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Monday, April 21, 2008

EU to Scotland: Pipe Down!

The bagpipes are under attack from the European Union:
Their high-pitched skirl has put fear into the hearts of Scotland's enemies and sent sensitive tourists reaching for the cotton wool.

Now, however, the bagpipes are to be quietened by an edict from Brussels.

From this month, pipers must adhere to strict volume limits or risk breaking European Union health and safety laws. Bands have been ordered to tone down or wear earplugs to limit noise exposure to 85 decibels.

Typically, a pipe band played at full volume peaks at 122 decibels outdoors, noisier than the sound of either a nightclub or a chainsaw, which rises to 116 decibels.

The prospect of more subdued bagpipes will be welcomed by some, but musicians have warned performances will suffer.
Where's Braveheart when you need him?

UPDATE: These EU laws have also led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to cancel the world premier of a piece by Swedish-Israeli composer Dror Feiler. The average noise level of the piece was 97.4 decibels.

1 comment:

Chris Wilde said...

The other night my wife and I went to a Billy Joel concert. We noticed how many very er...middle-aged people were attending this typically loud rock concert. It made me wonder how soon our old folks homes are going to be filled with people griping, "Why do you kids have to play that music so QUIET!!!? Back in my day, the Rolling Stones used to play music so that you could hear it!"

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