Christmas Music update

Yes, it is getting to that time of year!  Some of my neighbours have their lights up already!

xmas in mall

This article isn’t about noise (though it makes a brief reference to volume) – but it does bolster the argument about playing music that impinges on everybody, without anyone giving their permission for the impingement.

Have a good December, and I hope you are not bombarded by music you don’t want to hear!

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Electric Cars Will Sing

Electric cars will sing

Have you ever been taken by surprise by a hybrid or electric car suddenly and silently appearing beside you?  It can be quite a shock.

electric car

Well, Nissan is ready to address the danger of silent electric cars – they are going to have them sing! This year Nissan has introduced its new “Canto” model, so named because “cantera” is Latin for “to sing”, and “Canto” means “I sing”.

The EU and other jurisidictions have legislated that electric cars have to make some noise as a safety measure for blind or visually impaired pedestrians who will no longer have petrol engine sounds to warn them of approaching vehicles. To meet these requirements, Nissan states:

“The Canto will change the sound Nissan cars make while driving, varying in pitch and tone depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or reversing, almost sounding like electronic music.” (

Sadly, if you watch this video, the “singing” of this car is as annoying as the accelerating/decelerating noise of a regular car. Let’s hope they improve the vocals before they ship them out to dealers!

If you watch this video, which tells you more abou this new car, try to figure out if the voice-over is a human being or a computer.

(BTW – if you have not sat inside a hybrid or electric car, you should try one.  The QUIET is absolutely amazing! Really and truly!)

Let’s hope they solve the warning noise issue and that we can get more electric and therefore quiet cars on the road. But maybe they can re-think the singing.



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Greetings.  The NC has been off the radar for a while!

Today I got an email from a friend who has just started reading R. Murray Schafer’s book “Soundscape”.  Which led me to reminiscing about Shafer’s foundational contribution to the whole field of studying noise and its impact on the world.


So today, an older NFB film about Mr. Schafer.  You can view it here.

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Jets (the ones in the air, not the football team)





jet engine

Not much to say today.  This link tells the whole story.  Let’s just hope that the companies that design and build jet engines pay attention.

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Challenging Traffic Noise

Traffic Noise

Nissan and DigitasLBi have made a trio of videos showing the problem of traffic noise.

traffic noise

Nissan (the auto company) has started a campaign to promote its electric cars by selling them as a way to get rid of traffic noise.  (Apparently 80% of city noise pollution in Europe is from traffic! And as we all know, traffic noise is an issue in all cities and towns.)

The company that made the videos, DigitasLBi, says: “By literally bringing the traffic noise of European cities to the yoga studio, a picnic and a camping spot, the spots aim to highlight just how ‘unacceptable’ traffic noise is.”

You can see the three videos here.

Let’s hope the campaign raises awareness of traffic noise.  And I guess if Nissan (and other auto companies) get to sell electric cars, then good for them.  And maybe some day, our cities and our world will be quieter.

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Baseball and Noise

I am posting today because i want to let people know that talking to organizers of events can be effective!

Image result for baseball diamond Peterborough

Last year, exactly a year ago to the Canadian August long weekend, there was a weekend long baseball tournament in the baseball park near my house.  Yeah, I like hearing the crack of the ball and the cheering – that’s fine.  What I didn’t like last year was the volume of the music being blasted between games, on into the late evening!

I went down to the park to complain and found that I knew the convenor – she works in my local grocery store.  She said she would try to control the volume – and she did try – but it didn’t pan out.

The next week we talked about it some more, when I saw her in the store.  And over the year, we have talked more about it.

This year – the tournament came again.  And I barely noticed it!  In fact, I would have said it hadn’t happened. Yesterday I saw Cindy in the store and she said “How was it?” And I had no idea what she was talking about (though I figured it out!).  She told me that she had spent the weekend monitoring the music levels and turning it down. I thanked her profusely, and told her I would be posting the happy news on The Noise Curmudgeon. So here it is –  yes, the baseball folk were happy; and our little neighbourhood was happy.  Yahoo!!  A big thanks to Cindy!!

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Perceptions of Sound

On being curmudgeonly about sound/noise

[This post is going up on a Friday – I will be busy on Sunday, the traditional NC posting day.]

park bench

This showed up today day as a Google alert viz. The Noise Curmudgeon.

I couldn’t pass up posting it.  It lays it out perfectly – the different ways we perceive sounds around us.  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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