I'm looking for a fantasy novel I read nearly 20 years ago about a young male protagonist who grows up different than everybody in his community. He is the only person unable to collect and use musical spheres due to an accident in childhood. However, a girl in his same community is able to collect vast numbers of these spheres, and due to this she goes away to live in the mountains where she discovers the spheres' origin. The boy becomes known for his ability to tune the spheres, and eventually goes to find the girl, who originally caused his accident. Anyone know this book?
I had been looking for this book forever too, and decided to look again tonight. I found this post and it helped me refine the words I used in my search. And, SUCCESS!
This is the book I was looking for and (I am almost sure) what you are describing above:
Is it possible this is a reference to the story "The Music of the Spheres" by Bradley Denton? The time period is a bit old, at 30 years ago - it was originally published in the March 1984 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. But it was re-published 10 years later in a collection of Denton's stories, titled A Conflagration Artist: http://www.amazon.com/A-Conflagration-Artist-Bradley-Denton/dp/1880448904
I can't find any detailed synopsis of the story that will allow me to confirm it, but in an interview (http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2013/06/interview-with-award-winning-author-bradley-denton/), Denton says "My first professional story sale — in July 1983, thirty years ago — was a novelette entitled “The Music of the Spheres” bought by Edward L. Ferman at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. It was about a musician searching for sounds and chords that had never been heard before."
The only other possibility I can find is Catherine Asaro's story "Moonglow" in the short story collection "Charmed Destinies", a pre-curser to her Misted Cliffs series starting with "The Charmed Sphere". One Amazon review of "Moonglow" says: " Jarid is the heir to the throne until his parents are killed in an ambush. The entire kingdom believes he is dead, but he in reality he is still alive, deaf, mute, and blind. Iris, who believes she has no real magic, finds him. It's decided that Iris must marry Jarid, and much of the story covers how Jarid and Iris get to know one another. " But that book is only about 10 years old (2003) Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Charmed-Destinies-3-Novels-1/dp/0373218338/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395186259&sr=1-1