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Adding to Eckard Blumshein's comments:
Musicians ear plugs attenuate the airborne sound with only a marginal effect
on the spectrum. However, the ratio of energy of 'bone' conduction to air conduction
becomes much greater, substantially aletering the quality of the perceived sound.
The magnitude of the effect would depend on the amount of bone conduction for
any given instrument. Additionally, the ratio of energy of one's own sound to the
energy of sound from fellow muscians also becomes substantially greater because
of 'bone' conduction--- a musically undesirable situation. Hearing 'beats' for
intonation could be a problem because of the mismatched intensities. It could also
be a problem for ensemble balance. I have found musician plugs useful for
particularly loud pieces in rehearsal. However, I believe this should be a musician's
option and they should only be used on occasion to the extent that they do not have
a substantial effect on artistic quality. Requiring their use would be a mistake.
> Singers with plugged ears are also strongly affected from imbalance
> between airbone sound and so called bone conduction. Perhaps, the
> latter is mainly conducted to the inner ear from CSF via cochlear and
> vestibular aqueducts.
Ward Drennan, Ph. D.
Kresge Hearing Research Institute
Phone: (734) 763-5159
Fax: (734) 764-0014