White people! Take notice! There’s money to be made in disability claims here!
Beat-deafness is when your arms, legs and body can’t move in sync to music — and you can’t tell if another dancer isn’t in the groove, either. Plus, you have a hard time recognizing the “strong beat” in music. [In extreme cases, some victims] have trouble clapping in time or tapping fingers or a foot to the beat of a song.
[R]esearchers believe that beat-deafness is a newly-discovered form of congenital amusia — the most well-known form of this condition is tone-deafness. Beat-deafness is rarer than tone-deafness, and is likely a quirk in brain connectivity between the auditory cortex and inferior frontal cortex. Both beat- and tone-deafness likely have a genetic origin…. — bodyodd.msnbc.msn
I grew up and went to school with literally hundreds of victims of this condition – but I thought the problem was they were just dorks. Like their older siblings, who were known as squares and spazzes. And they were! But it turns out there’s an organic basis for their behavior. They were color blind to music.
It makes me wonder if there’s an opposite syndrome, one that prohibits the organism to appreciate anything BUT the beat. This condition, most apparent among but not limited to Latin and African-American youth, would explain that demographic’s infatuation with ear-splitting hip-hop and anti-musical rap.
Showing my age and prejudice here, I guess.
But seriously folks, as a classically trained musician myself, I’m absolutely convinced that music can be appreciated on some level by any sentient being, and that even if this congenital defect actually exists – I have my doubts – through education, immersion, and skilled guidance, the unique aesthetic experience that music provides can be appreciated by one and all. Race, ethnicity, and gender have nothing to do with it. Nor does age. All of us have something to contribute, and all of us have much we can appreciate.
As for those dorks I grew up with, while none of them can keep a beat, snap their fingers, or move their hips like I can, all of them make a whole lot more money.