Shielding a musician: a case study on the effectiveness of acoustic shields in live ensemble rehearsals

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca Christine Hammontree Libera (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Michael Burns

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of acoustic shields at reducing sound levels experienced by a bassoonist during rehearsals of two professional orchestras. The primary research question was as follows: Do acoustic shields reduce sound levels experienced by a bassoonist to 85 dBA or below? A preliminary research question was: without an acoustic shield, do bassoonists in professional orchestras experience sound levels that exceed 85 dBA? The 85 dBA limit has been derived from the NIOSH recommended limits of sound-level exposure. Sound levels of a professional bassoonist were measured across sixteen rehearsals during the 2007-2008 concert season. The bassoonist wore Cirrus Research CR: 100B doseBadge sound dosimeters on each shoulder. One of two commercially available acoustic shields was placed behind the bassoonist; shields used were manufactured by Manhasset and Wenger. The results indicated that bassoonists in professional orchestras experienced average sound levels that exceed 85 dBA, and the use of acoustic shields did not reduce average sound levels to 85 dBA.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Acoustic, Bassoon, Level, Orchestra, Shield, Sound
Hearing $x Safety measures $x Research.
Bassoon $x Performance.
Orchestra $x Performance.

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