"Music...has become a universal phenomenon in the operating room." (Padmakumar et al, 2016)


"In the operations we observed, dance music and drum and bass were often played fairly loudly, whilst patients were anesthetized." (Weldon)


"Sometimes it took awhile to reduce the volume on the sound system, for instance, when a nurse was trying to find the volume control on an anaesthetist's iPod." (Weldon)



Minimizing Noise and Distraction in the OR and Procedural Units.   The Joint Commission.  August 2017.

Canary in an Operating Room: Integrated Operating Room Music.  MacDonald A, Schlesinger J.  In D. de Waard, F. di Nocera, D. Coelho, J. Edworthy, K. Brookhuis, F. Ferlazzo, T. Franke, and A.Toffetti(Eds.)(2018). Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Europe Chapter 2017 Annual Conference. ISSN 2333-4959 (online). Available from

Noise in the Operating Room.  Katz, J.  Anesthesiology 2014; 121:894-8.

Music in the Operating Room:  Is it a Safety Hazard?  Shambo et al.  AANA 2015 Feb; 83(1) 43-8.

Music and communication in the operating theatre. Weldon S-M., Korkiakangas T., Bezemer J. & Kneebone R. (2015) Journal of Advanced Nursing 71(12), 2763–2774. doi: 10.1111/jan.12744

Effect of noise on tasks in operating theatres: a survey of the perceptions of healthcare staff.  A.D. Padmakumar, , O. Cohen, , A. Churton, , J.B. Groves, , D.A. Mitchell, , P.A. Brennan.  British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Available online 31 October 2016

Music in the Operating Room: Harmony or Discord?  Strickland, Robert A.  Bulletin of Anesthesia History , October 2007; 25(3): 10 - 12

Music in theatre: not so harmonious. A survey of attitude to music played in the operating theatre. Hawksworth, C., Asbury, A.J., Millar, K. Anaesthesia. 1997;52:79–83.


IntraoperativeNoise Increases Perceived Task Load and Fatigue in Anesthesiology Residents – A Simulation-Based Study.  McNeer et al.  Anesth Analg 2016 Feb; 122(2):512-25.

Effect of Noise on Auditory Processing in the Operating Room.  Way et al.  J Am Coll Surg 2013 May; 216(5) 933-38.

Effects of divided attention and operating room noise on perception of pulse oximeter pitch changes: a laboratory study.  Stevenson et al.  Anesthesiology 2013 Feb; 118(2):376-81.

BBC World News - Music in the operating theatre:

Music in the operating room:

Case Report:

Music in the OR: Turn it up or turn it off?  Cohen.

Sound the Alarm: Making Music in the OR Smarter.  Burdick, Schlesinger.

Medical Errors and Loud Music in the Operating Room.  Sweeney.

Music in the OR.  Hughes.