Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: How’s your hearing?

Hey, how is your sense of hearing? It’s a fact that as we get older, our hearing changes.

First, the obvious: as we age, our ears become less sensitive to sound. But if we abuse our ears with excessive volume when we’re young, the sooner our hearing will begin to get worse.

But here’s another fact. As we age, the way we perceive sound changes. This is according to a study by a geneticist named Jane Gitschier at the University of California. As we get older, our perception of sound gets sharper. That means to an older person, a pure middle C as a C-sharp. That’s a whole half-tone.

Could this explain why some older people find the music of young people so disagreeable?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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