Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Maybe your friend really can’t sing

Do you have a friend or have you ever known someone who just doesn’t “get” music? And by that I mean a person who has an overall bad sense of music: someone who can sing or dance or even tap their foot along to the song. They just may have a medical condition.

Researchers think there’s such a thing as the musical equivalent to dyslexia that they called “dysmusia.” With dyslexia, people have a hard time comprehending the written word. With “dysmusia,” they have a hard time comprehending the music that they hear. For example, when they listen to a well-known song–someone as popular as, say, “Happy Birthday to You,” they couldn’t identify it. However, when given the printed lyrics, they got it right away.

No one knows how many people have dysmusia simply because anyone who has it is often just shrugged off as being musically untalented. And who takes their kid to a doctor just because he or she can’t sing?

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 38156 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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