Monday, 14 June 2010

An Ill Wind That Blows No Good

Is that constant buzzing noise during the FIFA World Cup matches doing your head in yet?

As football fans are learning, the sound isn't coming from a swarm of angry bees or locusts, that buzzing is apparently a "musical instrument" (of sorts).

South African fans are used to the colourful plastic horns known as Vuvuzelas (or Lepatata in the Setswana language), which they say sound like a herd of charging elephants. The stadium horns are about a metre long, and produce an annoyingly loud high-pitched noise which many people say is drowning out the usual singing and other match atmosphere.

The instruments have long been a feature at South African sports games, and apparently require some lip and lung strength to blow and produce the loud monotone note. (A similar kind of plastic horn is also common in Latin America).

The vuvuzelas have been slammed by everyone from the international footballers, through to the visiting fans, and the broadcasters trying to cover the matches at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa (who say it drowns out the commentators).

Soccer fans have described the noise from the horns as "mindless" and "excruciating", with petitions and Facebook groups being set up calling for them to be banned at the event.
There was talk in the media that the World Cup organising committee was considering banning the noisy trumpets, but they have since confirmed that won't be happening. They have however asked crowds not to use vuvuzelas during national anthems or during other spoken announcements.

However Fifa president Sepp Blatter claims the vuvuzela-haters just don't understand African culture, and he reckons it adds to the atmosphere in South Africa.

For the technically minded, the droning sound can sometimes be reduced or cancelled out on modern TVs, by adjusting the sound settings to drop a specific frequency. You can even buy an 'Anti Vuvuzela Filter', which claims to cancel out the sound of the horns.

* NZ Herald - FIFA World Cup: Ban vuvuzelas, say football fans
* - Vuvuzelas set to soundtrack tournament
* Pocket-link - How to cancel out the vuvuzela on your TV

Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted in Labels: , |