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Music volume and age

GUEST,Ed 07 Jul 16 - 03:18 PM
Nigel Parsons 07 Jul 16 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Ed 07 Jul 16 - 03:36 PM
Helen 07 Jul 16 - 03:55 PM
Joe_F 07 Jul 16 - 04:17 PM
Helen 07 Jul 16 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,pauperback 08 Jul 16 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery 09 Jul 16 - 05:47 AM
leeneia 09 Jul 16 - 09:46 AM
Stilly River Sage 09 Jul 16 - 10:23 AM
Bonzo3legs 09 Jul 16 - 12:31 PM
punkfolkrocker 09 Jul 16 - 01:08 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 09 Jul 16 - 03:03 PM
punkfolkrocker 09 Jul 16 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Desi C 10 Jul 16 - 05:36 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jul 16 - 06:05 AM
Jim Carroll 10 Jul 16 - 06:12 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Jul 16 - 11:21 AM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 16 - 12:43 PM
Phil Cooper 10 Jul 16 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,PeterC 10 Jul 16 - 02:24 PM
Bonzo3legs 10 Jul 16 - 02:27 PM
Jack Campin 10 Jul 16 - 02:37 PM
Reinhard 10 Jul 16 - 04:06 PM
Raggytash 10 Jul 16 - 04:13 PM
Bonzo3legs 11 Jul 16 - 05:59 AM
Harmonium Hero 11 Jul 16 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,HiLo 11 Jul 16 - 09:52 AM
leeneia 11 Jul 16 - 10:50 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jul 16 - 10:59 AM
Ged Fox 12 Jul 16 - 03:04 AM
leeneia 12 Jul 16 - 10:50 AM
GUEST,JTT 12 Jul 16 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Ed 12 Jul 16 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,JTT 12 Jul 16 - 03:23 PM
Helen 12 Jul 16 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Ed 12 Jul 16 - 03:56 PM
Helen 13 Jul 16 - 02:09 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Jul 16 - 03:08 AM
Ged Fox 13 Jul 16 - 03:45 AM
leeneia 13 Jul 16 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,pauperback 13 Jul 16 - 11:10 PM
Rumncoke 19 Jul 16 - 08:47 PM
Ebbie 19 Jul 16 - 11:57 PM
GUEST,DTM 20 Jul 16 - 08:58 AM
Rumncoke 20 Jul 16 - 07:44 PM
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Subject: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 07 Jul 16 - 03:18 PM

There's a summer carnival and fun fair in my town this weekend. Watching it being set up over the last few days, I've noticed a sign on one of the rides:

"If it's too loud, you're too old."

Now I'm 48, with, I think, fairly acute hearing (I can hear a distant 'phone when others can't etc.) However, I much prefer lower volumes with music as I age.

This seems slightly counter intuitive. My ability to read small print has noticeably weakened over the last year or two. If this can be extrapolated to the other senses, then surely I'd prefer louder music as I got older and my sense of hearing fades?

I've not delved into any biological reasons, but any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 07 Jul 16 - 03:28 PM

Any thoughts?

The first one is that the carnival is planning on playing its music louder than is permitted, but hopes no one will complain for fear of being thought "too old"


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 07 Jul 16 - 03:36 PM

No, Nigel

Marketing bravado, isn't the point.

Why people prefer quieter music as they get older is...


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Helen
Date: 07 Jul 16 - 03:55 PM

Hi Ed,

I think that loud music which is not properly balanced or mixed has a lot of distracting sounds, and younger ears can focus on the important bits while "ignoring" the irrelevant sounds.

Older ears are probably more like the sound pick-up in hearing aids. Every sound e.g. traffic noise, expresso machine noise, loud nearby chatter, etc is picked up and it is harder to isolate only the part that you are interested in.

That's my (61 year old) opinion, but then again, I never really did like my music turned up loud. I put up with it if I am watching a band I really like but I listen to the CD's at a volume which makes it easy for me to hear how the music is all put together, the instruments, the arrangements, the melodies, accompaniment and harmonies etc.

I do like a lot of different styles of music, including rock, punk (The Pogues is my current favourite), folk, classical, electronica (especially Leftfield), world music, blues, jazz, swing. You name the music style and I probably have listened to it or have a CD or two which I listen to on a regular basis.

But I listen to all of my music in a holistic way, and very loud music makes that difficult.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Jul 16 - 04:17 PM

Back in the '60s, I read somewhere that rock'n'roll was damaging the hearing of its fans. I thought: If they keep turning up the volume to compensate, they will be an even greater nuisance to their children than they are to their parents.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Helen
Date: 07 Jul 16 - 05:18 PM

I used to work in a library and about 30 years ago an older man would borrow talking books for the visually impaired, i.e. audio books.

He used to complain if we gave him books read by a woman. I just thought it was some sort of aversion to women reading the books until someone in his family told me he couldn't hear the higher register of a woman's voice so he was missing out on half the story.

I think he had industrial deafness caused by being exposed at work to constantly loud machinery. My Dad developed that too. He was a motor mechanic working on large trucks.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 08 Jul 16 - 08:51 AM

I've not delved into any biological reasons, but any thoughts?

Manopause?


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 05:47 AM

I wonder if part of it is to do with the march of technology, and the developements in Sound reinforcement and quality. Back in the '50s and before, in fact right up to the mid '60s an amplifier of 30-50 Watts was considered really big, and until the late 60's 100 Watts was almost unheard of !!,Nowadays with big P.A systems operating in megawatts, it is perfectly possible to produce good quality sound at a much higher volume than previously.
Younger people have grown up with the expectation that live music will be LOUD !! whereas the older generation still remember the days when such volume was technically impossible to achieve, and consequently tend to expect music to still be at the volume that they experienced in their youth. In other words your expectations of what is normal and comfortable in terms of volume are conditioned by your earliest experiences of listening to music.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: leeneia
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 09:46 AM

Loud noise can do two things to the ears. It can deafen, or it can lead to over-sensitive ears.

Inside the cochlea (shell) there are tiny, hairlike nerve endings. Truly loud noise can break them right off, and the "root" where they were attached becomes sensitive to future loud noise. High-pitched nerve endings are especially vulnerable. I have that problem.

Another problem that can follow is ringing in the ears. There's a theory that the ringing is caused by the brain, which is trying to re-create the input it should be getting from those lost nerves.

I learned this from an article in a magazine by an audiologist and from two hearing M.D.'s (whatever you call that specialty.) At one point a hearing test caused me such pain that I screamed "No! No!" and leapt out of my chair. The damn assistant didn't offer even a flicker of apology. She was like a robot, hurting me.

Almost all the blasts of sound which have hurt me were preventable. The sign should say, "IF the music is too loud, you have been victimized by fools."


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 10:23 AM

I never did like music too loud, but when I was young, was voted down if the request was made to turn down the volume. I consequently stopped going to events that were bound to have very loud music.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 12:31 PM

I have found at soixante-neuf that certain loud sounds can be painful - children screeching, telephone voices picked up via bluetooth in a car, any opera and classical music.

However - Morris on LP, Led Zeppelin live at Southampton University 22/01/73, Steve Morse Band are most pleasing to my ears if at a deafening level!!!


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 01:08 PM

simple rule of thumb for live band PA sound....

Bass needs to be turned up to chest pounding levels

Hi Mids & Treble need to be lowered until they cause least pain and discomfort...

Drum kits with too many cymbals should be assertively discouraged....

.. and always carry a pair of "musicians's earplugs"* in your pocket.. just in case..


[* affordable, and designed to reduce volume levels whilst still providing a reasonable balanced non muffled sound] 😎


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 03:03 PM

If the bass is turned up enough to be chest thumping it gets you worried at my age, is it the music or.....


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Jul 16 - 03:19 PM

.. as long as the PA doesn't emit any infrasonic 'Brown Notes'... 😜


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 05:36 AM

Well, I'm 65 now but even in my teens I hated loud music or should I sy music being playd too loud, for me loudnes just kills good music. I play mostly i Folk clubs and apart from maybe the odd electric Bass I hate to see electric guitars


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 06:05 AM

If music has to be loud it has nothing else to offer other than volume.
The 'pump-up-the-volume arrogance of today's music producers seems to work on the assumption that everyone likes it.
Personally, I will not, on principle, enter public buildings which have loud music of any form blasting out as for phone muzak....!
!984 come at last.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 06:12 AM

Meant to add, as a keen cinema-goer, I'm getting very hacked off at film soundtracks played at pain-inducing levels.
I have inherited a family hearing condition and am forced to wear two hearing aids, so if I have problems, gawd only knows what is happening to the hearing of youngsters undergoing volumes that are now being inflicted on music venues.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 11:21 AM

Ok.. let's just talk about 'folk' venues and events.

Relatively affordable sound reinforcement technology exists for providing high audio quality at sensible safe volume levels..

Music technology courses have been popular with students for at least 2 decades...

So why do so many folkie PA 'engineers' still seem to get it so wrong...???


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 12:43 PM

The most annoyingly loud events I've heard in recent years have been at accordion and fiddle clubs. Why does a Jimmy Shand lineup need to be driven to threshold of pain?

On the other hand I've always rather liked very loud metal. Bass that affects the whole body is a genuine part of the experience, and done right the melody can still come through clearly.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 01:24 PM

We have found in a couple folk venues that even though we ask the sound guy to keep levels lower and the treble turned down that he keeps messing with it during the set. It seems like he looks for the quietest songs/tunes to push the "suck" button, and annoying feedback results. I believe that is due to the fellow's high end hearing being damaged, so he tweaks the treble till he can hear it and then all hell breaks loose.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 02:24 PM

My very first 'live' concert was in about 1955, (I was aged 15) The Ken Colyer Jazzmen. Was a bit late arriving, so held outside the hall, until the first tune came to an end. It was, even outside the hall, loud! When I went in to claim my seat, there was the usual trad band line up - trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, bass, and drums. No PA at all. Even from half way back in the 400 seater hall it was very very loud!
Today trad band line ups seem to need every instrument miked up (Saw Chris Barber recently) Why? I do not get it!
Classical music ensembles do not seem to need amplification to be heard.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 02:27 PM

The most useless sound I have ever heard was at Croydon Folk Club last year for a Clive Gregson gig. He became so pissed off with it in the second set that he just played acoustic!!


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 02:37 PM

For me the absolute pits was Leith Folk Club back when they used a pub room that was basically a large stone box. The club's sound guy (dead now, I think) used settings that might just have worked in a carpeted room with flock wallpaper and the audience in fur coats. You could hardly hear anything for shrieks, howls and uncompensated peaks. I gave up on LFC entirely and have never been back.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Reinhard
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 04:06 PM

I'm not yet 60 and I usually enjoy folk concerts whenever I find them in Germany. But last February I was at a Seth Lakeman solo gig in a club in Hamburg that was so loud I had to sit with hands over my ears and I left in the interval. Luckily the PA had problems in between and Seth played two beautiful unamplified songs. So at least I got a little bit of worth for my ticket.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Raggytash
Date: 10 Jul 16 - 04:13 PM

I've never liked loud music even as a youth. I've never liked loud conversation or loud noise of any description.

I do enjoy the beauty of silence on the very rare occasions that I experience it, excepting the sound of the wind or the waves and birdsong.

(I'm not too sure about the birds)


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 05:59 AM

Loudest gig I ever went to was the Kenny Jones Gang at Hurtwood Park Polo Club - inside the club house which is a converted barn. The gent on the mixer told me that they had 10k watts at their disposal. It was far beyond deafening to start with, but you ears shut off at that volume, and my recording was as clear as a bell!!


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 08:49 AM

This kind of thing makes me angry. So much so that I can't be arsed getting involved in the debate - not good for my nerves - except to say that I can assure you from personal experience that age has bugger-all to do with it. British sound engineers, as a rule, seem to have a serious hearing problem. And folk clubs should not need amplification.
John Kelly.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 09:52 AM

For me there is a difference between loud music at home, I like opera at a fairly high volume, if I am home alone. But when I go into a public space, I dislike very loud music. Most of
the folk sessions I attend take place in fairly small venues, legion halls and pubs. If I walk in and see that half the room is taken up with "equipment", I just turn round and walk out.
I also leave restaurants where the "background" music is so loud that you cannot have a conversation.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: leeneia
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 10:50 AM

Harmonium Hero, you are right. Age has bugger-all to do with it.

My mother had her hearing checked at age 75. When the audiologist was finished, he called a student in and said, "This is Mrs. ****. Mrs. **** has the best hearing of anyone I have ever tested."

Why? My mother never worked in a factory, rode in an airplane once, and did not attend rock concerts. There was no amplification (hence, no feedback) at our church, and we kids never played our stereo loud.
Her hearing was protected from the modern age.

I inherited her kind of hearing. Lord, I wish I could have it back again.
============
Somebody upthread said musicians' hearing plugs are cheap. Say what? Mine were custom made, and the set cost $350. I never got to try them, because they box they came in a box that resembled a jeweler's box, and somebody stole them.

I carry ear "plugs" almost everywhere I go. I like the soft waxy kind, (Mack's) which I mold and press over the ear opening. They are great on airplanes, on subways, in traffic, etc. They can be bought in an ordinary drugstore.

If I think a concert will be too loud (piccolo - grrr!) I use them to block sound but not to seal off my ear opening completely.

On long plane flights I seal off my ears then put headphones right over them and listen to good music. The music has to be high, though. Flute, violin, dulcimer, sopranos come right through, but cellos, bass viols, are blocked. Try it; you'll like it.

It's been a long time since I went to a folk concert indoors. Back when we had bands and sound men, it was so loud that sound hit the walls and came back, muddying everything. Speech was usually undecipherable.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jul 16 - 10:59 AM

Leenia - of course your musician's earplugs weren't cheap...

You opted for the deluxe made to measure plugs fitted by clinical audiologists....

I recommended the genuinely affordable products that are readily available on amazon and ebay,
and suit most musician's reasonable requirements....


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Ged Fox
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 03:04 AM

"I thought: If they keep turning up the volume to compensate, they will be an even greater nuisance to their children than they are to their parents."
I'm sure that is true, not only because of damage to the ears but also because of the increased stress levels caused by living in an environment where ALL CONVERSATION HAS TO BE CARRIED ON AT SHOUTING LEVEL.

But I also heard somewhere that the adrenalin levels associated with excitement or fear are necessary to growth. Loud music with a strong beat is probably one way to boost adrenalin, so such music is appropriate for young people but not so beneficial to older ones.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 10:50 AM

Ged, I suspect that the typical modern kid gets enough excitement and fear from the news, from sports, from movies, computer games and neighborhood bullies. There's no need to add to the load.

If the authors were talking about neglected babies who are never stimulated, that's different.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 01:44 PM

As I get older I increasingly long for a big mortar to bring into restaurants where they have music drowning out all conversation; oh to point it at the CD player/MacBook and blow it to kingdom come! Why do people want eternal music while they eat? Or is it the staff that want it?


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 02:59 PM

I asked, I think a fairly reasonable and fairly well expressed question wondering as to why I prefer quieter music as I get older.

For whatever reason, Harmonium Hero responds with:

This kind of thing makes me angry...I can assure you from personal experience that age has bugger-all to do with it.

This sounds very much like the person who suggests that having known a heavy smoker who lives to 102, 'proves' that smoking isn't bad for you...

Age clearly affects hearing, but if you're too blind to see, or too deaf to hear...


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 03:23 PM

Yeah, my poor old dog doesn't hear me when I whistle any more. Older is nearly always deafer.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Helen
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 03:46 PM

Hi Ed,

I interpreted what Harmonium Hero said as loud music - or especially badly managed sound systems - can be annoying at any age.

Your topic was, why does loud music get more annoying as we get older, i.e. "My ability to read small print has noticeably weakened over the last year or two. If this can be extrapolated to the other senses, then surely I'd prefer louder music as I got older and my sense of hearing fades?"

So if my reading glasses prescription has to get stronger and stronger because I progressively get less and less able to read the fine print, why is it the other way around with hearing? Why does listening to music played at loud volumes get more difficult?

I offered the possible explanation above about being less able to isolate the noises we are interested in hearing, so we are more likely to hear everything, rather than focusing on specific noises. (My biggest bugbear in cafes is the espresso coffee machine. It cuts through everything, and then the icing on the cake is the loud music played in some cafes.)

Someone else - Leeneia maybe - mentioned the fine hairs or cilia which can be damaged with age and reduce the ability to hear specific ranges of sound.

I think that I can confidently say that WE HEAR YOU, Buddy! LOL

I think we are pretty much in agreement about listening to loud music, and some of the posters are adding that it might not just be age-related for some people.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 12 Jul 16 - 03:56 PM

Thanks, Helen.

Whilst I'm probably younger than many here, I can still be a grumpy old git!


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Helen
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 02:09 AM

I've recently & proudly taken on the label of Bitter And Twisted Old Biddy, or BAT-O-Biddy.

Sometimes grumpy is the correct response.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 03:08 AM

I used to love Young's pubs in London - they operated a no music, no television policy so people went in to talt to (not shout at) each other.
The beer was magnificent and the pubs were always full - a double-edged lesson to be learned by any brewery.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Ged Fox
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 03:45 AM

Leenia, I heard the comment about youngsters' need for adrenalin in a conversation about lads jumping off a high tower into the sea. Whatever causes of fear or excitement there might be around, loud music is a relatively harmless (in the short term) option which young people are quite entitled to choose as their preferred stimulant.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 09:55 PM

Okay, but not if:

1. It's so loud they grow deaf.

2. It makes others miserable. Imagine, for example, a teething baby, who endures a lot of pain and longs for sleep, and it's awakened by a blast of loud music from the neighbor's house.

Same for the meat man who has to wake up for work at 3 AM and wants to get to sleep at 9 PM.

Some years ago in my city, there was a Megadeth concert at the stadium which blasted people for blocks around with their hideous noise. It was resented.

I'm sure you get the idea.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 13 Jul 16 - 11:10 PM

Some of that hideous noise is MTV theme music.


"It was something that was almost subliminally piped into everybody's house for 10 years, and it's amazing what an effect it has on people.

There's no escaping, it seems.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Rumncoke
Date: 19 Jul 16 - 08:47 PM

When I was younger I could hear bats - probably some bats, as they vary.

I did not go to places with loud music without ear defenders, because the noise hurts.

Last weekend I went to Weymouth to hear some shanties - at the old town hall, took along my daughter and son in law. At the end of an enjoyable evening they blasted us with Perry Como singing 'Fly with me' - daughter and I put hands over ears and screamed, then left as soon as we could. My ears were ringing for almost a day.

It was a good thing that I did not have ear defenders, if my hands had been free they'd have been looking at some audio equipment which had just had a close encounter with a stone floor.

Yes, a good evening, but I'll not go again.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jul 16 - 11:57 PM

Rumncoke, I read somewhere that most people lose the ability to hear bats at around age 14. I know that I heard them longer than that because I still remember the pitch, but I lost the ability long ago.

Speaking of ear plugs, a friend told me that one evening LOUD music was coming from a patio several houses up the street. She finally gave up trying to ignore it and strolled up the street to investigate.

Four or five youngsters where whaling away on electric instruments- each musician was wearing ear plugs.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: GUEST,DTM
Date: 20 Jul 16 - 08:58 AM

New proverb: Music isn't loud when the listener is in charge of the volume contol.


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Subject: RE: Music volume and age
From: Rumncoke
Date: 20 Jul 16 - 07:44 PM

I was in my mid to late thirties when I heard the bats at sunset hunting insects over a river, between two rows of trees - presumably Noctules.
I found them from their squeaking - but no one else who'd been at the event came with me when I went to investigate - because they could not hear anything.
It was rather memorable to watch them scooting up and down the length of the avenue of trees, so wonderfully agile in flight.

The local pet shop used to sell dog whistles which were supposed to be silent, for Humans - but I could hear them. These days I have tinnitus thanks to my neighbour firing a starting pistol at me, but I suspect that my hearing is still pretty acute.


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