An acoustical environment survey of student music practice

Lauren Chung, Angel O. Y. Wong, Lilly A. Leaver, Yuan He, Sriram Boothalingam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic exposure to loud sound leads to noise-induced hearing loss. This is especially common in collegiate-level musicians. Existing methods for estimating exposure typically do not consider genre- or instrument-specific variability in soundscape/spectral characteristics. We measured sound exposure levels (SELs) across instruments, bands, and genres at a university music school. We found (1) considerable variability in SELs across instruments and bands, (2) that Jazz musicians are consistently exposed to the highest sound levels, and (3) that spectral features of music differ between instrument type and genre, and based on room size. These findings highlight the need for tailored guidelines that moderate the implementation of hearing conservation initiatives for collegiate musicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1368-1378
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2022 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 155(2), 1368-1378, and may be found at


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