Since time began, music has been an important part of culture and self-expression; it is a complex composition of consonance, dissonance, harmony, melody, pitch, and rhythm. It is ingrained in human lives before they even emerge. From a young age, children can recognize music and the emotion that it is associated with. Some, however, are not born with this feature. According to Hyde and Peretz (2004), approximately 4% of the world’s population is born with an inability to experience music (p. 356). This condition, coined congenital amusia, and more commonly referred to as “tone-deafness,” is the inability to perceive music from birth. While individuals with the condition are able to live their everyday lives with little disruption, scientists seek to understand where in the brain music originates and why these individuals are born without this musical system.
In their case study of G.G., a 64-year-old man born with amusia, Reed, Cahn, Cory, and Szaflarski (2011) were able to notice the extreme differences in musical ability compared to…show more content… Amusia cannot be traced to deficits in intelligence, memory, or attention, as these have been found to be unimpaired in individuals with the condition (Reed et al., 2011). They claim the only issue lies in the individual’s ability to perceive, produce, or appreciate music (p. 306). Music is not only organized by pitch, but it is also organized temporally; in G.G.’s case and in many others, the only impairments associated with music involved an inability to recognize and distinguish tones and semitones, not rhythm and timing. While an individual with the condition may be dysfunctional in regard to pitch, rhythm is a much lesser issue. Therefore, someone with this condition may be able to keep the beat of a song, but would not be able to match the