Marching Bands

What do you need to know?

  • Marching band members are exposed to high levels of noise at work
  • Some players, particularly percussionists, are often exposed to very high levels of peak sound pressure
  • Regular exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing damage
  • Employers of those taking part in ceremonial parades and band displays have a duty to protect the hearing of all their employees
  • The advice applies to single marching bands, combined or massed bands

Factors that contribute to hearing damage include:

Instruments and players: Some instruments - particularly trombones, cornets, piccolo and percussion - can cause high sound levels to the player and those close to them.

Position of musicians and other performers

Practice and performance venues: Unsuitably small rooms for large instruments or use of rooms with poor acoustics for band displays may increase the risk of hearing damage.

Length of exposure Musicians can be exposed to high sound levels over a long period during their working week from individual and band practice and performance. Added to this can be any other sources of noise exposure e.g. cannons and pyrotechnics.

You can find out more about noise exposure in: