Bad Singer by Tim Falconer
The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear Music

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It’s a remarkable story of dogged determination to prove his own body wrong and, as such, is one of the more illuminating cultural studies of modern times.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

Author and journalist Tim Falconer — a self-confessed “bad singer” — is one of only 2.5 percent of the population that has been afflicted with amusia, ie: he is scientifically tone-deaf.

Bad Singer chronicles his quest to understand the brain science behind tone-deafness and to search for ways to retrain the adult brain. He is tested by numerous scientists who are as fascinated with him as he is with them. He also investigates why we love music and deconstructs what we are really hearing when we listen to it. Throughout this journey of scientific and psychological discovery, he puts theory to practice by taking voice and breathing lessons with a voice coach in order to achieve his personal goal: a public display of his singing abilities.

A work of scientific discovery, musicology, and personal odyssey, Bad Singer is a fascinating, insightful, and highly entertaining account from an award-winning journalist and author.

 

About Tim Falconer

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TIM FALCONER is an award-winning journalist and author of three books of nonfiction, including Drive: A Road Trip through Our Complicated Affair with the Automobile and That Good Night: Ethicists, Euthanasia, and End-of-Life Care. In 2010, he won a Canadian Institutes of Health Research journalism award to write about music and health, allowing him to produce a well-received 5,500-word piece about amusia that appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of Maisonneuve. That piece won a National Magazine Award and was followed by a radio documentary on the same subject on CBC Radio's Ideas. He teaches magazine journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto and Creative Nonfiction at the University of King's College in Halifax. He lives in Toronto.
 
Published February 14, 2017 by House of Anansi Press. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Bad Singer
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Vish Khanna on Jul 15 2016

It’s a remarkable story of dogged determination to prove his own body wrong and, as such, is one of the more illuminating cultural studies of modern times.

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Jay Hosking on May 17 2016

Think of it as the Badly Tuned Lyre of Orpheus, or the Myth of the Off-Key Sirens: Bad Singer is an essential tale about how human beings, even those of us with tin ears, can’t help but be drawn to music.

Read Full Review of Bad Singer: The Surprising Sc... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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