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Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #1 

I would like to share this interesting article from the HEARING LOSS HELP e-Zine Volume 5, Number 3, May 30, 2010

Topic: Reduce Your Tinnitus by Listening to Your Favorite (Notched) Music
                                                                        by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.

You may subscribe to this e-zine at

copy-pasted below is NOT the entire article but just the relevant part ......
Researchers feel that tinnitus is "associated with a relative
excitatory-inhibitory cortical neural network dysbalance, at the
expense of the inhibitory system." Say what? In plain English,
what this means is that when everything is functioning properly,
some auditory neurons in our brains may get too excited and
"talk" out of turn so to speak. When they do this, the surrounding
neurons tell them to "shut up". This maintains order in the
auditory cortex.

However, when too many begin to talk out of turn and not enough
tell them to "shut up", things get a bit wild and the result is tinnitus.
If this situation is allowed to continue, it becomes the new norm
and you end up with constant tinnitus.

Furthermore, if you have a hearing loss, some neurons in your
auditory cortex are deprived of normal sound signals. Since
neurons are not happy doing nothing, they "rewire" themselves
so that they are no longer excited by the frequencies they were
originally tuned to. Instead, they tune in to the frequency of their
neighboring neurons. When a bunch of them do this, the resulting
synchronized spontaneous neural activity apparently results in
what we call tinnitus.

The good news is that previous research has shown that this
"rowdy" behavior can be modified by behavioral training. The way
the researchers did this in this study was to eliminate sounds at
the frequency of the person's tinnitus.

It appears that notched-music therapy may prove to be an
enjoyable, low-cost and casual (relaxed) treatment for reducing
tinnitus a significant amount.
.... consists of  listening to your favorite music for about 2
hours a day for a year. How hard can that be when one of the
benefits is reducing the volume of your tinnitus?
In order for this to work, there are two conditions you must meet.
First, your tinnitus must be a tonal kind of tinnitus that stays at a
constant frequency. Second, the music you listen to must be
digitally modified to take out the frequency of your tinnitus--hence
the term "notched music"--as you have a notch where there is no
sound at your tinnitus frequency.
(The way the researchers created this "notch" was to filter out a
whole octave of sound centered around the frequency of the
person's tinnitus.)
Then, you just listen to your music for about 2 hours a day for the
next year. By the end of 6 months, you'll notice that the volume of
your tinnitus is dropping significantly.
After 12 months, the people in this study found their tinnitus had
dropped in volume by about 28%, and their annoyance at their
tinnitus had dropped around 22%. In contrast, those in the
placebo group (who listened to their favorite music without the
notch) actually had their tinnitus increase about 9% and their
annoyance at their tinnitus increase about 7%. (There was no
indication as to what kind of music people listened to, nor at what
The reason this notched music therapy appears to work is that
our brains are "plastic". That means they can adapt and change
their responses over time. Apparently our brains are more
amenable to changing based on listening to sounds we like rather
than to ones we dislike--hence the need to choose music you
particularly like.


Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #2 
I've been trying this for about a month now.  Here is a do-it-yourself guide someone put together.  I've also attached the journal article that this protocol is based on.

It's hard to say at this point if I think it's working for me or not.

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: notched_music_Page_1.jpg, Views: 309, Size: 415.12 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: notched_music_Page_2.jpg, Views: 133, Size: 320.10 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: notched_music_Page_3.jpg, Views: 84, Size: 484.41 KB  Click image for larger version - Name: notched_music_Page_4.jpg, Views: 75, Size: 412.82 KB 


Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #3 

How did you manage to get your favourite music notched? I tried using SoundForge to edit and remove frequencies at 800 kHz but the software gobbled up the frequencies ranging from 600 - 1Khz range. The edited music output sounded like a bad recording.

Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi:  I followed the do-it-yourself guide exactly as posted.  I used CoolEdit and also have done it with WavePad.  The study only used subjects whose tinnitus was in the following range:  2375 to 8000 Hz.  Mine is at 4000 Hz, which is around the highest note on the piano.  Your frequency, 800 Hz, is much more centered on people's voices and acoustic instruments.  So, when you notch around that, it is likely to not sound great.  You might experiment with the music choice.  I'm using Lady Gaga because pop music has higher frequencies, whereas the notch around 4000 Hz was barely visible (audible) in the Brahms piano concerto I had chosen.

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