In brief: Do you consider yourself a bit of a music aficionado? If so, you should try out some of the tests created by Harvard University’s Music Lab—part of its department of psychology. Probably the most interesting of these is the tone-deaf exam, which isn’t as easy as one might imagine.
The Music Lab has created the citizen science platform, where it aims to learn more about how the human mind creates and perceives music. It does this by asking people to partake in a series of music tests, which are quite fun and help with the lab’s research.
The quizzes are only available on desktop right now, and it’s recommend that you use a good pair of headphones in a quiet environment, especially for the tone-deaf test. After choosing your gender and age and going through the calibration process, you’ll hear a serious of tones. All it requires is selecting whether the last tone is higher or lower. It initially seems very easy, but quickly becomes pretty difficult—for me, anyway. The whole thing takes about five minutes to complete.
There’s also the world music quiz. This plays a clip from an unfamiliar culture and asks if it's for expressing love, soothing a baby, dancing, or healing the sick. The two other tests consist of ‘Who’s listening,’ where you decide if the clip is being listened to by an adult or a baby, and the Synthesizer game, in which a synthesized version of a song is played and you have to work out its purpose and rate how closely it matches the original version.
The Music Lab writes that participation is completely anonymous. Responses are stored securely on a server at Harvard University under password protection.