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Geoffrey Podger responds to "Could you keep the noise down" article in the Evening Standard

The Editor
Evening Standard
Northcliffe House
2 Derry Street
London W8 5TT

6 June 2007

Norman Lebrecht's article "Could you keep the noise down" Evening Standard 6 June is decidedly off key.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been working in partnership with the music and entertainment industry for over two years to bring together practical advice to help reduce hearing damage among musicians. This is hardly 'knee jerking to an EU directive,' as claimed in the article.

No-one, least of all HSE, wants to see the impact of orchestral pieces reduced by asking musicians to perform more quietly. The HSE recognises that those working in the industry are best placed to identify and promote good practice and that is why we have worked with the ABO, the Musicians Union, Theatre and Production Associations and others to help them to bring together practical advice based on their own knowledge and expertise of what can be done to reduce the risk of musicians suffering hearing damage without lessening the public's enjoyment of the performance. This again is hardly the action of an organisation 'off on a zealous mission.' Indeed some of us at HSE are fans of Goetterdaemmerung!

Yours faithfully

Geoffrey Podger
Chief Executive
Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2013-01-23