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Barry Blesser, Ph.D. - The Seductive (Yet Destructive) Appeal of Loud Music

2009-02-11, 20:26:00 • English
The Seductive (Yet Destructive) Appeal of Loud Music

By Barry Blesser, Ph.D.

Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Leo Tolstoy, 1890
Introduction to the Right Question

The scientific literature unequivocally proves that prolonged exposure to loud sound produces permanent damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. In addition to published research articles, the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Occupational Safety provides public reports and recommendations. Loud music, like a jackhammer or jet engine, destroys hearing. See the review article about the relationship between loud music and hearing loss (Staff, 2006), which contrasts with many of the studies from 1970s (Dibble, 1995). During the last three decades, something appears to have changed in both the music culture and the technology used to support it.

Why is the warning to reduce the intensity of music often ignored? Few psychologists, audiologists, and hearing researchers ask the relevant question: Why do people choose to listen to music at high intensities? Since so many musicians and music enthusiasts are now choosing to use electronic amplification to raise the volume of music, there must be a good explanation for their behavior. I will argue that loud music is not (a) an accident that arises from ignorance of the consequences, (b) the result of being manipulated for commercial profits, or © a temporary fad that happens to exist in our culture at this moment in time. Excessive loudness serves a function.

more: ..:. blesser.net :.

thx M.

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