Published on April 16th, 2018 | by Alan Cross


What would it be like to lose the ability to hear musical notes? This short film explores a condition known as cognitive amusia.

Back in elementary school, I sat next to a guy in homeroom who couldn’t hold a note in a bucket. Every utterly tone-deaf rendition of “O Canada” and “God Save the Queen” was an assault on the senses. Yet he had no idea that he couldn’t sing and belted out every note like he was Pavoritti at La Scala.

The term for this condition is “cognitive amusia,” the inability to process pitch. More severe forms may involve musical memory and even the ability to recognize notes. Imagine if this condition would suddenly afflict a musician.

Fabio Ricci shot a short film on the subject called Every Measure. Linda, a piano teacher who has recently lost her 6-year-old daughter, finds that she can no longer hear musical notes. Take a look.

Every Measure from Fabio Ricci on Vimeo.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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