Posted on: October 10, 2013

When we think of music related hearing loss we often think of loud rock concerts or headphones and mp3 players. These things certainly can damage your hearing. However, a new study from researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland suggests that musicians that play in an orchestra may be some of the most at risk for developing music related hearing loss. Exposure to noise levels over 85 dB for prolonged periods of time can cause hearing loss. Following are examples of some common orchestral instruments and their noise levels:

Trombone: 85 to 114 db
Flute: 85 to 111 db
Cello: 82 to 92 db
Clarinet: 92 to 103 db
Piano (normal practice): 60 to 70 db
Piano (fortissimo): 84 to 103 db
Oboe: 90 to 94 db

Fortunately there are steps that musicians can take to protect their hearing such as using custom hearing protection or noise cancelling headphones when playing for prolonged periods. Using mutes while practicing can also limit exposure. Finally, it is possible to play more softly and amplify the instruments through a PA system as long as it’s directed toward the audience. For more information click on the following link: