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Virgil Thomson
Hearing Aid

Virgil Thomson Papers
Gilmore Music Library

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In his later years, the composer and critic Virgil Thomson (1896-1989) suffered from hearing problems. Unfortunately, his hearing aid offered only a partial solution; it amplified the sounds he heard, but it could do little to fix the distortions he perceived. He remarked that what he really needed was an unscrambler. Music sounded out of tune to him, so he could enjoy it only by silently reading scores.