To reverb or not to reverb will be the question in February, when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a dispute over rules that regulate amplified music in New York City's Central Park.

The rules requiring performers in Naumburg Bandshell to use a city-supplied sound system, were challenged in 1986 by Rock Against Racism, an organization of musical groups that has staged concerts at the bandshell since 1979.Decibels are not so much at issue (though the sound technician may be asked to lower volume if others not in the shell are judged to be disturbed) as the mixing of sound, which many groups feel is essential to their art.