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

Bad Singer: The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear Music

byTim Falconer

Hardcover | May 14, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$21.38 online 
$29.95 list price save 28%
Earn 107 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


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.
Tim Falconer is the author of Bad Singer: The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear Music, which the Globe and Mail named to The Globe 100 Best Books of 2016. He's also written books on activism, our love-hate relationship with the car, end-of-life ethics, and parenting. Falconer teaches creative nonfiction at the Univers...
Title:Bad Singer: The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear MusicFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 14, 2016Publisher:House Of Anansi Press IncLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1770894454

ISBN - 13:9781770894457


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very entertaining! I was hooked on this from the first page because it described a childhood scene almost identical to my own experience - when someone told me, in public, that I could not sing so just mouth the words while everybody else belted it out. The science, or theories at least, behind singing was news to me and fascinating. Best of all though is the story the author weaves in about his own (long) journey to overcome his inability to carry a tune. Interesting and entertaining.
Date published: 2016-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read Even though I knew the outcome of the "experiment" I was engaged throughout the book. This is a fascinating read for those who sing and those who just love music. I have recommended it to a few people already and they have enjoyed it as well.
Date published: 2016-09-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Bad Singer, Great Writer, Excellent Book I was amazed by all that I learned about singing and listening to music; but most of all, I enjoyed the author’s personal journey throughout the book. It was honest, sometimes funny, and other times almost heart-breaking.
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book's in tune! Falconer's journey to find out why he's a passionate music lover but can't sing mixes the personal (his laborious efforts to learn sing with a patient singing coach) with the science (his meetings with neuroscientists as he's finally diagnosed with amusia, or tone deafness). A great read for anyone interested in music, singing & popular science.
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! A warm, funny book that will leave you thinking differently about the place of music in your life, and the world around you. You'll be quoting it to everyone you know who loves music.
Date published: 2016-09-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this book A beautiful read. I liked how it took the authors personal appreciation of, and challenge with singing and used it to provide a broader picture of the impact music has on all of us, and why. Well done - a must for any music lover.
Date published: 2016-09-16

Editorial Reviews

"In his journey to understand why, exactly, he can't hold a tune - while having the ears and taste to appreciate great singing and songwriting - Tim Falconer takes us on a deeply absorbing journey into the worlds of brain science, singing coaches, music psychologists, ethnomusicologists, and into his own keening, music-loving heart. Bad Singer is a fun, fascinating, beautifully written, and strangely moving tale of a melodically-challenged man who yearned to sing. And it has much to say about the mystery of how music moves all of us, good and bad singers alike." - John Colapinto, author of Undone"Bad Singer deftly combines a memoir of Falconer's personal musical history with a scientific look into how humans hear music" - Maclean's Magazine"an engaging, step-by-step look into how scientists study tone deafness. an essential tale about how human beings, even those of us with tin ears, can't help but be drawn to music.Over the last decade there have been a number of books published about the science of music - such as Daniel Levitan's This Is Your Brain on Music, Oliver Sacks's Musicophilia, and David Byrne's How Music Works - and Bad Singer is a doubly successful effort because it doesn't retread the same ground of these books, with Falconer couching his subject in a personal journey that's enjoyable to follow" - Jay Hosking, National Post"...a fascinating read that combines personal narrative with scientific and cultural research..." - Chart Attack"Falconer's self-deprecating humour keeps Bad Singer's tone lighthearted and as entertaining as the photos of him hamming it up as a singer on the book cover. Lines like "I'm a bad singer. And deep down, it matters" produce an undercurrent of sorrow, but far more pronounced are his curiosity, vulnerability and perseverance. It's a deeply human book, and his most personal." - Quill and Quire" engaging tale..." - Winnipeg Free Press"Falconer is old school in his traditional approach to journalism. He conducts lengthy interviews and fluidly articulates complex scientific concepts. He's the protagonist yet he doesn't digress into self-indulgence. The result is fresh, intelligent prose. .While he may be a bad singer, he's a thorough researcher and gifted raconteur. What Falconer lacks in pitch he makes up for in curiosity and passion." - Toronto Star".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"As a reader you can't help but empathize with Falconer as he struggles through his singing lessons, learning to control his voice even though he can't always hit the pitches. And you cheer him on when, at the end of his quest, not exactly cured of amusia, he finally faces his audience-and the music." - Montreal Centre-Ville Magazine"A spirited, even adventurous look at the mysteries of how the human brain perceives and processes sound-and even, on occasion, manages to make beautiful music." - Kirkus Reviews