Turning a Deaf Ear? Industrial Noise and Noise Control in Germany since the 1920s

Hans-Joachim Braun

in The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195388947
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Turning a Deaf Ear? Industrial Noise and Noise Control in Germany since the 1920s

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Industrial noise, today, is recognized as a major problem, but little has been published in the history about it. This article deals with noise and noise abatement in the twentieth century. Industrial noise abatement was not popular before the 1970s. It focuses on industrial noise and noise abatement in three different regimes: National Socialism during the Third Reich, socialism in the German Democratic Republic, and (Western) democracy in the Federal Republic of Germany. It reveals that the political economy within these regimes played a large role in dealing with unwanted sound. It addresses the ideology that influenced legislation on noise abatement and the relationship between its theory and practice. It also looks into whether the employee's resistance to hearing-protection devices was irrational or was justified. Finally, it explores the use of music on the shop floor in the three German cases, also as compared to such practice in Great Britain.

Keywords: industrial noise; noise abatement; Germany; unwanted sound; hearing-protection devices; music

Article.  9862 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Sound Studies

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