I just finished reading Bad Singer – the surprising science of tone deafness and how we hear music – by Tim Falconer. The book describes the journalist’s quest to understand why he’s a bad singer. He subjected himself to loads of scientific tests, talked to many of the leading researchers, and on and off took vocal coaching sessions from singer Micah Barnes.
The book goes into how people perceive music – pitch, rhythm, timbre, and what happens in the brain of a “tone-deaf” person compared to a good singer when singing. It was fairly interesting and informative and the author’s own struggle to learn to sing gave the book a personal touch. It’s kind of personal – kind of scientific – and relies on many meetings and interviews along the way. It’s a book that reads kind of like a long magazine article, if that makes sense.
Bad Singer is going into the 27th Street Book Box, so if you’re interested in learning some about why some people can perceive or produce accurate pitch, you can find it there.