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29 votes
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Do ear plugs have a big effect on ability to hear the music?

I write from personal experience -- I now always wear earplugs as an audience member in big gigs. When music is very loud, it impairs your ability to hear detail. Pitch and even rhythm become ...
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29 votes
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How do professional electronic musicians/sound engineers combat listening fatigue?

One of the most common pieces of advice I hear about this is to take breaks. You're right that in some situations (extremely tight deadlines, for example) this may not be practical, but in reality, it'...
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28 votes

Why does music seem to transpose when I yawn?

In The Physics and Psychophysics of Music: An Introduction by Juan G. Roedere, a footnote on page 107 reveals this gem: ...there is also a shift in pitch when the pressure in the cochlear fluid ...
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20 votes

Is the ear really phase insensitive?

You don't notice the phase of a particular note that arrives in one ear. But the brain can detect phase differences between your ears. That's the main mehod your brain uses to work out which ...
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19 votes
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How can we sing in tune, given a perfect ear for music, if we always hear ourselves lower than we actually sound?

The BBC article is confusing pitch with frequency response. When one says your voice sounds lower to you than it does to other people, this is referring NOT to the pitch of your voice (the dominant ...
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16 votes

How do professional electronic musicians/sound engineers combat listening fatigue?

Taking breaks has been mentioned, and is obviously a good idea! Other ideas: A change is as good as a rest: work an a different project for a while, and come back to the first one listen to other ...
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15 votes

Is the ear really phase insensitive?

I used to be a sensory neuroscientist, and I teach systems physiology. The ear is phase sensitive at low frequency, which is why inter aural time delay is the dominant mode of horizontal auditory ...
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12 votes
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Does hearing fatigue?

Wow, this is a big subject - & one I'm not fully qualified to answer, but I'm going to try anyway... Hearing fatigue is a very real phenomenon, though it takes many forms, of which I shall just ...
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12 votes

Why can't wearing both ear muffs (whether passive or active) and earplugs simultaneously yield more than 36 dB noise reduction ratio (NRR)?

Small disclaimer about decibels For sound pressures, decibels are defined as follow: XdB = 20 log (p1/p0) with p1 being the amplitude of the pressure field of the sound, and p0 a reference (...
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12 votes

How to develop a musical ear when even singing poses great difficulty?

Your absolute best bet is to find a teacher -- both to guide the process and to give you external feedback. However, as an interim step, you could try this: get an electronic tuner (or app) of the ...
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  • 54.9k
11 votes

Are the highest pitches always the easiest to hear in a musical texture?

Yes, some frequencies are easier to hear. We tend to be specially sensitive to frequencies around 2000 and 5000 hertz. The resonance of the ear canal and the transfer function of the ossicles of the ...
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  • 15.9k
11 votes

What is the point of notes lower than human hearing

We hear with our ears, but other body parts are susceptible to vibrations. The percussionist/drummer Evelyn Glennie is profoundly deaf, and apparently uses her bare feet to detect vibrations - which ...
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10 votes
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Am I the only one to hear Cb instead of B here?

Sure, if you listen to this chord out of context, it sounds like a 2nd inversion Ab minor chord. But in context, at least to me, the chord and its resolution on the second eighth note seem to be a ...
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10 votes
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If the resolution of human hearing is approximately five cents, how can musicians play works with intonation changes of less than five cents?

With a bit of training, a good musician can hear differences of 2 cents, and with significant talent and/or a lot of practice, 1 cent. I base the above statement on my personal experience with ...
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9 votes

Do ear plugs have a big effect on ability to hear the music?

When I practice with my band, and when we do gigs, I always wear earplugs. It does not affect the ability to hear details in the music, to hear what the other band members are doing. Everybody else in ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Sometimes I naturally sing songs in the right key. Do I have perfect (absolute) pitch?

The Levitin Effect The ability to intuitively sing a song in the key your originally heard it is known as the Levitin Effect.1 It is a cognitive ability separate from absolute (perfect) pitch insofar ...
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  • 54.9k
8 votes

Being deaf and still produce music, how is that possible

He seems to wear a hearing aid, so he isn't profoundly deaf. According to Wikipedia he's 90% deaf. His parents bought him a drum set after noting him react to music on the radio. (Just what the ...
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8 votes

How to develop a musical ear when even singing poses great difficulty?

I'm guessing you do not play any instrument. If you do, I'm amazed. Get yourself something - a keyboard is recommended - a kid's one will do. The physical act of seeing where, pressing, listening and ...
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  • 173k
7 votes

Do ear plugs have a big effect on ability to hear the music?

Are there specific ear plugs that are made to protect one's hearing and yet maintain some level of detail in the sound? Yes, those kind of earplugs are called flat-response attenuators (or more ...
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7 votes

Is the ear really phase insensitive?

The ears, and our neuro processing, are amazing gadgets. Yes, the phase difference between left and right contributes to directional location, but there's more than that going on. If that were the ...
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6 votes

Can a note be heard in wrong pitch?

Absolutely! Shepard-Risset tones sound as if they are continuously rising or falling; this is done by continously changing the overtone content of the sounds such that when the central perceived pitch ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Can a note be heard in wrong pitch?

Communicating in a language that is not your own can be very frustrating! The answer is yes, and they are called combination tones Some examples here when certain pitches are tuned to just ...
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  • 4,935
6 votes

Do ear plugs have a big effect on ability to hear the music?

I use ear plugs and the frequency range I'm hearing shrinks. I don't hear highs and lows as clear as I would without them. But I protect my hearing and it is worth it. Lowering stage volume and good ...
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  • 2,479
6 votes

Am I the only one to hear Cb instead of B here?

The way you've phrased your question is a little strange, since the only possible answer would be "no, you are undoubtedly not the only one." I hear it a little differently from Scott, but it doesn't ...
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  • 1,516
6 votes

How do professional electronic musicians/sound engineers combat listening fatigue?

3d12 and topo morto covered most of it, but having a good set of (correctly positioned) studio monitors also makes a huge difference. You can mix more effectively and at a lower volume, and you tend ...
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6 votes

Exercises to go beyond basic relative pitch, and notice if any given interval is out of tune, by how much, and in which direction

The absolute best exercise to train your relative pitch is to sing music on some kind of movable system. This is because movable systems—like movable do and scale-degree numbers—teach you the ...
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6 votes
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At what nps a note could be considered as just continuous hum?

If the note is played percussively (e.g. with a pick, as opposed to e.g. a violin bow), at somewhere around 30 nps the attack of the note itself will be heard as a low note. Why? Simply because around ...
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