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Diatribe: Spanish Pianist Faces Seven Years In Jail For “Excessive Practicing”.

11/14/2013

pianoThe music building on the campus where I went to college was an older building.  Built in the late 1960s and remodeled in the mid-1970s it was, at the time, a state-of-the-arts facility that featured large rehearsal rooms, several studios for faculty and a long hallway of individual practice rooms.  Each rehearsal room was about eight feet by eight feet and contained an upright piano, a piano bench, a music stand and a chair.  Many of us would arrive early in the morning to stake our claim to one of the rehearsal rooms and we would, essentially, camp out all day long, taking advantage of very minute between classes to get in as much practice time as possible.

Some days I would practice as much as eight hours before packing up and calling it a day but I never faced jail time because of it.

A professional pianist in Spain and her parents are facing a seven-and-one-half year jail sentence resulting from claims from a former neighbor of “acoustic contamination” and causing psychological damage to those living near her.  Prosecutors are also seeking to have her banned from any profession involving a piano for four years in addition to a fine plus damages … because she practiced too much.

The neighbor, a woman, sued for the stress she endured living next door to the musician from 2003 to 2007.  The trial is expected to conclude this week.  Medical records show that she suffered hearing damage, panic attacks and pregnancy problems due to the “environmental auditory stress” suffered during the time that she lived next door to the excessively practicing pianist.

Not surprisingly, defense attorneys have asked that the case be dismissed.

The pianist and her parents, who are charged as accessories to the fact and face the same sentence, have disputed the charges and insist that the even tried to sound proof their practice room.

I suppose I can understand the frustration that these people endured.  I have a neighbor who tinkers with an old car and “revs” the engine incessantly on weekends but I would certainly never sue him for “acoustic contamination”!  Who thinks of these things?  After a few hours of him working on that car, I’d welcome some piano music!

Would you ever sue a noisy neighbor?

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8 Comments
  1. “Acoustic contamination”?
    I think I’ve FINALLY heard everything.

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  2. I guess talking it out was not a possibility? As a neighbor, when I have been approached or have felt the need to approach others, it is amazing what a civil dialogue can accomplish.

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    • I believe there were several conversations before lawyers got involved. If I’m not mistaken there was a physical altercation, too.

      You and I have been lucky enough to have civil neighbors. I always figure that if I want to HAVE a good neighbor I have to BE a good neighbor.

      I have the BEST!!

      Like

  3. Sounds like something that would happen here in Texas………… though it would be for excessive banjo practicing…………… 🙂

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  4. Your 4th sentence in your response says it all.

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  5. I have very noisy neighbors! They start partying about 3 a.m. & carry on usually until morning. This would be okay if they partied in their own apartment – but no, they party in the hallway outside my apt. door or on their balcony (hard to sleep with your windows open). When they do party inside their apt., they leave the door open because they squeeze a lot of people into their apt. & I’m sure it must get hot for the guests, but produces a lot of noise pollution for me. If I believed in frivolous lawsuits I would certainly sue my neighbors because nothing else has helped!

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