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The Sound Of Music


Music is an organised sequence of pleasing sounds. Different types of melodies evoke varied feelings. Which musical categories appeal to you?

Rock

Many people associate this type of music with heavy metal, drugs and angst. However, rock is about more than vice and rage. Its earliest form, rock and roll was popularised by performers like Elvis Presley, who fused his music with country groove and blues. This resulted in rockabilly, with a rhythm characterised by up-tempo, accented offbeats and a distinctively slapping bass.

British influences affected this genre of music too. Bands such as the Beatles introduced folk rock. Other rock forms such as psychedelic music, hard rock, punk rock, grunge and alternative or indie rock also evolved over the years. To introduce yourself to rock, you can start with "soft rock" like Jon Bon Jovi or newcomer Bo Bice.

Country Music

When we think of country music, we often conjure up images of cowboys and lonely ranches. Indeed, this form of music had its roots in the USA's mid-west and south. Typically characterised by laidback grooves and rock and roll influences, country music is a catch-all category that also embraces the fusion of different genres of music such as folk, blues and gospel.

Nashville Sound is a more polished version of country music. Sounding a little like folk-pop, this "vanilla" version has since evolved to develop snazzier tempos that appeal to more people. Examples of singers who have crossed over from country to pop music or infused a tinge of country flavour in their pop tunes are Leanne Rimes, Faith Hill and recent American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood.

Can You Hear This?

High school students were more likely than adults to say they have experienced three of the four symptoms of hearing loss. About 30 million Americans suffer from some form of auditory disorder, with a third of these said to be people with noise-induced hearing loss

Loud noises destroy the tiny hair cells in the inner ear which signal the auditory nerve to send sound messages to the brain. Once these cells die, they never grow back. According to doctors, you begin to experience hearing loss once 25 per cent to 30 per cent of these cells disappear. 

Constant exposure to noises like heavy traffic measuring 90 decibels for eight hours a day, five days a week, places the person at a significant risk of getting noise-induced hearing loss eventually. Higher sound levels of, say, 115 decibels, equivalent to a rock concert, require only 15 minutes of daily exposure to cause damage. 

According to the poll by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 40 per cent of students and adults say they set the volume at "loud" on their iPods, Apple has declined to provide information on the maximum output for its devices, but experts say MP3 players have maximum sound output levels comparable to the sound level of a jet engine.

The survey also showed that students are more likely than adults to say they have experienced three of the four symptoms of hearing loss: turning up the volume on their television or radio; saying "what" or "huh" during normal conversation; perceiving that people's voices are mumbled or muffled; and having tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

  Need to turn up volume Saying "What" or "huh" Other appear to be mumbling Tinnitusnging in the ears)
Adults 26% 21% 16% 12%
High School Students 28% 29% 13% 17%

Can You Do This?

If you must use earbuds, follow the 60 per cent/30 minute rule - listen to sound levels no more than 60 per cent of the maximum volume and use earbuds for no more than 30 minutes a day.

 

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