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Aural Acuity and Teaching Sound to the Masses

Aural Acuity and Teaching Sound to the Masses

September 26, 2014 In the News

Kanters (2013) reports while trying to reach (and teach) the vast and varied members of the industries and communities associated with (the disciplines of) sound, music, and hearing science, we each use the same words/language (i.e., frequency, amplitude, and time) but (arguably) we speak different dialects. Indeed, he argues, “what we share, then, is the pursuit of technical knowledge to understand and preserve “aural acuity” driven by a passion for art and quality of life.”

Kanters notes that it is surprising to learn how few in audio, music, and hearing science have ever used a sound-level meter. His recommendations for excellent online teaching tools include “Auditory Transduction” by Brandon Pletsch, and others. Kanters reports the remarkable sensitivity of the human ear spans some ten octaves (20 Hz to 20,000 Hz), whereas the human eye perceives (essentially) just under one octave (infrared to ultraviolet, with wavelengths from 400 to 700 nanometers, respectively. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter).

Kanters offers that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safe sound exposure levels versus exposure times, extrapolated here to indicate the differences in safe sound exposure times as SPL increases:

 

Exposure Time

NIOSH (dbA SPL)

OSHA (dBA SPL)

8 hr

85

90

4 hr

88

95

2 hr

91

100

I hr

94

105

30 min

97

110

15 min

100

115

7.5 min

103

120

 

For More Information, References, and Recommendations

Kanters SB. (2013) Bringing Together the Cultures of Music, Audio and Hearing to Better Promote Hearing Awareness. Audiology Today 6:16-23.

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