Loudness – Introduction

The problem of sensation and perception of loudness has to be re-examined in regard of musical stimuli. In psychoacoustics, measurement and scaling of loudness has been pursued on the basis of sounds such as pure tones or notched noise which have little if anything to do with music. As recent reports on hearing loss caused by very loud sound as is met with in discotheques and rock concerts amply demonstrate, conventional approaches to measuring loudness levels are probably outdated because being based on inappropriate models such as the dB(A) scale which fails to cover essentials of, for example, Techno music. Sensation and perception of loudness must be considered in regard of real music such as found in contemporary musical idioms (e.g., drum & bass, Techno) which implies that psychoacoustics criteria and parameters most of which have been established long ago, and before advanced audio technology became widespread, need to be revised.