Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: What’s “amusia?”

Do you have a buddy who just can’t sing? You know the kind: they can’t even do “Happy Birthday” properly. Does your friend really lack all talent? Well, hang on. Maybe he has something called “congenital amusia.” This is a perceptual disorder that prevents people from hearing changes in notes. Their brain just can’t process music in the correct way and as a result, when they try to sing, things come out all wrong. This is also what we call tone-deafness.

Melanie Provost, a researcher at the International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound in Montreal disputes the common figure that 4% of the population is tone-deaf. She thinks it’s much higher than that. To take a tone-deafness test, go here.. If you score poorly, you should probably keep the singing to yourself.

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 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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