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gwarking

Musicians can hear better than non-musicians?

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Yes, handy skill to have (picking out relevant speech sounds from a noisy environment) :D.  

It would be fascinating to know what cross-section of instruments they tested!  

I wonder if they were all string players! ;D  

It was interesting to see that there might be some benefits rather than losses in the hearing stakes...  

According to the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, roughly one in five audio professionals will sustain some degree of hearing loss over the course of their career.  

That’s a depressing figure!

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:cans: * turns down headphones *   :-[

Makes sense that musicians would have this attribute. I bet if they tested sound engineers (those with some hearing left  ;D ) they'd get similar results.

Through training and/or experience (sometimes merely being alerted to it), musicians, composers and engineers develop the ability to listen to music in layers, and turn their focus to one element whilst partially blocking out others temporarily. Like the researchers say, musicians in a band don't listen 'democratically' to all sound equally - they assign priorities to the different sounds around them. The same thing happens when mixing and mastering.

Critical Listening kids :D

Translate it to the real world and we can thus - if we put our minds to it - focus on different layers within the wall of noise around us.

It's neurologically shown to be true, but meh it's late, feedback loops in the auditory nerves and zzzz....

Although in pubs and clubs I suffer from the opposite phenomenon - if the music is good I can't hear or concentrate on the conversation. Way to drive a date mad -

*oom tsi oom tsi oom tsi...*

"blah blah blah so what do you do for a living blah blah"

"what? oh, sorry, bangin tune, my mate wrote this, he's got a noorrd...  :cans: "

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Interesting stuff.

I can often pick out background music playing faintly in public places long before my wife can hear it, even once pointed out.

But then I can hear the electronic hiss of my gear through headphones...

...without the headphones plugged in, nor the gear turned on. :D

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But then I can hear the electronic hiss of my gear through headphones...

...without the headphones plugged in, nor the gear turned on. :D

And people get antsy about noise floor and stuff - pfft.

If you're tinnitus is louder than the noise floor, the rest is academic :P

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If you're tinnitus is louder than the noise floor, the rest is academic :D

;D And if you've ever noticed I never ever ever remark about equipment noise floor...

...unless commenting on Behringer rack effects. :P

But maybe they've improved, or maybe my ears have deteriorated???

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I agree, as a musician who has undergone quite alot of aural training. I believe that only musicians would be able to pick up certain noises, pitches, tones, harmonics, etc. Find men a non-musician who can teel the difference between an E minor and a B major. In my learning I have become more sensitive to noise and sounds and seem to pick up on the little things going a round me, and at a further distance away. If playing music has given me anything else but arthritus, it's the ability to hear quality sounds.

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"blah blah blah so what do you do for a living blah blah"

"what? oh, sorry, bangin tune, my mate wrote this, he's got a noorrd...  :cans: "

;D

I was doing some research into ringtones once and found a study done by Nokia back in the days of MIDI ringtones. They wanted to have a bunch of different ringtones to portray different feelings. They surveyed people buy playing ringtones with different keys, tempos, Largo, Allegro, and other musical values that I must admit I had to look up. I felt a bit bad for the researchers who had put in all of the effort to find out how the ringtones made people feel because when they played them to the general public a lot of people couldn't notice or describe the differences in the ringtones. If they could the general response was 'that one was fast, that one was slow, that one was happy, that one was not happy' (those turned out to major and minor haha) that was about it. The participants with musical training were much better at hearing the differences and liked different ringtones to the participants without musical knowledge.

Just made me think of that... :-[

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It makes sense that musicians would be able to hear better than non musicians, because they practice it all the time (... provided they havn't gone deaf, which, lets face it, they have) in much the same way that a chef could taste better (seperate flavours, be able to tell whats in a meal and in what amounts etc) than a non chef. It's all training.

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haha i have the same thing rob

sometimes i have tracks going in my head which also confuse the matter

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I really liked this article.

sometimes i have tracks going in my head which also confuse the matter

This happens to me all the time and it seems to be like a shuffled playlist that jumps from track to track. I wonder whether my brain will ever press the stop button, I don't want it to though, who needs an ipod?  :cans:

I have found as I have started to learn more about music my ear is starting to get more finely tuned.

Selective hearing is another talent of mine. If i hear my name being dropped in a conversation on the other side of the house and I am watching tv at full volume, It is funny how I can manage to tune out of 'Masterchef' and into the conversation while the volume remains the same level on the tv.  :)

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Selective hearing is another talent of mine. If i hear my name being dropped in a conversation on the other side of the house and I am watching tv at full volume, It is funny how I can manage to tune out of 'Masterchef' and into the conversation while the volume remains the same level on the tv.  :D

hehe :P yes kim, it happens to me too!! having grown up around music, i've found that my ears are more sensitive to all kinds of noises around me, and it helps with my ability of memorisation. i can listen to a tune and then it'll stick in my head for a while, but when i read books i find it extremely difficult to interpret what i've just read. i suppose each individual has their own unique way in which they learn and musicians in particular have a great sense of fine hearing, due to the many years of practise and i guess that it is one of my key strengths in learning too. :)

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I think the main point raised here is that the more repetition of something you do the more attuned to it you become all the time!  I've found this especially true also of non-musical exploits, e.g learning a technique in say tennis then actually being able to notice it when watching a match on TV that I would of otherwise been oblivious to.  I think being attuned to different sounds can make me perceive them as being louder even when there is a lot of noise around them.

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I don't know if musicians can actually hear better (one would think their hearing would be damaged from playing/listening to so much music haha, unless of course they were super careful with earplugs etc)  But I think their brains probably decipher it better, skills from talent/learning.

My ex boyfriend is a drummer and he could always get stuff that I didn't cause hes a better musician than me haha,

He could teach himself drums/write out timing / whatever just from listening a few times.

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even more so for electronic musicians i've noticed... because they all have to involve themselves in mixing and analyzing sounds... and knowing how many sounds really are in all music... that was the big one for me... so many subtle sounds are in music that you don't hear but your brain hears them and just marks it as "a good groove"... when it is really much more complex than that...

after becoming a producer every type of music I listen to I can hear the compressors used on the drums, also can hear all the distant sound effects, subtle percussion, the quality of the kick and snare drum, and those little slides that bass players use before a beat drop...

my listening skills are amazingly better now...

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Hm. I agree partly to the question if musicians can hear/follow a converstion in a crowded sourrounding better.

I play music for a couple of years now and I have the impression, that I'm pretty bad at understanding people in a noisy place. Maybe it has to do with the reasons RB already mentioned... the songs which are playing :-D

I already noticed, that I am recognizing the songs playing pretty soon. Quite a while earlier than my mates. But to be honest, I don't really know if my hearing for voices is any better than that of the people around me. However I totally agree on the point with "hearing in layers" I definitely do that! I do that in rehearsals, I do that when we play shows, I do that when practising.

That pretty much made learning the guitar possible for me. I took some tabs I found on the internet, took the song and tried to figure it out. I tried to seperate the guitar from the rest of the band.

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I love picking people on a busy train, inconspicuously, and listen to their conversation. so, i think that musically minded people are creative and artistic enough to tune-in to certain sounds/ noises.

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yeahh i reckon musicians have heaps better hearing :mellow: I always hear little things and in music as well i can pick things out that no one else can hear, i like it :)

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I actually think I've developed more acute hearing after listening to my iPod all the time, despite what most would believe about the effects of long term iPod use. I never listen to mine too loud though.

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Personally, i think that music enhances the ear, develops the indiviudal with the knowledge of what the ear and sounds/music can do and become when noticed or acknowledged.

Example as a guitarist, im very poor with my ear, i can barely tune it with me ear.

But if i was in a restaurant, id notice the song in the background over anyone talking. Or could hear another conversation over the one im in..

Maybe it comes down to selective hearing.

BUt music has to be a positive for the ear and its development.

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I remember reading somewhere that musicians have better hearing in old age than non-musos - should really find that article - but yes I do think my hearing is alot better than my friends and family. We can be out and i'll hear something that my friends wont pick up on until i give them an idea of what theyre listening out for. Ive found that im more sensitive to certain sounds though, such as ceramic plates and kitchenware hitting each other. Working at a cafe has been such a bad thing for me! Even when im not in the kitchen and dishes clash it kind of raises the hairs and stops me dead in my tracks.

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As a musician, my personal opinion is that I have become much more sensitive to other sounds. I feel I can attribute this to performing with orchestras and in jazz ensembles.

I've found myself being much more sensitive background noise than most people I know who do not have a musical background or have had ear training. Background noises such as fans, air conditioners, and even electrical humming can become extremely distracting to me.

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