Musicians and music lovers


The bad news
The good news
"Musicians Tackle Tinnitus"
"Tinnitus and Musicians: Protect Your Hearing"
How loud is too loud?
Musicians sing about ringing in their ears, humming in their head


The bad news

All kinds of music can be too loud. Jazz, classical, rock, heavy metal, Latin, you name it. And we love them all. We weave music into the fabric of our lives, as we get ready for school or work in the morning, for recreation, while we engage in our day-to-day lives. For many, music is also their livelihood.

The good news

ATA's Action Alliance has the most-up-to-date information about loud music and its tinnitus risk. Musicians, researchers, doctors and others in the music industry who are concerned about this risk are warning other musicians and all music lovers about tinnitus and how to prevent hearing damage. Some are even developing products to help avoid this difficult condition.

"Musicians Tackle Tinnitus" (Tinnitus Today, June 2007)

Jennifer Born, ATA Director of Advocacy & Research, informs us that tinnitus is a serious matter in the music world. Performers, audio engineers and listeners of all types of music are at risk for noise-induced tinnitus and other hearing damage. Jenn interviews esteemed drummer Liberty DeVitto, jazz guitar legend Al Di Meola and drummer Joe Luoma. Read more.

"Tinnitus and Musicians: Protect Your Hearing" (Tinnitus Today, March 2007)

Neil Cherian, M.D., knows all about tinnitus. He is a practicing otoneurologist at the Cleveland Clinic and director of its newly launched Center for Performance Medicine. Dr. Cherian is a member of ATA’s Board of Directors. In his article, "Tinnitus and Musicians: Protect Your Hearing," he notes: “Professional musicians are in a difficult position since they rely on their ears for their livelihood, and they expose their ears to the rigors of their work. For many musicians, tinnitus can be considered a repetitive strain injury." Read more.

How loud is too loud?

There are many questions about what is too loud, how noise impairs hearing and how to avoid problems associated with noise exposure. Experts issue studies and write guidelines, but more research is needed into noise-induced tinnitus and hearing loss, and how to protect our hearing. Read more about our loud, noisy world and how to live in it.

Musicians sing about ringing in their ears and humming in their heads.

Could it be tinnitus?

"I wonder how you're feeling.
There's ringing in my ears.
And no one to relate to, 'cept the sea"
Peter Frampton, "Show me the Way"

"Your head is humming and it won't go in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him"
Led Zeppelin (Robert Plant), "Stairway to Heaven"

"My ears are ringin'
Ringin' like empty shells
My ears are ringin'
Ringin' like empty shells"
Bob Dylan - "Call Letter Blues"

"There's an insect in your ear
If you scratch it won't disappear."
U2 (Bono), "Staring at the Sun"

"Now I'm a seasick sailor On a ship of noise
I got my maps all backwards And my instincts poisoned
In a truth blown gutter Full of wasted years
Like blown-out speakers Ringin' in my ears"
Beck, "Nausea"