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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 98  |  Page : 41--46

Sound Exposure of Choristers

School of the Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University, London, UK

Correspondence Address:
Stephen M Dance
Borough Road, London SE1 0AA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.NAH_40_19

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Choir singing is a very popular activity with 4.5% of the European population regularly participating. London South Bank University was approached in January 2019 by St Paul’s Cathedral to undertake noise dosimetry for the Music Department. Rehearsals and performances were identified and measured using acoustic instrumentation to determine if the choristers, adult choir, choir master or organist were compliant with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. These data were then matched to the daily and weekly work schedules of the musicians and the sound exposure estimated. The adult choir, organist and choir master were found to be under the set daily limits, 85 dBA (LEP,d). The most exposed chorister was above this limit. However, when adjusted for their shorter working year and using the weekly noise exposure limit of 87 dBA (LEP,w), the estimated exposure was compliant with the regulations. Recommendations were presented to the Music Department focusing on management techniques to reduce the weekly exposure of the choristers without effecting the spirit, tradition or musicality of the performance. It was also strongly suggested to reduce the number of performances for the boys by introducing a second choir.


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