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Jessica Duchen
Tuesday 15th June 2010

No, I'm not asleep - I save my catnaps for the football matches. The above title supposedly represents the sound of the vuvuzela - as described on its latest Wikipedia update. Have a look, quick, before someone takes it down again.

Here are a few things you wanted to know about the vuvuzela but were afraid to ask.

1. Decibels: 127. Can seriously damage your ears. Yesterday they announced a new version 20db quieter. That's still noisier than the Victoria Line at its most deafening.

2. Origins: in current form less than a decade old.It's been rumoured that they're based on kudu horn instruments, hence Old and African, but as Wiki says, 'this is disputed'.

3. Point: to 'kill off' the opponents of the team you're supporting with noise.

4. Could revolutionise sport in Britain, according to William Langley in the Telegraph...  

5. True or false?

a) They have sparked a trend for novelty earplugs in South Africa;

b) World Cup players have complained about being woken up at night by them;

c)  Members of the Nazareth Baptist Church have claimed the vuvuzela belonged to it and threatened legal action to stop it being played at the World Cup.

d) An orchestra of young vuvuzela players is to appear at the Proms in a programme to include the South African National Anthem, Rossini's William Tell Overture and the Dam Busters March. The audience is encouraged to bring their own vuvuzelas and join in.

5. Want to play one? Today The Guardian shows you how.

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About Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.

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