Are you tone-deaf? Find out using this music quiz

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

The Music Lab has created the citizen science platform, where it aims to learn more about how the human mind creates and perceives music. It does this by asking people to partake in a series of music tests, which are quite fun and help with the lab’s research.

The quizzes are only available on desktop right now, and it’s recommend that you use a good pair of headphones in a quiet environment, especially for the tone-deaf test. After choosing your gender and age and going through the calibration process, you’ll hear a serious of tones. All it requires is selecting whether the last tone is higher or lower. It initially seems very easy, but quickly becomes pretty difficult—for me, anyway. The whole thing takes about five minutes to complete.

There’s also the world music quiz. This plays a clip from an unfamiliar culture and asks if it's for expressing love, soothing a baby, dancing, or healing the sick. The two other tests consist of ‘Who’s listening,’ where you decide if the clip is being listened to by an adult or a baby, and the Synthesizer game, in which a synthesized version of a song is played and you have to work out its purpose and rate how closely it matches the original version.

The Music Lab writes that participation is completely anonymous. Responses are stored securely on a server at Harvard University under password protection.

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stewi0001

TS Evangelist
Platinum
"...in a quiet environment..." That's going to take me a while to find one but I do want to try this out.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
I'm using Firefox and can't get it to load for some reason, so I'm in a similar boat.
You're not running a script blocker, are you?

I've found certain sites won't load, even with full permissions granted. My standard browsing browser is Opera. Although I usually have them both open at once, for different purposes. I'll let y'all know how I make out with that.
 
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PcePce

TS Enthusiast
The test went from changing the pitch by semi-tones, to the equivalent of a slight but noticeably out of tune guitar. Weirdly, they seem to layer the reference tone over the 4th tone, which you're supposed to judge as higher or lower than the reference. I don't know whether that was intentional or I imagined it, but I had to tune out the reference tone and listen for the soft background tone.

They say at the end that only ~4% of the gen. pop. get below 20/32 correct, but getting 31/32 correct put me above 99.54% of people, meaning ~95% of people score ~62-94%.

I'm sure playing guitar, which I tune every day, made a big difference. Listening for the 'background' tone on the more difficult tests seemed important as well.
 
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xxLCxx

TS Addict
The test went from changing the pitch by semi-tones, to the equivalent of a slight but noticeably out of tune guitar. Weirdly, they seem to layer the reference tone over the 4th tone, which you're supposed to judge as higher or lower than the reference. I don't know whether that was intentional or I imagined it, but I had to tune out the reference tone and listen for the soft background tone.

They say at the end that only ~4% of the gen. pop. get below 20/32 correct, but getting 31/32 correct put me above 99.54% of people, meaning ~95% of people score ~62-94%.

I'm sure playing guitar, which I tune every day, made a big difference. Listening for the 'background' tone on the more difficult tests seemed important as well.
This might be it, but things might be more complicated.
I tried it with headphones plugged into my monitor. The audio is being processed twice this way. I’m quite sure that the lack of quality due to this and the fact that my headphones are junk, made a difference too.