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Thread: Holy Week Deafness

  1. #21
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Yes, I do get quite fatigued before I finish a piano any more. That's one reason I have cut back to just the occasional tuning as I look toward retirement. Some guys have hung onto their piano tuning customers as a cash cow for retirement, but I have almost begun to loathe doing it.

    If this ear ailment were to become chronic or if I don't fully recover, I would have to quit tuning. The latest symptom is very bizarre... My ailing left ear hears pitches HIGHER than my other ear. I mean, the very same pitch, from a tone generator app on my phone, may be a "C" in my right ear, but when I hold the speaker to my left ear, I hear a "C#" .... I demonstrated it to my tech associate this morning. I'd hold the phone to one ear and match the pitch vocally, then switch ears and match again. A half-step apart! This is absolutely mind-boggling.

    I discovered this when I was trying to listen to some piano music on a youtube video. I thought, wow, that piano is horribly out of tune. When I listened closely, I determined that my two ears were hearing the same music played in different keys!

    The only explanation I can think of is that the fluid is somehow distorting the cochlear portion of my ear, causing the waves transmitted into it by the hammer/anvil/stirrup bones to stimulate the wrong nerve endings!

    This is quite alarming. If I can't get over this, I may never be able to enjoy music again, and I would be devastated! I just hope it clears up soon. Today I think it's not as bad, or at least I had times of relative clarity in the left ear. Right now, I'm exhausted and it is as bad as ever.
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  2. #22
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Yep, it's 11:21 p.m. and I have service calls all day tomorrow, and I need to be asleep. But I'm up, and I'm playing the organ (or was until a minute ago). You wanna know why? Because I can HEAR! Thank you, Jesus! (And Amoxicillin.)
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  3. #23
    mf Mezzo-Forte musikfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbird604 View Post
    Yep, it's 11:21 p.m. and I have service calls all day tomorrow, and I need to be asleep. But I'm up, and I'm playing the organ (or was until a minute ago). You wanna know why? Because I can HEAR! Thank you, Jesus! (And Amoxicillin.)
    So glad to see this, John. And by the way, the pitch bending thing- I've had that happen to me, too. Except for me, it happens when I have a really long yawn - go figure! I can literally hear the pitch go lower, and then it comes back up, but for me it's equal in both ears. I think you were correct though, that your problem may be related to the fluid in the ear...who knows?? The human body is a quirky thing at times. At any rate, I hope things clear up for you. I'll keep you in my prayers.
    Craig

    Hammond L143 with Leslie 760
    Allen MOS 300-C

  4. #24
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Update and a funny story...

    It was two weeks ago today I first noticed the organ was not as loud during the service as I thought it should be, and then the very next day my left ear went totally deaf, right one questionable. I endured Holy Week with only partial hearing, then went to the doc the Monday after Easter. So now, one week post-doc, the Amoxicillin and Prednisone have done a lot of good, as I'm hearing just fine in the right ear, and the left one sort of comes and goes, like there is still some fluid in there or else the Eustachian tube is still partially blocked and the pressure can't stay equalized properly. Anyway, I'm better, and for that I am grateful.

    Humorous note: On Easter Sunday I thought, on my gosh, this is really bad, because I did not hear one toot out of my Festival Trumpet (which is the Spanish Trumpet patch on the Allen Expander). I assumed that was simply due to my ear troubles, as I'd already noticed I couldn't hear much organ if I sang -- my own voice just seemed to roar through my head and block everything else. But even without singing, I just couldn't hear that Festival Trumpet playing at all. Really disturbing.

    Well, I did all my practicing at home this week, never even fired up the church organ until this morning. So, on the last hymn I'd planned to solo out the melody on the Festival Trumpet, but when I started playing, I got nothing that I could hear. Still thinking, wow, this ear trouble is the pits.

    After the service it occurred to me that the Expander is routed into the organ amps via the little mixer that sits beside the console, which I also use to occasionally play a CD or keyboard through the organ speakers. What if the Expander's input had gotten turned off? Sure enough, I went back to the sanctuary and took at look -- turned all the way off! Probably been that way for the past two Sundays, if not the past three!

    And guess what? Once I turned it up to the normal position, I could hear that darned Festival Trumpet loud and clear! So that gave me something of a boost, just realizing that it wasn't just my ears! Sadly, several things I've played the past two Sundays must have fallen flat due to the missing Expander audio. I had an extra celeste programmed on one piston, and an extra mixture on another, and obviously neither of those was heard last Sunday or today either.

    Oh well, you live and learn. I'll not forget to double-check my Expander before EVERY service!
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

  5. #25
    pp Pianissimo tbeck's Avatar
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    John,

    I feel a little guilty about chuckling over your misfortune. It does make a great anecdote, though. After enough passage of time, of course.

    Tom

  6. #26
    Moderator jbird604's Avatar
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    Thanks. I really don't mind if it gives you a chuckle though. At this point, I was just so relieved to discover it wasn't my hearing that was that far gone!

    BTW, one choir member actually noticed that the Festival Trumpet didn't play. We use the hymn "My Hope Is Built" about once a quarter, and the choir members know I'm going to peel the paint with the FT on the last stanza, "When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found!" It was heartening to discover that someone actually notices
    John
    ----------
    Church: Allen MDS-45 with Allen MIDI-DIVISION-II expander
    Home: Allen Renaissance R-230 with expanded four-channel audio and MIDI-DIVISION-II
    Shop: Bunch of organs in varying conditions, some good, some not...
    Half of an incredible two-man organ service team -- servicing all the major digitals in Arkansas churches
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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