Researchers say that tone-deafness has a physiological basis: few neural connections between … uh … the frammitz and whatzitz lobes.
I think I may be tone-deaf. On the other hand, I may just have been lazy in music classes (I was lazy in all my other classes). I absolutely love music but I cannot play any musical instruments (laziness again being the likely factor). I’m pretty good at Guitar Hero, but if I anticipate the upcoming buttons I’m just as likely to guess wrong about whether a riff is high-to-low as low-to-high.
I can definitely tell “high and low,” at least with pure tones. But if you were to play a “C” and a “D” on a guitar or a piano, I could probably not say with certainty which was higher, much less say “that was a ‘C.'”I certainly cannot match up a note played on a piano and a note played on a guitar.
But again, I absolutely love music. Am I tone-deaf, or just lazy?
Update: Consensus is “tone deaf but don’t fret.” (See what I did there?)
I’m fascinated by new-found limitation! I’ve often wondered what being color blind “would be like” (I can hear Daniel Dennett say “It would be exactly like the experience of being color-blind”). But now I’m on the opposite side: here’s this sensory experience I love and I find that others have a richer (Necessarily? Well, if it’s like blue and green, yeah, that’s a big deal.) experience. How romantic! O Cruelle Neurons!