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Jazz Band sound intensity

  1. Aug 31, 2015 #1
    I recently read about the recommended amount of exposure time to high sound volumes: http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/.

    Since I am in the Band at school I was somewhat concerned about if the sound intensity would be too much. Practice time is 120 minutes and our band has 3 tenor saxophones, 2 trombones, 2 trumpets, 5 alto saxes, 1 drummer, and 1 bari sax.

    I found that my own tenor comes to 83 decibels.

    What would the sound intensity be and would I have reason to be concerned?
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    It depends. I think all of these instruments can be played at different volumes. Also, do you have electronic amplifiers?

    To have a good idea of the actual sound level you would need measurements. But never fear, there is protection.

  4. Aug 31, 2015 #3
    So I measured my tenor sax and its 83 decibels. We don't have electronic amplifiers.
  5. Aug 31, 2015 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    83 db at what distance?
  6. Aug 31, 2015 #5
    Within a foot of the bell
  7. Aug 31, 2015 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    So, every time you double the distance you decrease the db by 6. So at 2 ft you will be at 77 db and at 4 feet you will be at 71 db etc.

    If you are concerned about sound from the rest of the band then you should simply measure it since adding db from multiple sources gets cumbersome.
  8. Sep 1, 2015 #7
    You've got the technical replies, but heed the post from GEvens.

    Yes, you could indeed be in danger of damaging your hearing over a period of time. You would be well advised to wear some kind of ear protection as the damage done when young often doesn't become apparent until later in life - when there's nothing you can do about it! Don't take the risk; take it from one who knows!
  9. Sep 2, 2015 #8
    I guess I should. I did try measuring it in the band but it turns out the app caps at 85 dB because my device's hardware cannot detect anymore.

    So I guess I should just get ear protection.
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