A while back me and some of my girlfriends went dancing. At the club, we encountered a group of some of my deaf friends, some who were profoundly deaf and could not hear or speak–but communicated via sign language. All of us went off to the dance floor.

The music was, indeed, VERY loud. I’m always amazed and intrigued about how people process sound (or noise); I couldn’t actually hear the music, but rather, my experience of music was just blurred words and sounds all jumbled together into some weird notion of “beats.” Strangely enough, when I’m hearing a song on my iPod, I can hear the words and recognize the singer. I can’t do that over speakers or over a radio–unless someone actually tells me what the song/singer/band is.

Anyways, one of my friends was watching my deaf friends dance. Curiously, she asked me how could they “hear” the music, let alone seem to dance perfectly in tune with the beats. Were they imitating other partygoers around them, or were they actually hearing the music–and if so, how? I asked her if she’s ever leaned against the wall or placed her own hand on her chest when loud music is playing–and we all placed our hands to our chest–and if she could “hear” the oscillations waving through her bones. My goodness–the looks on my girlfriends’ faces! Priceless!

I do hear loud music that way sometimes. I place my hand to my chest to make out what I cannot “hear” through my hearing aids. It was always an intuitive thing and I never thought about the science behind the acoustics or of oscillation…but I was amazed when I saw this piece, over from Modern Mechanix, which is possibly one of my new favorite blogs:


What do you think? Have you ever experienced such a sensation?

Latest Comments

  1. Gillian says:

    Interesting post. I found out yesterday that my son is hard of hearing. I look forward to sitting down and reading your blog(s) one of these days to help me understand how he will move through the world as he gets older.


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