Is amusia amusing?

22 10 2007

Can you hold a tune? Can you perceive music? A lot of people can’t understand how I can hear music and play an instrument, but not hear speech. It’s simple. Speech has lots of very high frequency sounds which I can’t pick up, which isn’t the case in music. I can pick out and hold a rhythm, pick out individual instruments if they are distinct enough within an orchestra, listen to a tune.

Why are some people tone deaf or unable to hold a tune? Only 1 in 20 people really has amusia (tone deafness). Some people who sing badly can hear music just fine. Amusics can’t pick out differences in pitch or follow simple tunes.

Would you like to test your ability to perceive music? Newcastle Upon Tyne University and University College London are carrying out a study into musical perception ability. You can take the musical listening test here. It involves 2 tests of less than 8 minutes each.

The average score on test one is 25.39 (I scored 22) and the average score on test two is 24.93 (I scored 23). Hehehe. Not bad for a deaf person! My sister in law says I have some rockin’ hearing aids these days or there is a flaw in their study! *wink*

I’d be very interested to hear your scores. Can you do much better than me?




3 responses

23 10 2007

20 for the first one…didn’t tap my feet or anything. I figured I’d get different score on the second test.

27 on the second when I actually tapped my feet or nodded with my head along which helped me to discriminate the differences.

Listened it with my computer speaker on.

Been a pianist since age 7. Ragtime is my favorite era piece.

Hard of hearing. 🙂

Interesting link. Thanks.

25 10 2007
Cathy O

26/30 and 29/30 🙂

Severe hearing loss. Born with it, and am fifth generation hard of hearing. Heh heh heh!

3 11 2007

i took the test am waitng the reply and
outcome. i was born hearing but have been registered hard of hearing for the last 18 months or so, due to a virus!!:-/

I find women’s voices harder to follow and hear, as they are a higher frequency. Men’s voices are deeper so they are less of a problem. I also have tinnitus. Anyone else experience the same difficulties?

Good fun to do the test! cheers. hetty

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