Sound Levels of Piano Music

A collection of FAQ's and informative articles on pianos

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Junior Poster
Junior Poster
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Joined: 09 Jun 2004, 09:36

Sound Levels of Piano Music

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Some things you should know

dB(a) is general sound level
dB(b) is low frequency leve

Normal piano practice 60 -70dB(a)
Tuning piano Yamaha C7 Background Noise 39dB Tuning 93.4dB (a) piano peeks at 120db(a) with Test Blow
Fortissimo Singer, 3' 70dB (a)
Chamber music, small auditorium 75 - 85dB(a)

High frequency sounds of 2-4,000 Hz are the most damaging.
The incidence of hearing loss in classical musicians has been estimated at 4-43%,
and in rock musicians 13-30%.

Daily Permissible Noise Level Exposure

8 Hours per day 90dB
6 Hours per day 92dB
4 Hours per day 95dB
3 Hours per day 97dB
2 Hours per day 100dB
1.5 Hours per day 102dB

General Sound Levels

• Quiet bedroom 35dB dB
• Rural night-time background 20-40 dB
• Wind farm at 350m 35-45 dB
• Car at 40mph at 100m 55 dB
• Busy general office 60 dB
• Normal conversation at 3to 5 ft. 60-70 dB
• Telephone dial tone 80 dB
• City traffic from inside your car 85 dB
• Subway train at 200 ft. 95 dB
• Power lawn mower 107 dB
• Power saw 110 dB
• Pain begins at 125 dB
• Pneumatic riveter at 4 ft. 125 dB
• Jet engine at take-off from 100 ft. 140 dB
• Threshold of pain 140 dB
• Loudest sound that can occur 194 dB

The World Health Organization has suggested a standard guideline value for average outdoor noise levels of 55dB(a), applied during normal daytime to prevent significant interference with the normal activities of local communities (also 50dB(a) for indoors, 30dB(a) for bedrooms, and more specific limits such as a 100dB (a)for a four-hour period for concert halls).

For more information on hearing problems and music visit