The term loud music
is often used to refer to music
that is played at a volume
that disturbs others, such as neighbors
or bystanders, who do not wish to hear the music, or that is otherwise viewed as a nuisance
to the public. It may include music that is sung live with one or more voices
, played with instruments
, or broadcast with electronic media, such as radio
, or MP3 players
Playing loud music that can be heard from outside of the property from where it is being played (such as a house, apartment, hotel room, or motor vehicle) is considered to be rude by many people and societies. Among those opposed to the practice, it may result in the loss of respect and possible legal action. But in certain contained settings, such as clubs or concerts, music is often played very loudly, though in these locations, it is only audible to those who wish to hear the music, and is therefore viewed as acceptable.
Consequences of loud music
Many jurisdictions have laws defining loud music as a criminal offense, typically a misdemeanor
. The exact definition of what constitutes a loud music violation varies by location, either at a certain volume
(measured in decibels
) or the distance from the source at which the music can be heard. The time of day is also often a factor in the law, with the restrictions in some places applying only to specified nighttime hours (e.g. 11 PM-7 AM). The amount of effort put forth by law enforcement members in dealing with loud music also varies by location.
The must common punishment for a conviction is a fine or some other small sanction. But on rare occasions, loud music may be grounds for imprisonment. In May 2008, a United Kingdom woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating a court order not to play music that disturbed her neighbors 11 times.
Police have also at times discovered other crimes, such as illegal drug usage, when investigating loud music complaints.
Many public transportation services have rules against the use of sound-producing devices without earphones, or even with earphones if the music can be heard by others. Since mass transit agencies are frequently government-operated and/or subsidized, these rules can be legally enforced, and violation may result in prosecution.
In many settings, loud music is not tolerated by property owners, and may be grounds for certain civil actions, such as eviction
from rented property
Property owners at locations where patrons visit temporarily, such as hotels, campgrounds, or businesses, may order those who play loud music to leave the property.
Continual exposure to loud music may result in hearing loss
. Depending on the decibel level, the amount of exposure prior to hearing damage varies. Music played at 90 decibels for an 8-hour period each day can cause damage, as can music played at 130 decibels for fewer than 4 minutes in a day. Music played at 140 decibels or higher is considered a "danger level." While minor damage caused by lower levels is reversible, major damage caused by extremely loud music may be permanent. The highest "safe" level is considered to be 85 decibels.
Continual exposure to loud music can also lead to tinnitus.
It is predicted that exposure to loud music will cause as many as 50 million Americans to suffer hearing loss by 2050.
A study conducted by French scientists showed that loud music leads to more alcohol consuption in less time. For 3 Saturday evenings researchers observed customers of two bars situated in a medium-sized city in the west of France
. Participants included 40 males aged between 18 and 25, who were unaware that they were subjects of a research. The study featured only those who ordered a glass of draft beer (25 cl. or 8 oz.). The lead researcher, Nicolas Gueguen, said that each year more than 70,000 people in France die from an increased level of alcohol consumption, which also leads to fatal car accidents.