The world is too loud for singers

5 April 2018

Dear Dr. Winslow,

One of my grad students was working on a project about voice conservation, and I just wanted to share this image as food for thought. This is a box plot graph of the sound levels of five restaurants around our campus that students frequent for lunch. IQRs hitting above 75dBa, with peaks approaching 85dBa are just shocking to me. Those peaks are roughly equivalent to talking while a freight train speeds by about 100 ft away. And of course, most of the acoustic energy in the restaurants falls below 2kHz... Yelp needs loudness ratings.


Box Plot.png


Dr. Ian Howell
Voice Faculty
Vocal Pedagogy Director
The New England Conservatory of Music