Minnesota (October 3, 2005)–In news that will come as a shock to absolutely no sound engineers, researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical Center have discovered that all music, regardless of genre, can damage one’s hearing if amplified too loud.
According the New York Times, older research had suggested there was a link between loud rock music and “at least temporary hearing loss.” The new study, however, find that hearing loss is not merely the provence of rock n’ roll.
“There’s a misconception out there that heavy metal is louder than pop, which is louder than country,” lead researcher Dr. David A Opperman told the newspaper. “They’re all loud.”
In an ironic turn of events, researchers generally found that the noise level at metal shows was actually lower than at concerts of other genre–which they attributed to mosh pits. Moshers are apparently too busy crashing into each other to scream and applaud.
Researchers studied the effects of pop, rockabilly and heavy metal concerts held in the same venue on 29 volunteers. In the end, 64 percent of the test subjects who didn’t wear earplugs suffered hearing loss, while only 27 percent of those wearing earplug lost hearing.
The findings were reported to the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation in late September.