The music for an hearing impaired

Dario Sorgato
Monday October 24th, 2011 10:12 pm

I have not written about music yet.
In a blog of/for the deaf and hearing impaired (and blind and visually impaired) it should have be a topic of prime importance to deal with at the third post or so.
This involuntary delay befits a recent thinking on my relationship with music.

I like music. I like the Italian one, I like rock, dark, pop, reggae, grunge.
As a child I learned to play the piano. I remember that I was good. Very promising. But I quit. At school we were taught to play the flute. I always wanted to learn to play guitar, then I was passionate with saxophone and recently I had the idea to try with the accordion. Obviously I do not have clear ideas and maybe the necessary determination. Pheraps I’m missing a real boost of passion.
I am not a good percussionist and even if sometimes I sing in public and I like to sing, people often point out that I am out of tune.
I listen to music, but I’m not one of those who run with headphones in their ears, and always with the iPod in their pocket. In my house where I have two hi-fi,
but I have not brought them with me in my last move. Now I have a small system, but it is always off. I have a clock radio in the kitchen that I turn on when I cook.

Following this introduction, we would say that my relationship with music is terrible and almost non-existent.
Yet when I listen to some songs I get touched. Other times I listen to music while I read the lyrics. I playback for certain songs even 10 times.

The point is that I recognize that many of my friends are constantly listening to music. They always have a song in the ears and the first thing they do when they come home is to turn on the stereo or computer and put some music. Most of my friends play an instrument and they are able to sing a song following the right rythm

Why not me?

I am of the opinion that if I bone up seriously I could learn an instrument, I could improve my sense of rhythm (perfect when I dance 80s music), but ‘others’ have innate sense of rhythm and have not learned, the have always had it.
Moreover, for many people the car is one of the perfect ‘places’ for listening to music. Even if it is really loud no one says anything, and you can not do anything else than listening while driving and go with your journey within the journey.
Also this possibility is denied.
I never asked if the hearing loss is the cause of my musical limitations, but recently I was convinced that I shall blame it for this and set against all the faults.
But Beethoven was deaf.
Yes, one. Just one. Deaf after becoming Beethoven probably.
I have persuaded myselves that I never got the rythm because I’ve never heard it well.
I never learned the songs of cartoons when I was a child and every time I turned the music loud to hear (and listen) it properly my father came in my room to tell me to turn it down.
Then I moved to live alone the problem were not roommates, but the neighbors.
If I put the headphones while walking down the street I am so isolated from the world that I feel in danger. Retinitis pigmentosa limits my attention to what happens and if I blank out the little hearing I have left I turn into a human caterpillar that puts at risk the lives of small children and my own.

This does not mean that I do not get goosebumps when I listen to
Venus, The Air
Mad World – Gary Jules
Half Light I – Arcade Fire
Just Breathe – Pearl Jam
Off He Goes : Pearl Jam
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
As I Sat Sadly By Her Side – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
(just to name a few)
for the melody, to the words, for what they mean to me.

And you? What is your relationship with music? How di you get the emotions of a song?

Live music deserves a separate mention, where the violent vibrations, people, lights, sounds transforms listening into a total sensory experience, where the degree of hearing loss is less important, because the music becomes part of the body and you listen with the whole body, not just the ears