Many years ago I read a story about a musician who played an instrument (clarinet?) in an orchestra -- but a world so noisy that everyone's hearing had atrophied. Audiences attend concerts at which they watch machines that register pitches as the music played. The protagonist barricades himself in a padded room until his sense of hearing returns. However, when he emerges, the blast of sound drives him back into the sound-proofed room.
He then invents a machine that will display pitches but requires no musicians. The hero thinks this will convince people to reduce the world's noise so that they can hear again. The plan fails, however.