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A crescendo in the war of the decibel readings


by Olin Chism 8 Apr 2008

There’s a bumper sticker (or maybe it’s the back of a T-shirt) that goes something like this: “If I’m too loud, you’re too old.” Now that youthful derision can be aimed at a new target: the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which no doubt has some old members, but also young ones. The orchestra has stirred […]

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There’s a bumper sticker (or maybe it’s the back of a T-shirt) that goes something like this: “If I’m too loud, you’re too old.” Now that youthful derision can be aimed at a new target: the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, which no doubt has some old members, but also young ones. The orchestra has stirred up a controversy by refusing to play a new composition. It’s simply too loud, say the musicians, citing a 130-decibel reading. That’s the equivalent to a jetliner taking off. The composer and his supporters disagree, but the musicians, who fear being at risk of hearing damage, are sticking to their guns. For more details, click here.

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