Welcome to 4Amusia.com, a place to find out more about something called amusia. For those who are not familiar with the term amusia, here is what Wikipedia says about it: "Amusia is a musical disorder that appears mainly as a defect in processing pitch but also encompasses musical memory and recognition." (This is a "sticky post" dated in the future so it always appears first.)
Studies suggest that about 4% of people are born with amusia. This is referred to as congenital amusia, which has been described as "a deficit in fine-grained pitch discrimination" (Wikipedia).
I recently learned that I am one of those people and that discovery has impacted my outlook on life in numerous ways, some of which may be hard for some people to understand (based on my initial efforts to describe them).
On this site I plan to blog about my own journey with amusia, while posting commented links about amusia. Those link posts will be brief posts and should not be taken as en…
The shaming of amusiacs for being weak-willed individuals who can't sing in tune because they don't try hard enough is - I am sad to say - still a thing. Yet there is plenty of evidence that the condition has a genetic component.
Consider this article out of the Department of Genetics at Stanford School of Medicine: "With some number crunching the researchers concluded that between 71 and 80% of tone deafness can be explained by genetics" Understanding Genetics Tone Deaf Genetics.
It was 60 years ago this month that my primary school teacher called me out in class and told me - and the rest of the class - that I had a 'tin ear.' She then ordered me to 'pretend to sing' when our class went on stage to sing carols during the school Christmas concert. The year after that I was told to not only mouth the words to the carols. but also pretend to play my recorder (a traditional English flute that I could never learn to play).