Audiation, cochlear function, and the musical ear of Alfred Tomatis

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Music Education

First Committee Member

Stanley Schleuter, Committee Chair


The purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of Tomatis' (1953a) theory of the "Musical Ear" by determining if children with different levels of music aptitude hear differently. This theory postulates certain audiometric bases of musicality. Traditional (behavioral audiograms) and contemporary (distortion product otoacoustic emissions testing) audiometric techniques are used to test hearing and cochlear function, respectively, and to determine other aspects of ear function including hearing acuity at high frequencies, audiometric slope, and ear dominance. These data are then related to a recognized indicator of childhood musicality, music audiation skills as measured by Gordon's (1986a, 1986b) Intermediate Measures of Music Audiation. Data based findings provided no support for Tomatis' "Musical Ear;" however, some statistically significant results were discovered between Rhythm audiation skills and the magnitudes of otoacoustic emissions at mid- to high-frequencies.


Health Sciences, Audiology; Psychology, Psychobiology; Education, Music

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