, genuinely surprised and taken aback: "but it's not bothering ME...."<P>poor little ears....

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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 6:05 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I have a couple of times gotten the volume turned down at movie theaters - and here it is possible to get a money refund within the first 20 minutes of the show at a movie house. My husband and I usually go and complain separately so management sees two complaints instead of a husband/wife team. <P>Baseball games and football games are another place that are a sound horror. The noise of the audience is picked up by microphones around the stadium and fed back through speakers - so the volume is doubled. It seems to me, that in our society noise is being equated with "having fun". The more noise, ipso facto - we are having fun. I have even walked out of dress shops because of the volume of music played in the store. And, there is a restaurant or two that has lost my business, too. <P>As for what Stuart said about the lady with a whistle - it seems to me that people in a formal theater setting used to applaud - and there was an occasional bravo/brava. But now I seem to be hearing lots of those high pitched screaming from the audience which I find virtually unbearable if the screamer is near me. I also see it (I am an old lady, remember?) as a lack of decorum. Silly me.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 6:44 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>guess what surprises me - and salzberg can fill us in here, i'm sure </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I dunno; you know how reticent I always am to offer an opinion. . . .<P>Surprisingly, in the US there are no regulations concerning sound levels in entertainment venues -- or at least there were none several years ago when I was managing a theatre that had several rock shows each year. Remember the political schizophrenia here; we have a significant minority who complain about excessive government regulation while remaining blissfully ignorant of the fact that we are one of the <I>least</I> regulated and taxed countries on earth.<P>I extrapolated the federal OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)regs on noise levels in the work place (It was, after all my employees' -- and mine -- work place), which worked out to 100 dB SPL* measured at the back of the house. We enforced it, too. This is significantly less volume than the average rock show is accustomed to.<P>Road Manager: "I have a very unhappy sound engineer."<P>Me: "Fortunately, I'm not in the business of making sound engineers happy."<P>* If you want to know what this means, go the "Backstage" and ask there -- we need the traffic.<P><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 6:55 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Salzberg said:<BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Road Manager: "I have a very unhappy sound engineer."<P>Me: "Fortunately, I'm not in the business of making sound engineers happy."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Good to know that such decourous and restrained language is used in the rock concert world.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 7:54 am 
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Location: Australia
Amen to that! Image

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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2000 10:45 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I am trying to reach back into my memory about a recent article I read in Tinnitus Today Magazine re sound volume in movie theaters. I believe that there is a voluntary agreement on noise levels. However, it was noted that even though the featured film might remain within the standards of the agreement, the Upcoming Attractions do not. It is well known in the industry that coming attractions are tweaked to a higher level than the featured film. It is also understood in the industry, from what I have read, that movies intended for youngsters do not adhere to those voluntary limits. <P>What has especially upset me, are the dance teachers who turn up the sound in a comparatively small room, usually with quite young people, out of all proportion with what is necessary - and then the teacher justs screams out corrections/instructions on top of that!! I knew of one rather small studio (small in square footage) which actually blew out a floor to ceiling speaker. One can only wonder what happened to the ears of the dancers - the speaker was replaced.<P>


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 3:22 am 
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Good to know that such decourous and restrained language is used in the rock concert world. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Sometimes. On the other hand, I repeat that exchanges that occurred when we had Siouxie and the Banshees, but it would probably rekindle the War of 1812, so I won't.<BR>

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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 4:23 am 
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You had Siouxsie and the Banshees?? Awesome!!!<P>'Spellbound' is an all time great. Did you get an autograph? <p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited October 13, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 4:55 am 
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Decorous and restrained language with a rock band? Give me a break!


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 Post subject: Re: The Ears Have It
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2000 1:05 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Maggie - they have to shout out those words in a rock band - 'cause they are all almost deaf.


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