Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Nanny Bans Music

Nanny Bans MusicHow does that old expression go?

"Music soothes the savage beast..."

or something like that.

Anyhoo, whilst music may sooth the savage beast it does not sooth Nanny. In fact she is so annoyed by music, that she is seeking to have it played more quietly.

Our old friends in Nanny's Health and Safety department have decided that music is way too dangerous, and are seeking to implement certain health and safety rules.

Whenever I hear the phrase "health and safety" I instinctively reach for the sick bag.

I digress, Nanny has decided to tell orchestras to stop playing too many noisy pieces in a performance. The Control of Noise at Work regulations came into force last year, and cap daily or weekly average exposure to 85 decibels.

The music and entertainment industry was given two more years to implement the new rules.

A working group, including the Association of British Orchestras, the English National Opera, the Royal Opera House, Equity, the Health and Safety Executive and the Musicians Union, is now apparently discussing how the guidelines could apply.

Aside from playing less noisy pieces, orchestras may be told to supply earplugs to the performers.

Quite how the players are meant to perform at their best, if they are wearing earplugs is beyond me. That being said, Beethoven was deaf when he composed "Ode To Joy" (rather a noisy piece).

What baout pop concerts then?

Aren't they a tad noisy too?

Liz Forbes, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's concerts director, is unimpressed:

"Very few concerts use earplugs.

They're not ideal for hearing the ensemble

and what colleagues are doing

Somewhat over the top wouldn't you say?

So let's give two fingers to Nanny, and let rip at full volume with this version of the Ode To Joy.

It will also put you in the right frame of mind, and banish those Monday morning blues".

Click here: Ode To Joy and give someone the horn this morning!


  1. Big Al10:14 AM

    Sorry, Ken, the actual quote is "Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast".

    Still, Nanny's eagle-eyed smut detectives probably edit that out.

    Presumably heavy metal groups will be henceforth required to have public health warnings on their T-shirts, programmes, posters and flyers.

  2. Al

    I don't think I am allowed to use the word "breast" on a public site:)


  3. Ode to Joy? I hope this has no sinister political implications.

  4. Anonymous1:21 PM

    Regarding Beethoven's 9th, does this mean that Nanny wants to ban the European National Anthem.
    Shom mishtake surely!!
    Bet you Brussels will insist on derogation for that

  5. Grant2:27 PM

    I think they have already silenced (or reduced the volume) of the 'popular' music arena.

    These last few days the 'Download' festival has been occurring about a mile from my house. Lots of heavy rock bands and overruns untiol the early hours of the morning. Usually we can hear it quite well in the evenings and could sit in the garden and 'enjoy' the performances then watch the fireworks that rounded out the event.

    Not this year. Hardly heard any noise at all, everything ran on time - in particular the final performance which had finished right on the 10:30pm deadline if not a little earlier and I asaw no evidence of fireworks.

    So if the expected 80k people were there and anticipated some 'attitude' to the weekend I think they would have been disappointed - apart from one US band I watched on the internet video link who seemed to think the exhortingf the devil to appear (or something) would work much better if they just used the f word to communicate.

    I reckon H&S and the insurance companies have probably already virtually eliminated acts of extreme noise or time overrun and seemingly pyrotechnic displays.

    Next year I speculate that the crowd will be shepherded about in flocks, and all the performances will be broadcast only via the on-site radio station using low output earphones. I await news that the drug dealers will have to apply for a licence to operate on the site and that several have done so.

    Clearly we don't have a large enough diversity of real problems to deal with these days, leading to spending time and money creating and puffing lesser matters.

    A Spitfire flew over a few minutes ago. It was a bit loud I thought. I may write and complain.


  6. tone deaf11:38 PM

    Unless music making has changed from days of old, the world has forgotten one thing. This 85 dB(A) stuff is an average over an 8 hour day, assuming a 40 hour working week. It is NOT a maximum peak instantaneous value.

    The two values can be about the same in a factory where the noise is constant throughout the working day/week. But for musicians, individual practice, various rehearsals, and then the final performance need someone who really understands in order to put together the "average".

    Far cheaper and quicker to do what bureaucrats do with anything they don't understand: ban it!

  7. Lord of Atlantis12:43 PM

    "So let's give two fingers to Nanny, and let rip at full volume with this version of the Ode To Joy."

    Fully agree with these sentiments, but why not the 1812 Overture at full blast, with the church bells ringing out and the cannons going off at full blast at regular intervals? My guess is that would really get up the noses of these jobsworths!

  8. Big Al4:13 PM


    I live in the middle of nowhere, just down the road from Old Warden (Shuttleworth Collection) and pilots like to practice over the open fields around my home.

    A couple of months ago, I heard the unmistakable snarl of a Merlin, and I rushed outside.

    I was treated to a 20-minute aerobatic display by a Spitfire pilot. Hearing that lovely supercharged Merlin roaring at full chat in a power dive sent shivers of joy down my spine. Mechanical music of the most beautiful kind!

    I play guitar in a band. I smoke. I drink. I like heavy metal music. I'm a middle-aged, middle-class heterosexual.

    I'm pretty sure Nanny's minions must be on their way to arrest me now as a perverted corrupter of public health and morals.

  9. Grant7:48 PM

    big al,

    I live a stone's throw from East Midlands Airport so lucky enough to see a Spitfire or two regularly (Rolls Royce connection of course as they are just down the road in Derby) and all sort of other aerial displays several times a year (though a diminishing number it seems) connected to events at either the airport or Donington Park racing circuit.

    The Merlin is something special - though when they are flying around misfiring a lot one begins to wonder if all is well.

    Used to see the Red Arrow several times a year but much reduced now.

    We do see and hear the local air ambulance several times a day usually but that is less exciting of course. There are some interesting old planes that seem to be regulars around here - very noisy and very slow.

    But the jets are getting quieter as the fleets are upgraded - excpet for the tranpost stuff which always seems to be what is flying in the early hours.

    It's an interesting place to live - if you live and enjoy the mix of noise and semi-rural environment.