I'm back from Florida, well rested and ready for the new year. I still need to finish unpacking in our new house, a new course to design and two courses to rejigger, a symposium to organize, and a book review to write. But for now, here's a test designed to determine your sense of pitch. It is sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the NIH. There are 26 fragments from very familiar tunes (Christmas carols, national anthems, children's songs, etc.) that may or may not have been played correctly. Your job is to say whether the tune was distorted or not. The only distortions in this test are changes in pitch, no rhythm or intonation errors. The chief investigator, Dennis Drayna, states that this test has shown 5% of the population to have tin ears. In addition, this deficiency is inheritable, as shown by studying over 250 pairs of twins.
Now the members of the bløgösphère can prove their chops, by revealing their scores. I got a perfect score, 26 out of 26 correctly identified. If you do poorly, at least you are qualified to take part in the NIH study. The answers are found here, but no cheating!