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October 2021

Extended high frequency hearing sensitivity. A normative threshold study in musicians

Author(s): Sherman, R. E., Aldridge, J., Lorraine, A.

Journal/Book: Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1986; 95: 196-202.

Abstract: Sixty members of the Minnesota Orchestra (aged 24 to 64 years) and 30 nonmusicians (aged 20 to 69 years) were evaluated for hearing sensitivity within the conventional audiometric range (0.25 to 8 kHz) and within the extended high frequency audiometric range (9 to 20 kHz). Threshold data were evaluated by age, sex, and musician-nonmusician categories for the respective frequencies, and data were compared to other studies. Musician hearing appeared no poorer than nonmusician hearing, suggesting no major hearing loss from musicians exposure to orchestral noise. Hearing acuity of the two groups was similar to some normal groups reported in the world literature but appeared poorer in comparison to some normal groups defined by a very restrictive definition of normal hearing. Issues relating to the definition of normal hearing are explored. A mathematical model descriptive of the extended high tone hearing sensitivity for musicians and non-musicians evaluated was calculated. The formula is presented from which typical age-specific extended high frequency thresholds may be calculated for the 90 subjects evaluated.

Keyword(s): Auditory Threshold|. Hearing|. Music|

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