9. Persistent music late at night
One of the most widespread complaints received by the Noise Abatement Society concerns loud music being played by neighbours at night. For the partygoers the music is pleasurable, while for the complainants it is unbearable. Context and control determine how people emotionally interpret the soundscape; a ‘noise’ can be thought of as a sound that is out of place. People can be sensitised to a persistent sound that is out of their control, even if the sound is quiet — this is why some people find a dripping tap so grating.