from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Loss, through disease, of the ability to express musical sounds either vocally or in strumentally, to write musical notation (the power of ordinary writing being retained), or to appreciate musical sounds mentally. See tone-deafness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The inability to comprehend or respond to music.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin, from Ancient Greek ἀμουσία (amousia, "without harmony"), from ἄμουσος (amousos, "without song"). The Muses were nine daughters of Zeus and the goddesses of arts and sciences.


  • Loved this from the article: Ms. Barker has the condition amusia despite the fact that her parents own a store specializing in traditional Irish instruments.

    Musical Minds, on PBS's Nova

  • Delves into amusia tone deafness, music therapy, musical hallucinations, imagined music, musically-induced seizures and more.


  • Tone deafness -- or amusia – can be congenital, present from birth, or acquired following injury to the brain.

    Science and a bit of snoopery

  • ~ Brain changes associated with congenital amusia -- About four percent of the population has congenital amusia, a lifelong disability that prevents otherwise normal functioning individuals from developing basic musical skills.

    Speedlinking 11/30/07

  • In a new study, researchers now report the first objective measurement of the brain deficit in congenital amusia.

    Science and a bit of snoopery

  • The medical profession is still investigating the cause of amusia and it is possible that there is a genuine affliction that disables the ability to distinguish musical intonation, but in the vast majority of cases, even the most excruciating singer can be taught to sing in tune. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • The opposite is true of the less than 1% of the population who suffer from amusia, or true tone deafness. Top Stories

  • To bring this back around to the original point, any enforced political dystopia must be rooted in a kind of existential amusia, in which one has lost the ability to detect the rhythm, melody, and harmony of history.

    One Cʘsmos

  • Cheryl has lost all appeal she may have had with her complete amusia every week.

    Irish Blogs

  • Using SSIRH one is able to explain why there are occurrences of isolated amusia or aphasia

    Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium - Recent changes [en]


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  • n., loss of a musical ability

    July 8, 2008

  • “Anne Barker, however, sits at the opposite extreme: she suffers from amusia, an inability to hear or respond to music.”

    The New York Times, Our Brains on Music: The Science, by Mike Hale, June 29, 2009

    July 1, 2009

  • Not really related:

    "What does the human brain sound like? Now you can find out thanks to a technique for turning its flickering activity into music. Listening to scans may also give new insights into the differences and similarities between normal and dysfunctional brains."

    New Scientist, Do healthy brains make sweet music?, by Nora Schultz, July 1, 2009

    July 4, 2009