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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trending Topics: Vuvuzela

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The vuvuzela (English pronunciation: /vuːvuːˈzeɪlə/, also known as lepatata (its Tswana name) and stadium horn, is a typical 65 cm (2 ft) plastic blowing horn that produces a loud, distinctive monotone (B♭3) note. A similar instrument, known as the corneta, is used in Brazil and other Latin American countries. Many types of vuvuzela, made by several manufacturers, may produce varying intensity and frequency outputs. The intensity of these outputs depends on the blowing technique and pressure exerted.

The vuvuzela is most used at football matches in South Africa. It has become a symbol of South African football as the stadiums are filled with its loud and raucous sound that reflects the exhilaration of supporters. The intensity of the sound caught the attention of the global football community during the 2009 Confederation Cup in anticipation of South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup.

The vuvuzela has been the subject of controversy. Its high sound pressure levels at close range can lead to permanent hearing loss for unprotected ears after extensive exposure. A study found the maximum sound output was 120 dB(A) (the threshold of pain) at one meter from the bell. In response to the controversy, a new model has a modified mouthpiece that reduces the volume by 20 dB.

Technical measures
Various technical measures have been proposed to reduce the impact of the vuvuzela sound on the clarity of commentary audio. The instrument produces notes around the 235Hz (mostly) and 465Hz frequencies and filtering these frequencies out might limit the noise in broadcasts. This is called notch filtering.

Notch filtering may have a side-effect of reducing the clarity of the commentary, so some university groups and companies have published adaptive filters which attempt to quiet the vuvuzela sound while preserving the amplitude and clarity of the commentator's voice and the crowd.

In the wake of the 2010 World Cup the vuvuzela has been banned from a number of stadiums and events, including tennis matches at Wimbledon[46] the Cardiff City, SWALEC and Millennium Stadiums, the Melbourne Cricket Ground[48], and baseball games at Yankee Stadium

See Also:
Vuvuzela: a symbol of South Africa


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