my feelings about noise

palomalouFebruary 26, 2011

I am a pianist, professionally. Not addressing other people's feelings about that, but my own about other's noise: I LIKE to hear that there are other people living in the building. Much less lonely, much more community. And yes, I clearly heard the (clearly Non-professional) pianist below us every night at 11 pm, the neighbor's kids roller-skating in the porcelain tiled hallway. Am I the only one, or do folks who feel like me just never post here?

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mhillgal

I feel differently than you do. I live in an apartment building with very thin walls where you can hear your neighbors talking and watching tv, dogs barking and kids playing in the hallway. These normal living sounds don't bother me at all and I barely hear them now.

A year after I moved in, one of my neighbors next door moved out and a new neighbor moved in. The new neighbor is an amateur musician, playing piano and violin. He has begun to rehearse somewhat regulary in his apartment and because of the thin walls, I can hear him as though he were in my apartment. If I am listening to music or watching tv, his music drowns out my music/tv.

The other night, I came home from work at 9:30 pm and upon walking off the elevator, heard music from a few different instruments. I went inside my apartment and the music was too loud inside the apartment. I went next door and when he opened the door, I saw that his quartet was rehearsing in his apartment. He looked at me and they stopped rehearsing for the night.

This is not rehearsal space, especially with the thin walls and no soundproofing.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 3:44PM
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westvillager

I think it's easier for peeps to drop by an Internet forum and complain than confirm most people are reasonable.

I live, mostly, in an NYC apt and hear the same types of noises. It doesn't bother or overly warm me. I accept it comes with shared living in a busy city. As long as there's compromise -- the pianist downstairs and the quartet next door should hush if it's late or politely asked -- things seems to work. When one of us has a party, we let the other tenants on the floor know. It all seems so simple and, well, kinda civilized or something. At least my perception of it anyhow.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:13PM
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mhillgal

I also live in a NYC apt on a main avenue. I hear a variety of street noises and accept that as part of living in NYC. The majority of my neighbors are considerate, except for this neighbor.

I am not the only person complaining about the noise coming from my neighbor. The person who lives upstairs from him complains to the building regularly. He has been know to play music at midnight or later. Unfortunately, the building does nothing.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:31PM
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camlan

I grew up in a family of nine people. That'll get you used to noise pretty quickly.

I don't mind what I consider normal apartment noise--the sound of someone's TV when you can't hear the dialogue word for word, just that you know the TV is on. The sound of conversation, again, when you just hear voices, but can't follow the entire discussion. Normal footsteps. Music played at a normal volume, so that I can continue a conversation with a guest without having to raise my voice. Dishwashers. Phones ringing. And from about 9 pm to 7 am, an effort is made to reduce voluntary noise like TVs and music.

On the other hand, the year I spent living below a music student was not fun. One of his instruments was the trumpet. I had no objections to his practicing a hour or so a day at home. But he would play for 15 minutes here and 10 minutes there and 20 minutes two hours later. And he also played electric keyboards and guitar and the flute. So all day long, there would be random interruptions of loud music. I couldn't hear my TV or music, I couldn't talk on the phone without yelling. That's the kind of noise that bothers me. It would have been better for me if he had a consistent hour every day when he practiced--I could have planned around it, gone out to do errands, whatever. And I did have to speak with him about playing the trumpet at 6 am and midnight, which I felt was not acceptable in a shared living situation like an apartment building.

I won't get upset if someone is walking overhead at midnight, unless they are deliberately stomping. But I *will* get upset if someone is blaring music at midnight, because that is completely unnecessary. I didn't mind when an upstairs neighbor took up tap dancing, because he came to me and explained what was going on and told me the hours when I might expect him to be practicing. I've got a small baby living downstairs right now, and sometimes I hear him crying. It's annoying at times, but I would never say anything to his parents, because it's not a noise they have control over.

But music groups really should not be rehearsing in apartments. Noises you have control over should be muted during the hours most people are quiet--say 10 pm to 6 or 7 am--I'm talking about music and TV, not conversation and normal walking. People probably shouldn't be wearing combat boots or clogs if they have wood floors and downstairs neighbors.

I remember visiting a friend in his third floor apartment once. Suddenly, loud, blaring music started, loud enough so that the vibrations were shaking pictures on the walls. My friend went downstairs to ask them to lower the volume. He was gone a long time. Turns out the music was not from the people downstairs on the second floor, but the apartment *below* them, on the first floor. The residents there did not want to lower their music and in the end, the police had to be called.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:13AM
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