Are You Tone-Deaf? Take the Test and See for Yourself!

You’ve probably tried the colour blindness test. But could you be tone-deaf?

Do your friends cringe when you sing along to the radio? Are you told to lip-sync along with the choir?

If yes, there is a possibility that you might not be tone-deaf.

Yup, you read that right. Even though you keep the street cats at bay with your set of pipes, the chances that you are tone-deaf is EXTREMELY small. By extremely small, I mean that only less than 4% of the total world population is tone-deaf. The probability of you being a part of that 4%? Highly unlikely.

Besides, you would know if you were because other people would notice that you speak in a monotone. No inflections. (That high school teacher who put you to sleep with his droning, monotonous tone? Probably tone-deaf)

Tone deafness isn't as common as you think

If that’s the case, what is tone deafness?

Tone deafness, scientifically called congenital amusia, is the inability to recognize differences in pitch. Pitch is the quality of music which we refer to when we say a melody is “high” or “low”. Tone deafness is not associated with any other trait. You can be tone-deaf but have good hearing, a sense of rhythm and a good memory. You just can’t identify pitch very well.

In extreme cases, what sounds like music to the ears of a normal person, sounds like clanging pots and pans to an amusic (a person affected by amusia). Some other amusics might hear sounds that they find beautiful, but not in the same way that others hear the same piece of music (this is like “the dress” all over again. For the record, I saw it in gold and white)

"Oh, you were singing? Sorry, I thought you were clearing your throat."

Now, for the real test…

If you still have lingering doubts that you might be tone-deaf, the miracle of internet provides a simple solution – an online test. If you’ve taken pop quizzes to find out which Disney princess you look most like and which celebrity you’re going to marry in the future, this should be no sweat. offers a simple test which shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete. Click the link above to begin. Off you go, let’s see how you fare.

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So how did it go? Did you pass or fail? Well, guess what – it doesn’t matter! Even if you failed the test, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re tone deaf. You probably didn’t make through because you haven’t had enough exposure to musical training. After a few months of ear training, almost everyone gets it.

Tone-deaf people don't recognize it when they are off key

Myth busting time

It is common knowledge that genetics is important in tone deafness. So, you are more likely to be tone-deaf if it runs in the family (now you know who to blame for your crappy singing).

But then again, if your family isn’t “tone deaf” in the true sense, they probably didn’t get you musically trained because they believed that they didn’t have the “gift of music” to pass on to you in the first place. This cycle led you to believe that you’re “tone deaf” as well.

So, what I really want to say is – you’re not tone-deaf. That’s the plain truth. If you love to sing but you think you aren’t good enough, keep singing anyway. It’s the only way to get better. The next time some jerk tells you that you can’t sing, just burst into a verse of “The hills are alive with the sound of music” then and there.

Ain’t nobody gonna rain on your parade.

Image Credits – Google Images


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