I have been preparing recordings of sessions from our Child Health Priorities Conference from December 2016 for uploading to YouTube. As a tribute to my late colleague Prof Maurice Kibel and to promote the conference’s geist on World Aids Day, I sang one of his songs karaoke style. In Maurice’s inimitable style Cole Porter’s “Let’s do it; let’s fall in love” becomes ” Let’s talk about Aids” to comic effect.

Listening to the recording I was mortified to find that I sang the whole song marginally sharp. While the right brain sinks in mortification and confusion, the left brain raises a question: Is it a corollary of hearing ‘out of tune’ that I now sing out of tune; that I sing ‘in tune’ to my hearing (and satisfaction) but out of tune to the actual pitch – and other people?

I find the idea deeply embarrassing. It is a shock to my understanding of my musicianship; an assault on my persona.