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Music that is played at an extremely high volume can be annoying to others, is considered by many to be disrespectful, and can sometimes be unlawful

Loud music[1] is music that is played at a high volume, often to the point where it disturbs others and/or causes hearing damage. It may include music that is sung live with one or more voices, played with instruments, or broadcast with electronic media, such as radio, CD, or MP3 players.

Playing loud music that can be heard from outside of the property from where it is being played (such as a house, apartment, hotel room, or motor vehicle) is considered to be rude by many people and societies. Among those opposed to the practice, it may result in the loss of respect and possible legal action. But in certain contained settings, such as clubs or concerts, music is often played very loudly, but is viewed as acceptable.



Many jurisdictions have laws defining loud music as a criminal offense, typically a misdemeanor.[citation needed] The exact definition of what constitutes a loud music violation varies by location, either at a certain volume (measured in decibels) or the distance from the source at which the music can be heard. The time of day is also often a factor in the law, with the restrictions in some places applying only to specified nighttime hours (e.g. 11 PM-7 AM). The amount of effort put forth by law enforcement members in dealing with loud music also varies by location.

The most common punishment for a conviction is a fine or some other small sanction. But on rare occasions, loud music may be grounds for imprisonment. In May 2008, a United Kingdom woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating a court order not to play music that disturbed her neighbors eleven times.[2]

Police have also at times discovered other crimes, such as illegal drug usage, when investigating loud music complaints.[3]

Many public transportation services have rules against the use of sound-producing devices without earphones, or even with earphones if the music can be heard by others.[citation needed] Since mass transit agencies are frequently government-operated and/or subsidized, these rules can be legally enforced, and violation may result in prosecution.

In 2014, Michael Dunn got a conviction after he got into a fight with several young adults over their loud music.[4] After his arrest, he said, "I got attacked and I fought back because I didn’t want to be a victim and now I'm in trouble."


Yellow paint on a piece of film wrap over a bass speaker playing very loud music.

In many settings, loud music is not tolerated by property owners, and may be grounds for certain civil actions, such as eviction from rented property.

Property owners at locations where patrons visit temporarily, such as hotels, campgrounds, or businesses, may order those who play loud music to leave the property.


Continual exposure to loud music may result in hearing loss. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a set of recommendations aimed at protecting the hearing health of musicians and those who work in music and entertainment venues.[5] Depending on the music sound levels and duration of exposure, as well as hearing protection used if any, the risk of hearing damage can vary significantly.[6] Music played at 85 decibels for prolonged periods of times can cause hearing damage, for instance, sound levels at some rock concerts can reach 110-120 A-weighted decibels, and at those levels, the maximum daily limit set by most standards and regulations can be reached in less than one minute of exposure.[7][8]

Continual exposure to loud music can also lead to tinnitus.[9]

It is predicted that exposure to loud music will cause as many as 50 million Americans to suffer hearing loss by 2050.[10]

Excessive drinkingEdit

A study conducted by French scientists showed that loud music leads to more alcohol consumption in less time. For three Saturday evenings researchers observed customers of two bars situated in a medium-sized city in the west of France. Participants included forty males aged between 18 and 25, who were unaware that they were subjects of a research. The study featured only those who ordered a glass of draft beer (25 cl. or 8 oz.). The lead researcher, Nicolas Guéguen, said that each year more than 70,000 people in France die from an increased level of alcohol consumption, which also leads to fatal car accidents.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kai Reed (26 June 2015). "Police: MTA bus driver killed after dispute at neighbor's home". WBAL-TV.
  2. ^ "".
  3. ^ Staff report. "Loud music leads to drug arrests". ECP.
  4. ^ ABC News. "'I Was the Victim,' Says Loud Music Trial Shooter". ABC News.
  5. ^ NIOSH (June 2015). "Reducing the Risk of Hearing Disorders among Musicians" (PDF). Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  6. ^ NIOSH (July 7, 2015). "Turn it Down: Reducing the Risk of Hearing Disorders Among Musicians". Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  7. ^ NIOSH (1998). "Criteria for Recommended Exposure - Occupational Noise Exposure" (PDF). Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  8. ^ the auroran sunset, updated Xavier. "loud music and hearing damage - abelard".
  9. ^ "MSN Health India - Health Tips, Diet, Exercises and Symptoms".[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Aging Nation Faces Growing Hearing Loss, Aging U.S. Population Faces a Looming Crisis in Hearing Loss, Researchers Say - CBS News Archived November 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Guéguen, Nicolas; Jacob, Céline; Le Guellec, Hélène; Morineau, Thierry; Lourel, Marcel (2008). "Sound level of environmental music and drinking behavior: a field experiment with beer drinkers" (PDF). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Research Society on Alcoholism (published 2008-07-21). 32 (10): 1795–1798. doi:10.1111/j.1530-0277.2008.00764.x. PMID 18647281. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-29. Lay summaryScienceDaily (2008-07-18). It will be interesting to encourage the owners of bars to display music with a moderate level in order to struggle against alcohol consumption.