Instrument practice, radio, TV prohibited

I've always had this vision of Italy where mothers sing all day, and music comes pouring from every open window. Idealistic, but there used to be a time where music playing was a good thing, part of any good neighborhood. Playing an instrument at home helped people connect in the community.

For some reason, we got the feeling in our new apartment that we had to be very cautious with any kind of sound when our neighbor from below asked us to take off our shoes so he wouldn't have to hear us walk. Then a new family of smokers moved in next door, and the entire floor started smelling like a club in the 70s. We looked over our lease to see if there were any smoking regulations, and found this instead:
"The Tenant shall not play in a disturbing manner or cause to be played in a disturbing manner any musical instrument, radio, TV, or stereo on the leased premises, and shall not conduct or permit to be conducted vocal or instrumental practice or instruction at any time."
  1. Gee, couldn't the management have told us that when they asked us our occupation and we told them that both of us were professional musicians?!
  2. Seeing instruments put in the same category as radio, TV and stereo just hurts my musician's soul.
  3. How about reasonable rules instead of a no-playing rule: playing allowed between 9am-8pm, electric instruments unplugged.
  4. Cigarettes are permitted but not instrument playing?! When it comes to a big apartment complex like ours, how hard could it be to have specific buildings designated for smokers, specific buildings designated for pro and amateur musicians?

Picture from http://www.sodahead.com/living/man-arrested-for-not-turning-down-his-music-how-do-you-handle-noisy-neighbors/question-496665/?link=ibaf&imgurl=http://www3.sympatico.ca/pratten/NSB/nomusic.JPG&q=loud%2Bmusic


  1. Reminded of one of my favorite movies "Rear Window" - Alfred Hitchcock classic. This 1950s Brooklyn neighborhood is full of music. In fact, the film has no soundtrack other than the sounds of the neighborhood. An opera singer practices her vocalises, a song writer/pianist works out a new song, a lonely heart plays crooners on the hifi, the organ grinder strolls the streets...it's magical.

  2. I actually got the idea from this post while reading a passage of "The Piano Shop in the Left Bank" where the author talks about choosing to rent his writing studio in a building because of all the music playing. He wrote about leaving his windows open to hear them all practice, and of his disappointment when they would close their windows and he couldn't hear them play anymore. It's a shame many people who hear music coming from an apartment as a gift anymore.


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