Varieties of musical disorders. The Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Nov;999:58-75. doi: 10.1196/annals.1284.006.


Multiple disorders of musical abilities can occur after brain damage. Conversely, early brain anomalies or vast brain injuries may sometimes spare ordinary musical skills in individuals who experience severe cognitive losses. To document these incidences, comprehensive behavioral testing is required. We propose to use the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) because it is arguably the best tool currently available. Over the last decade, this battery was developed and validated in populations with brain damage of various etiologies. Furthermore, the MBEA is theoretically motivated and satisfies important psychometric properties. It is sensitive, normally distributed, reliable on test-retest, and correlates with Gordon's Musical Aptitude Profile, another more widely used battery of tests. To promote its wide usage, the MBEA is now available upon request. In addition, individual MBEA data of 160 normal participants of variable age and education have been made available to all via the internet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Perception
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Music*
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics*