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Excellent article about music and cochlear implants


Mary Beth

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Very interesting and being a data geek, I love seeing the information on the frequency ranges! 

I'm curious why they quote the Med-El range that they do. (Low of 149 Hz  and High of 7352 Hz.)

I have it written down as the  standard frequency map of the following for Med-El.  Of course it would be changed for ABF or people with electrodes turned off.

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I'm also surprised that AB's listed range is so limited in the paper.  I see the unofficial comparison chart at CochlearImplantHelp.com doesn't list frequency range supported by the hardware.

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Nice article.  I’m always curious how the ci tech works.  Instruments sound the way they do because of all the harmonics after the fundamental.  I’m really hoping the electrode range and pps will help to translate those other harmonic partials to allow the instrumental timbre to come through.  Excited to find out I’m getting a 31 mm array in a week and an anatomy based fitting.  Crossing my fingers I eventually can hear music close to what I remember. 

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@Tim

I asked Brad and his response is

“it was based on FDA documents and programming software,  both of which change over time.”

 

Brad is very active in FB groups about hearing loss and music and is very responsive to questions.  He also presents at such conferences.

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@Rob Gellner I look forward to following your journey.  At first all notes on a keyboard sounded the same to me- all of them!  So don’t be discouraged if something similar happens to you too after activation.

Now I can recognize an instrument by its distinctive “voice” very very well.  We were at a concert and they had the trombones in front and the trumpets behind them.  I kept hearing deeper notes from the trombone all the way to the right and just thought his sheet music had him playing lower tones.  About midway through the concert they paused and introduced the musicians by name and instrument.  Turns out that trombone player was playing a BASS TROMBONE.  I did not even know such an instrument existed.  Smile

 

Love this unexpected gift of music from my CIs.  It was a gift that revealed itself slowly.  A very exciting journey for sure.

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A great article. It explains a lot. Pleased to hear the hearing improvement goes on for 3 years.

I am currently become a fan of cello and have difficultly hearing violin. This is why.

Thanks @Mary Beth 

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I had two reactions to the article.

First, I approached music listening from the exact opposite direction as Brad suggests. I began with familiar pieces and listened to them until they sounded correct to me (which admittedly took a few months) and only then began to listen to new material. It worked for me - I'm now able to identify instruments, enjoy live music, learn music by ear for the first time in 40 years and sing solo in public. My favorite music, both old and new, is enjoyable once more. But I understand why an audiologist might not want to inflict this on his patients; I'm told that I'm exceptionally bullheaded, and the acclimation process was a bit of a grind.

And second - despite the relatively limited frequency range of CIs in general and MedEl's in particular - when my bassist wife plays below 149 Hz, all the way down to low E1 (41.2 Hz), I can clearly hear both timbre and pitch. IMO that table of CI ranges should be taken with a grain of salt.

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@Roy

When I was activated, Med-El’s frequency default for MAPs was 100-8500 Hz.  Now I believe it defaults to 70-8500 Hz.

I have always heard notes lower than 100 Hz.  A piano keyboard extends lower than 100 Hz and I hear all notes on my piano with good pitch and timbre.  
 

So I figured that meant that the Med-El system took all sounds and superimposed them on the default frequency range.  
 

The frequency range of a program is noted in the programming report.

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@Tim the official range for the Rondo 3 is 70-9300 Hz.

rondo3 range.JPG

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@Rob Gellner I'm not musically educated. It took me many months (maybe around 6?) to be able to start recognizing the difference between musical instruments in Hearoes' exercise.  For example, telling the difference between a piano and a guitar.  That exercise was one of the hardest for me.  A year in, I feel pretty good on that exercise and can get about 80 or 90% typically, even with noise turned on. 

Like @Roy , I followed the opposite path that the articles lists by starting with the familiar but haven't made it anywhere near as far which make sense given that I'm far earlier in the process and far less musically experienced.  My strategy for music was to just tag/like/favorite music in spotify that made decent sense and then put the resulting play list on frequent replay. Gradually the playlist gets longer and the songs become move from recognizable to enjoyable. 

@Anthony Canada Thanks.  I didn't remember that frequency range.  I may do a little searching and look them up for other processors.

I think  @John Schulz has a neat little web app for trying frequencies that I may need to give another try. 

--------

Just glad to have power back on this afternoon. I had power at the house for 20 hours in the last 6 days. 

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The Sonnet 2 has the same published range. That range is of course the perfect world range of how well the device can transmit. I think the ranges in the article take into account what the typical recipient actually gets. 

I hope you've been staying safe my house would be a block of ice if I lost power for that long.

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@Anthony Canada Not quite a block of ice but it did get down to 35 degrees F in the house.  I can't complain too much, apparently no plumbing problems.  We had 5 medium sized branches fall off Douglas Fir trees.  Each about 20-30 feet in length and they all missed the house. 

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On 1/18/2024 at 2:21 PM, Mary Beth said:

Now I can recognize an instrument by its distinctive “voice” very very well.

Thanks for this great article @Mary Beth - it’s timely and insightful!

As I navigate my journey with my new CI (now 2 months post-activation), I find I need to reign in expectations on the speed of transitioning to a more enjoyable musical experience. I’m curious, how long did it take for you to truly savour music and distinguish the various instruments?

Also - being bilateral CIs, something I often ponder is whether to listen just with just my new CI to keep practicing with new, more complex sounds (eg music, podcasts - no captioning) or listen with both CIs? I just wonder which would be most effective over the long run.

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@NathalieM

I chose to train my new side alone for speech and speech in noise and I also wore it alone several hours everyday.

 

I have always approached music with both CIs and do not train musical pitch with only one CI.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I stumbled across this thread while struggling with the pitch section in Hearos.  I was convinced that the second note changed after hearing it the first time and that was why I kept getting it wrong🤪

The I hit on using the piano as a test.  Since I have no residual hearing in my implanted ear I thought to see how I responded to frequencies with the CI vs my "good" ear.  As I would have expected, the highest notes are readily hearable with my CI (flex28 electrode) while almost indiscernible on my other ear.  I was surprised however to experience just the reverse at the bottom scale.  I have also found 2 other things doing this.  First while I am able to differentiate pitch in my non CI ear even as close as half notes apart (trying to mimic the Hearos pitch test), I had to be as much as 3 notes apart to get more than 2/3rd right in my CI ear.  

Second, when I went back and forth between both ears on the same note I noticed that my CI ear was consistently higher in pitch through a broad range of octaves.  ABF issue? Since my CT scan after surgery was too close to my fitting, I dont think ABF was used.  Plan to review this on my next appointment.

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@jcech344

Pitch perception improved a lot as my brain settled into the CI input.  

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So I did an experiment today.  I confirmed what I should have expected.  My CI audiogram will be the reverse of my natural hearing one.  I can clearly hear even the highest notes on the piano and struggled with the lowest with my implanted ear.  I also determined that my CI is 2 or 3 notes too high across the sound spectrum than my natural hearing.  A bit more on the low frequencies than high.

As for pitch discrimination it followed the same pattern.  With high notes I had half as many errors distinguishing higher or lower notes in 2 notes sequences at C6 and just the opposite in the c3 sequences.  I like this test much better since it uses a different starting note and I kept the second note 2 notes away. I think this will be a better measure of improved pitch differentiation than what Hearos does.

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@jcech344

i like the Auralia Pitch Comparison app which is designed for music students- not CI users 

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