Effect of musical training on musical perception and hearing sensitivity: Conventional and high-frequency audiometric comparison

Kazkayasi M., Yetiser S., Ozcelik S.

JOURNAL OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY, vol.35, no.5, pp.343-348, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.2310/7070.2005.0092
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.343-348
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


This prospective study was designed to investigate the role of musical training on musical perception and hearing acuity and to determine probable hearing loss. Thirty students, aged 17 to 23 years, were evaluated for hearing sensitivity within conventional and high-frequency audiometric ranges. The hearing thresholds of the controls were compared with those of the students. To evaluate the effect of musical training on musical perception, students were given an examination consisting of single-note, harmonic hearing; multiple sounds (chords with two, three, and four sounds), horizontal hearing; melody, and rhythm. Musical perception and the average hearing level of the students on admission to the faculty were compared with the data from students after a 2-year musical education program. The hearing sensitivity of the students at the initial and final evaluations was not similar. The average hearing acuity increased for the whole conventional audiometric range (p <.05). There was worsening for 12, 14, and 16 kHz for the high-frequency audiometric range (p <.05). The decrease in average hearing acuity at these frequencies was statistically significant, as indicated by Student's t-test (p <.05). Although the average musical hearing sensitivity increased for horizontal hearing (p <.05), it did not change for harmonic hearing (p >.05). Musical training might increase the spontaneous attention to the sound heard and the ability to discriminate. Hearing reduction at the high frequencies might be attributed to continuous noise exposure.