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 Post subject: The piano and hearing damage?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:27 pm
Posts: 194
Hello all. I had my ears tested two years ago and my hearing was perfect. Now ever since I
started playing piano (a digital piano, Yamaha Nocturne N100) 8 months ago my right ear (the one
nearest the higher registers) is starting to have a slight ache and a ring which gets worse the
more I play. I can actually feel the percussive effect of the high middle registers on my eardrum.
But also listening to piano music hurts too. Has anyone ever heard of hearing
damage occuring specifically due to digital pianos, piano playing or piano music?
Watching TV or listening to other kinds of music does not seem to cause the ache and ring.
I don't think I have the piano volume too high.

Thanks for any help,
Brian


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:22 pm 
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One of my teachers mentioned that digital pianos are bad for technique and hearing, but I practice for eleven years now with a digital piano (technics), and two years ago I got an upright and I only recognized that the digital is bad for my technique. It makes your fingers weak, that's my impression, but I don't think that it has damaged my hearing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:03 pm 
Do you use a headphone?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:28 pm 
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No, speaker volume only. To respond to the finger weakness point earlier,
this keyboard has graded weighted keys and feels pretty close to a real piano.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 5:42 pm 
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I have something strange with the right ear which is triggered by the mid-upper registers at forte and above. Not sure whether is is the same as you have. It is a strange grating noise, distorting the sound. I went to the ear specialist last year but he could not find anything particular. All he could suggest is that maybe there were some of the bony bits grating aginst another. Or that is what I understood, I think he's a very good specialist but I found it a bit unsatisfactory. He suggested I'll have to live with it, and take care when music making. I have an coustic, and come to think of it, I also had trouble with this when playing with two string players earlier this year when they had loud pasages. Strange thing is that other sound sources or instruments (like the organ at full blast) do not give a problem.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:08 pm 
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techneut wrote:
I have something strange with the right ear which is triggered by the mid-upper registers at forte and above. Not sure whether is is the same as you have. It is a strange grating noise, distorting the sound. I went to the ear specialist last year but he could not find anything particular. All he could suggest is that maybe there were some of the bony bits grating aginst another. Or that is what I understood, I think he's a very good specialist but I found it a bit unsatisfactory. He suggested I'll have to live with it, and take care when music making. I have an coustic, and come to think of it, I also had trouble with this when playing with two string players earlier this year when they had loud pasages. Strange thing is that other sound sources or instruments (like the organ at full blast) do not give a problem.


I've had that weird, crinkly, metallic sound at certain pitches when I had an ear infection. Very hard to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. It sounds like a kazoo being played in a plastic grocery bag filled with aluminum foil. So annoying! :lol:

I have my hearing tested annually (and I can play extremely loud) no damage so far; in fact, my hearing has gradually improved over the last 5 years for some reason. Perhaps it is more important to pay very close attention to what we are feeling as we're playing and adjust our volume accordingly (or just put the piano-top down). If damage is being done, there are often subtle signs, such as the aforementioned foreign sounds we hear in an injured ear.

Although I'm no expert, my intuition tells me it is much worse to expose sore, rather than well rested ones, to noise.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:09 pm 
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Location: Obamanation, unfortunately...
try wearing earplugs when you play. Does it still ring? Either your volume is too high, or you are sensitive to higher pitched noises.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:43 pm 
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I finally went to the ear doctor and he discovered through some sort of pressurization test that I
had a mild inflammation in my eustachian tube which was probably pulling on my eardrum.
He gave me some steroids to help the inflammation and now the pain and ringing are
definitely subsiding! It's weird that only piano music caused pain, but I'm definitely overjoyed
to find out that it can be cured. :)

Thanks for the help everyone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:49 pm 
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bclever wrote:
I finally went to the ear doctor and he discovered through some sort of pressurization test that I
had a mild inflammation in my eustachian tube which was probably pulling on my eardrum.
He gave me some steroids to help the inflammation and now the pain and ringing are
definitely subsiding! It's weird that only piano music caused pain, but I'm definitely overjoyed
to find out that it can be cured. :)

Thanks for the help everyone.


I never thought I'd see the day... Pianists on steroids! Is this banned at competitions? ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:10 am 
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Location: U.S.A.
I have tinnitus in both ears--sounds like cicada bugs buzzing all the time. I cannot be sure, but cannot discount either, that it might have resulted from decades of playing the piano. The best ear plugs for musicians are available from Etymotic Research, Inc. Their High Fidelity ear plugs come sized for normal as well as narrow ear canals. They are also very reasonably priced.

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Last edited by Rachfan on Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:01 am 
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Location: New York, U.S.A
I have tinitis on both ears but in my left ear it has gotten bad. I often hear a low sustain third octave E in it. It is really annoying! I once heard it for a full week straight!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:58 am 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 4:43 pm
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Location: Brazil
interesting topic!

I was thinking of it a little ago. My ears were "clipping" in the louder passages, but now it's gone.
I'll try the ear plugs anyway.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:29 am 
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Casper89 wrote:
One of my piano teachers mentioned that digital pianos are bad for technique and hearing, but I practice for eleven years now with a digital piano (technics), and two years ago I got an upright and I only recognized that the digital is bad for my technique. It makes your fingers weak, that's my impression, but I don't think that it has damaged my hearing.

Well I guess it would really depend on what technique one is using but I will agree that in general, when learning how to play piano, digital pianos are not a good idea to start up with.


Last edited by StephenC on Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:47 pm 
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StephenC wrote:
Well I guess it would really depend on what technique one is using but I will agree that in general, when learning how to play piano, digital pianos are not a good idea to start up with.

Topic bump.... Please check posting dates before replying.

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