The independent London newspaper

We don’t want to listen to other people’s music all the time

17 September, 2021

Illustration by John Sadler 

• EVERY summer, on warm afternoons and evenings, residents of areas along the Regent’s Canal towpath have to suffer one, sometimes more than one, “musician” playing an instrument of some sort or other for hours on end.

Sometimes the music is perfectly pleasant but sometimes it’s like an interminable practice session. The noise just permeates one’s home and its makers never seem to give a thought for residents.

On warm days one has to close one’s windows in order to reduce this music noise coming from outside and, certainly, one cannot play one’s own choice of music inside for it is ruined by the constant music outside.

This music noise is very different from the passing noise of transport which comes and goes relatively quickly or construction noise, which one knows is only for a certain length of time; both, of course, are part of city life.

These music players seldom respond to requests to turn down the volume but, anyway, one becomes concerned at confrontation and wearied by the time it takes to have to deal with the noise problem on so many occasions.

The worst of it is that these musicians frequently choose the same place to sit and play and seem to think we will all enjoy their noise rather than making our own choices. Still worse, they all seem to have their own amplification so as to maximise the annoyance.

It would be good were the Canal & River Trust (C&RT) to place small “No Music to be Played Here – Residential Area” signs at appropriate places on the towpath and, also, to make clear that amplification is never allowed on the towpath.

Indeed, I am not sure whether the canal by-laws permit the playing of music at all on the towpath. There are places along the towpath where music might be played (no amplification though) without causing any annoyance to residents and the C&RT might consider that too.

Surely, even in noisy Camden Town, residents are allowed to live at home with the least noise from outside as possible?

Reachview Close, NW1


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