Hearing Skills in Musicians
Introduction: Considering the concept of neural plasticity and how musicians study, the music seems to offer advantages in hearing development.
Objective: This study aims to verify if the study of music can influence the performance of hearing skills.
Methods: The study was conducted in two stages. All participants had hearing thresholds up to 25 dB at frequencies of 0.25 to 8 kHz and normal conditions of the external and middle ear. In the first stage, we applied the tests difference limen for intensity (DLI), difference limen for frequency (DLF), and gaps in noise (GIN), respectively, assessing the perception of varying intensity and frequency and presence of intervals, in 10 musicians and 10 nonmusicians. In the second stage, we applied the hearing in noise test—the Brazilian version, which assesses the ability to understand speech in noise, in 15 musicians and 15 nonmusicians. The results were analyzed using analysis of variance and chi-square tests. Direct analysis of the values of DLF test was taken, because of its percentage amounts.
Results: There was similarity between groups with HINT, DLI, and GIN tests, and difference between groups with DLF test. A trend of better results in the group of musicians with DLI and GIN tests was observed, demonstrating that greater number of individuals could reflect different results. There was homogeneity of the results of each group and no difference in relation to gender.
Conclusion: The study of music influenced only in perception of frequency variations.
Keywords: Musicians, psychoacoustic characteristics, hearing in noise, hearing skills.