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By August 29, 2011March 12th, 2012No Comments

The term noise is defined in many ways. The first definition I found of noise in all the electronic dictionaries I surveyed was about our industry of music. Merriam-Webster summed up most publications efforts by stating that noise is “sound; especially one that lacks agreeable musical quality or is noticeably unpleasant”. This is interesting. We have an individual’s opinion as the basis for the definition itself.

Sound that “lacks agreeable musical quality” can be sound that my grandmother would call noise, but I would call Santana. I do not think I would call any of her music noise, but I would surely call the recording process that was used noisy. I do not think I would call younger people’s music as noise. I would call it noise, however, if the compressed mp3 music they are listening to is leaking out from around their ear plugs and entering my ears at the DMV. I am certain the 3 sets of bones in their middle ears are calling all that pressure noise. If not now, they will be in say, 10-20 years.

“Agreeable music quality” must be replaced with “disagreeable music quantity” It really is the sound pressure and level of the pressure that causes our brains to label the phenomenon “noise”. Different pressure levels produce different reactions in different people. It probably is a defense mechanism to protect our hearing.

People tell me if you really want to “hear” pressure go stand next to a jet taking off. Maybe so, I have never done that. I have stood at the starting line where two, nitro burning, 8,000 horse power, funny cars were staged and ready for a green light. When the light hit green, I recorded 170 db, my pant legs were flapping so hard they made noise and my lips were bent out of shape as if my head was out a car window at 120 mph. Now thats noise.


I am a structural engineer as well as a master furniture maker. I design cabinets for low frequency, activated carbon absorbers. Connect with me on Google+

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