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Bethany Brookshire

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Scientists Say: Amusia

This is the scientific term for tone-deafness

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Many people who are amusic — or tone deaf — don’t enjoy music because they can’t hear the tune. 

miya-aki/Flickr/(CC BY 2.0)

Amusia (noun, “A-MUSE-ee-ah”)

Amusia is commonly known as tone-deafness. This is a brain disorder where people can’t tell one note from another. They can’t recognize a tune, either. Many people think they have amusia, but most do not. Only about one in 25 people — or four percent — are truly tone-deaf.  

In a sentence

People who are tone-deaf can’t hear a tune, but there is nothing wrong with their ears, and scientists still aren’t sure where the problem lies in the brain.

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amusia  Commonly called tone-deafness, this is a brain disorder where people are unable to tell one note from another, to recognize tunes or to remember music they have heard before.

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