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14

Are You Tone Deaf?

We might be tempted to think of a poor singer as being tone deaf, but there are many reasons people don't sing well. Tone deafness is just one of them. The Music Lab at Harvard University's department of psychology has a test for tone deafness that doesn't involve singing at all -just your ability to discriminate tones that you hear. Sure, it's gathering data for a study, but it's also fun. You can try it yourself here. You'll be given a series of tones, and you must choose whether the last note goes up or down on the musical scale. The test also displays your reaction time, but try not to get distracted by that. After the first few, you might start to think it's easy. That's when you encounter one that sounds exactly the same as the previous notes, but there is no button to push for "same." I got 27 out of 32 right, which is at the 45th percentile. I'll blame that on some age-related hearing loss and the fact that I have a cold right now. -via Metafilter


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