The myth of Golden Ears

November 12, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

We probably all know someone we consider to have golden ears. A person with hearing so acute they can pass judgment on recordings and stereo systems in microseconds. And they’re almost always correct.

Yet, does the term apply only to people with anatomically perfect appendages?

It doesn’t take a lot of thought to answer that question. No, of course not. There is no perfect ear. Everyone’s ears are different. None are better than any others at the task (though some are severely disadvantaged should they be compromised).

What we can say with some measure of accuracy is that some listeners are better trained than others. That people with a lot of exposure to the sound of live instruments, or training to pay close attention to small details, or those who have developed advanced abilities to capture, retain, and compare, are all closer to the ideal of a golden ear.

The gold in the ears is earned.

In the same way most of us can train ourselves to have perfect pitch, we can also learn how to be better listeners.

You can earn the title of Golden Ear for yourself. It just takes desire, a bit of work, and the knowledge that it’s a learned skill.

Go get golden!

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