Thursday, November 16, 2006

How Good Are Your Aural Skills?

Click here to take a test that sees how tone deaf you are. I have not yet taken it, but am planning to tonight or tomorrow. My musician friends are all scoring pretty well. If you are brave, feel free to post your score as a comment. Here is the description of the test on the site.
While working at the music and neuroimaging lab at Beth Israel/Harvard Medical School in Boston, I developed a quick online way to screen for the tonedeafness. It actually turned out to be a pretty good test to check for overall pitch perception ability. The test is purposefully made very hard, so excellent musicians rarely score above 80% correct. Give it a try!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I got a 75%

I thought it was easier to figure out the higher pitches than the lower...wonder if that means anything?

~Jen Essington

John Carlson said...

75 is good! I got a 77.8 I think or something like that.

lower pitches are always harder to decipher between.

- John C

dockanz said...

Hey Scott,
I got an 86.1. Can I still sing tenor for you?

Anyway, as a brain guy, I find this very interesting. It involves not only tone perception, but also attention and auditory memory. Cool!

Blond Violinist said...

Yes! I also received an 86.1% That's because violinists are the best. Musical divas forever! Did the test sometimes shift the harmonies even when the melody stayed the same?

Jim C said...

Ok... so John... since I scored the exact same as you, I propose that its not that we actually scored LOWER than other people, but rather it is that we think outside the box and are not comformists to the western concepts of music and pitch ;)

Come on... throw me a bone here!?!?!

Actually, I found myself second guessing several of the questions simply because of harmonic shift of one or two notes - I think it was more a lacking of my memory of the first passage than it was a lack of ability to hear a change in the second one.

That and I'm a guitar player, so its a wonder I can even read let alone hear pitches!

John Carlson said...

Hey - doesn't 75% mean you're still an excellent musician? I think we just scored lower because our minds immediately jump to the cool things we can play around the samples. Either that, or at least for me I know for sure, my ADD got the best of me. I took it standing in the kitchen listening on my little laptop speakers. I wonder if I'd do better if I did a better listen?

dockanz said...

John, I did mine while my daughter was yelling in the other room and the TV blaring, though I certainly wondered that as well!

John "The Compulsive Liar" Carlson said...

uhhhh . . . I did mine while my wife was vacuuming while the dog was barking at the vacuum . . . and these big giant bomber planes were flying over my house . . . and . . . a steam locomotive was blowing it's whistle . . . ya that's it . . . a steam locomotive . . . all that and I had ear muffs on because it was so cold in our kitchen as the noise from the bomber planes blew out all our windows . . . and I have a double ear infection as well because it's been so cold in our house . . . ya . . .that's it . . . that's the ticket.

dockanz said...

Oh yeah! Well I'm deaf and I still got an 86.1!

scooterpastor said...

OK, I broke down and tried it and got an 80.6%. I'm not so special, but oh well. Not to whine or anything, but a few examples would have helped me get in the groove a bit better.

Yes, dockanz, you can still sing. You just need to move back here first. :)

Congratulations blond violinist. Are you sure that wasn't 8.61? Just kidding!

John and Jim. Your tone deafness comes from all those years of playing evil rock and roll music in the church. Repent and sin no more!

jim c said...

Scott...

Actually, I think my low score came from me concentrating too much on midgets and lions (read Zach's blog if you don't understand).

I demand a rematch!!

Jim C said...

Ok, so I took the test again... I just wanted to see how consistent it/I was.

This time (telling the absolute truth), I scored an 86.1

So... what changed? I know I didn't suddenly become less tone deaf.

Interesting.

John Carlson said...

Ya know, I'd do it again, but the voices in my head are too loud right now.

- John

dockanz said...

You know, I was thinking more about this. I think that this task is much less about pitch perception than it is about one's ability to play attention. I work as a neuropsychologist and we have a task where we have people repeat digits of varying lengths and this seems somewhat akin to that. You have to hold the tone in memory while listening to another tone.

Hmmm...maybe I will start using this in my practice!

iowagirl said...

Um....I got a 50%. Exactly ONE PERCENT scored LOWER than me.

Be thankful I'm not singin' in YOUR choir....

Blond Violinist said...

Fess up time... I told my little sister about this test. She took it and scored a 91.6%. Yipes! She said she only missed three questions! Scary. Guess I'm not such hot stuff after all!