Noise sensitivity and musical background

Invited paper

Marja Heinonen-Guzejev

University of Helsinki, Department of Public Health

Tuesday 2 june, 2015, 10:20 - 10:40

0.4 Brussels (189)

Noise sensitivity, predictor of noise annoyance, is a common and stable personality trait covering attitudes to noise in general. Noise sensitive individuals have a predisposition to attend to sounds and to perceive them negatively. They also display stronger emotional reactions to noise. The aim of this study was to investigate if noise sensitivity is associated with musical background. Subjects were 91 healthy adults, 44 men and 47 women. The age range was from 19 to 52 years. We administered questionnaires and listening tests both online and in the laboratory, focusing on musical background, everyday use of music and musical aptitude. Noise sensitivity was studied using the Weinstein's Noise Sensitivity Scale administered online. Musical aptitude was tested with Montreal Battery of Evaluation Amusia (MBEA) and Seashore tests for Pitch and Time. The subjects were divided into three groups based on the musicianship: non-musicians (n = 34), amateurs (n = 26) and musicians (n = 31). There were no significant differences in noise sensitivity, age and gender between the three groups of musicianship (F<1). The Noise Sensitivity Score was in non-musicians 78.71 18.97, in amateurs 86.62 17.79 and in musicians 81.29 18.12. Also there were no significant correlations between the Noise Sensitivity Score and performance on musicality tests (p > .30).

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