I caught wind of a study at Newcastle Upon Tyne on musicality the other day. Take a brief internet linkurl:test;http://www.delosis.com/listening to determine whether you can tell brief snippets of midi fashioned melodies apart. The goal, presumably, is sussing out people with amusia. It?s no secret that some can?t carry a tune. Some folks are simply terrible, off-key singers and don?t recognize it no matter what anyone tells them, but a small percentage of folks actually can?t distinguish notes that are close together. This is amusia, and there might be a genetic component. This fascinates me. Music wasn?t so much a diversion growing up in our house as a duty. Lessons on something were mandatory and all my brothers and sisters can sing on key. I'll never forget my wife's shock when she heard us sing happy birthday. Everyone was on key, someone hit harmonies. Her family, she said, sounded as...

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