Army Bands told to wear earplugs.

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I honestly didn't think they were that bad
Thats taking self criticism to a new level
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#4
What about the audience though?
 

LancePrivateJones

MIA
Book Reviewer
#7
This is old news. It's been in for a while.

Besides, you wear them when firing guns, working on genes... ever tried standing int he middle of a band?
No, but I have sat in the middle of a large orchestra during a Vaughan Williams Symphony.

Apart from Evelyn Glennie I always thought that hearing was a prerequisite for musicians.

For an analogy I would suggest that it is like putting a surgeon in boxing gloves.

I would bet that the genius who came up with this knows absolutely **** all about music.

The members of the profession that I know are pissing themselves.
 
#8
For an analogy I would suggest that it is like putting a surgeon in boxing gloves.

I would bet that the genius who came up with this knows absolutely **** all about music.

The members of the profession that I know are pissing themselves.
Probably, I doon't know too much about music eitehr, although I used to play....

Your analogy is good, but what about a surgeon who each time he works has to put on ever more restrictive gloves?

A musician getting subjected to hearing damage is just going to get worse as he goes on... and then the MoD pay out a vast sum for loss of hearing.
 

LancePrivateJones

MIA
Book Reviewer
#9
Probably, I doon't know too much about music eitehr, although I used to play....

Your analogy is good, but what about a surgeon who each time he works has to put on ever more restrictive gloves?

A musician getting subjected to hearing damage is just going to get worse as he goes on... and then the MoD pay out a vast sum for loss of hearing.
The product of music is achieved by interaction, hearing is the major part of this interaction and is essential to efficient (and listenable) ensemble playing.

I had a pint with a friend who plays in the CBSO this afternoon and he reckons it is the most hilarious and stupid thing he has seen in ages.
He can't wait for them to try it on with his orchestra.
By the way, he has perfect hearing despite 30 years in the profession and thinks this is a pile of bollox.
 
#11
First heard about this about 12 months ago. Apparently each musician is going to receive their own gucci, moulded, super dooper set. When we played with the band last time whilst they were wearing plugs the quality of the music dropped considerably. Possibly due to the fact they cannot hear the drum beats/ bars/ accopelot/ and other musicy things properly.
 
#13
What's really bad for the hearing is loud noises for which the ear is unprepared. Gunshots fall into this category - there is no preceding noise to let the ear adjust - but generally band music lets the ear prepare for the 100+dB sound levels. The exception is percussion. I blame my deafness partially on multiple rehearsals of a particular piece, one of whose movements started with a cymbal crash (performed wrongly, as it happens, with a direct clash rather than a "brush" motion) right behind my head.

Too much sex has to be a factor too, of course...

Talking as a brass band player, but I don't see why military bands should be much different (apart from the sex, that is).

Incidentally, modern hearing aids bring my enjoyment level of the music I play up to about 70% of what it once was. Possibly specialist ear plugs may achieve something comparable... worth avoiding the hearing aids if you can.

(Edited once for brain-deadness)
 
#14
Don't those moulded ear plugs only stop the higher end and unpredicted sounds?

They allow other stuff through don't they?

Or the Bandsmen could get a set of these each...
 
#15
Strictly speaking, the use of Personal Protective Equipment should be a last resort. If a formal risk assessment has identified a risk, then the first consideration should be reducing or eliminating the risk, which gives a few options:
1. Use quieter instruments.
2. Fit the current instruments with noise-attenuation devices.
3. Adopt working practices which reduce the noise level of each instrument (ie don't hit/blow it so hard)
4. Eliminate the risk completely by disbanding the bands.
 
#16
Fixed it for the the good Lt Col

"Lieutenant Colonel Bob Meldrum, principal director of music for the Army, admitted that performing music whilst wearing hearing protection was "not without its challenges", and he said the rule was the stupidest load of old bollox of an order he had ever to issue - it was up there on a par to charge the guns at Balaclava".
 
#17
Strictly speaking, the use of Personal Protective Equipment should be a last resort. If a formal risk assessment has identified a risk, then the first consideration should be reducing or eliminating the risk, which gives a few options:
1. Use quieter instruments.
2. Fit the current instruments with noise-attenuation devices.
3. Adopt working practices which reduce the noise level of each instrument (ie don't hit/blow it so hard)
4. Eliminate the risk completely by disbanding the bands.
5. Eliminate the risk totally by disbanding and banning music.
 
#18
Probably, I doon't know too much about music eitehr, although I used to play....

Your analogy is good, but what about a surgeon who each time he works has to put on ever more restrictive gloves?

A musician getting subjected to hearing damage is just going to get worse as he goes on... and then the MoD pay out a vast sum for loss of hearing.

Do you know or have you ever heard of a musician who went deaf from peforming in an orchestra, per happenstance?.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
are they not going to be the ones that just lower the overall db level rather than cut all noise completely? they still let you hear what is going on. I know a few musicians who use them onstage.
 
#20
I've heard anecdotally that hearing loss or degraded hearing isn't that uncommon in the latter stages of a career in music, and I've used ear plugs myself - although I found they did block out too much and made it difficult to play properly. The trick is to attenuate just enough to take the edge of it, without muffling sound to the point that playing becomes difficult. In-ear monitors with a few dBs attenuation would be ideal.

I was looking at these a few years ago but couldn't justify the expense for what was really just a hobby (which I don't get to indulge the same now anyway): gucci ear plugs

Edited to add: I remember reading an article on hearing loss and hearing protection a few years ago, in which the drummer from Skunk Anansie was recorded playing normally. Peak levels were comparable to a passenger jet taking off.

Edited again to add: 'If the music's too loud, you're too old' or so they say, but then again I've had ringing in my ears the day after a gig, and I don't want the day to come when they never stop ringing. So pipe, slippers and Radio 2 at a modest volume for me, thank you very much.
 

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