Court rules that trumpet practise is not a neighbourhood nuisance

Court rules that trumpet practise is not a neighbourhood nuisance


norman lebrecht

November 02, 2018

A federal court in Karlsruhe has ruled that a professional trumpet player pursuing his practice at home does not constitute a disturbance of the peace.

The average person, it said, even as a terraced neighbour, should be able to put up with a bit of good music. It is reasonable for a professional trumpet player to perform two to three hours of practise during the week and one to two hours on Sundays and public holidays.

The neighbour’s complaint, against a member of the Augsburger Staatstheater orchestra, was referred back to the Augsburg district court for a further ruling on private trumpet lessons at home.


  • Ben G. says:

    “Officer, I’ve come to complain about my neighbor who constantly bangs against my wall up until 3 in the morning.”

    “Oh I see; this must prevent you from getting any decent sleep….

    “Not at all– it prevents me from practicing my Trumpet!”

  • guest says:

    That reminds me when I was a trumpet student in Boston living in an apartment. From a distraught neighbor at around 5:30 pm, a shrieked, “shut up with that trumpet”. The next day, from a neighbor who was a Berklee student, “hey man, love to hear how you keep practicing ’til you get it right”. So, it depends on who is listening.

  • Simon S. says:

    Just a minor nitpicking: not *a*, but *the* Federal Court, i.e. Germany’s highest ordinary court of appeal, second only to the Constitutional Court.

  • Scotty says:

    When I was in college my upstairs neighbor complained about me practicing classical guitar in the early evening. He must had to lie flat with his ear to the floor to hear me. I asked, how loud is it? He said, I can barely hear you but I’m working on my dissertation and it’s distracting.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    The judge should have to live where the neighbor does and then see how he/she would rule. Noise is a major source of stress and musicians shouldn’t get a pass. Build a sound-proof practice room.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Judging by other reports, this wasn’t about a sound-proof room anymore.
      I can very well understand that people desire some peace and quiet at home. And I agree with you that musicians shouldn’t get a pass on not taking their neighbours into consideration. However, I do not agree with a court that, well after a musician had already voluntarily offered to install sound proofing and taking other noise-abating actions, goes completely overboard, curtailing the musicians freedoms in his own four walls….
      The lower court had ruled that:
      – the trumpeter be held accountable for the totality of court costs up until that point
      – the trumpeter be forbidden to teach or give lessons of any kind in his house (which he owns)
      – the trumpeter was permitted to use only one single space in his house for music period
      – the trumpeter was limited to 10 hours of music per work-week, only being permitted between the hours of 10-12 or 15-19.
      Regarding weekends, the trumpeter was limited to 1 hour of music per weekend and limited to a total of 8 weekends per year (music was only to occur between the hours of 15-18 on said 8 weekends).

    • Paul says:

      The world is a noisy place. I’m glad that people like you have little legal recourse.

  • JubJub says:

    At least give the picture some credit! Mireia is the principal trumpet of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Dirk Bogarde put a stop to the practicing Labeque Sisters in his Paris apartment block.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    My neighborhood is plagued by a trumpet player who sits in the public park all day long, playing endlessly, the same songs over and over again. He never bothers to use a mute, all it would take to not be a nuisance. It sounds like this trumpet player is equally inconsiderate.

  • Musician says:

    Maybe if she played a Bach trumpet and not that Monette her neighbors would be happier? Just a thought.

  • James Kent says:


  • Sisko24 says:

    They should all chill out and thank their lucky stars. After all, at least he wasn’t practicing the bagpipes.