NIH Clinical Research Studies

Protocol Number: 00-DC-0176

Active Accrual, Protocols Recruiting New Patients

Genetic Studies of Tune Deafness
This study will examine the hereditary basis of tone deafness by identifying regions of the human genome linked to this condition. Both exceptionally good pitch recognition (perfect pitch) and exceptionally poor pitch recognition (tone deafness) run in families. A better understanding of what causes tone deafness may provide new insights into auditory (hearing) function.

Individuals with two or more family members 15 years of age or older who are tone deaf or have trouble recognizing different melodies may be eligible for this study. Candidates will be screened with a short listening test for pitch and a short written test. Those identified with poor pitch recognition will fill out a brief questionnaire about their family tree and family members (without identifying names) who have trouble recognizing melodies or tones. Individuals with poor pitch recognition will be asked to help contact family members who may be interested in participating.

Members of families with two or more first-degree relatives (parents, grandparents, siblings) who are tone deaf may enroll in the study. They will provide a blood sample (about 2 tablespoons) for genetic studies and may take a 20-minute hearing test using headphones.

Sponsoring Institute:
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Recruitment Detail
Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Referral Letter Required: No
Population Exclusion(s): None

Eligibility Criteria:

Individuals over the age of 15.

This study includes both males and females, and includes members of all racial and ethnic groups. This study includes both normal and tune deaf individuals, as well as individuals that may have intermediate scores on the Distorted Tunes Test, indicating a status between completely tune deaf and normal.


Hearing impaired individuals, as first estimated by a score of 25 or greater on the American Academy of Otolaryngology's 5 Minute Hearing Test, or subsequently by audiological exam.

Cognitively impaired individuals.

Family members in families where only one person exhibits tune deafness.

Individuals currently using psychoactive medication.

Special Instructions:
Currently Not Provided
Auditory Processing
Pitch Recognition
Recruitment Keyword(s):
Tone Deafness
Tune Deafness
Congenital Amusia
Healthy Volunteer
Tone Deafness
Investigational Drug(s):
Investigational Device(s):
Supporting Site:
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office
Building 61
10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-4754
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
TTY: 301-594-9774 (local),1-866-411-1010 (toll free)
Fax: 301-480-9793


Perfect pitch

The perception of pitch

Absolute pitch: an approach for identification of genetic and nongenetic components

Active Accrual, Protocols Recruiting New Patients

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