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Inherited musical ability

GUEST,Fibula Mattock 09 Mar 01 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 09 Mar 01 - 09:49 AM
Bagpuss 09 Mar 01 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 09 Mar 01 - 11:02 AM
Wolfgang 09 Mar 01 - 11:06 AM
Gypsy 09 Mar 01 - 11:07 AM
radriano 09 Mar 01 - 11:09 AM
Ebbie 09 Mar 01 - 10:08 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 10 Mar 01 - 04:50 PM
Justa Picker 10 Mar 01 - 05:16 PM
Amos 10 Mar 01 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Zigzag 10 Mar 01 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,Dancing Mom 10 Mar 01 - 11:41 PM
Matt_R 10 Mar 01 - 11:51 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 11 Mar 01 - 04:11 PM
Bernard 11 Mar 01 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: Inherited musical ability
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 09:48 AM

The BBC lunctime news today ran a report on the role of genetics in musical ability. It concludes that there is a strong link, and that inheritance plays a large part in musical ability. I thought this would be of Mudcat interest. The story is here


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 09:49 AM

erk - blue clicky problems. Equal sign messed up. Try this


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Bagpuss
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 10:40 AM

Interesting article - though as usual it frames the nature/nurture debate pretty much as an either/or question. The study backs up what most people already know. Most musical people are asked who in their family they get it from, at some point in their life.

Both nature and nurture will have a big effect - I think your natural talent or potential is genetically given, but environment determines whether or not you will develop your potential fully. There may be some people with a lot of natural talent in music who never come anywhere near reaching their potential because of environment, or other genetic reasons (such as a low concentration span etc). Likewise there are many people who have a moderate amount of natural talent who do very well through sheer hard work. In the end what is important is that people can enjoy their music, at whatever level they can.

There has also been a fair amount of research showing that mathematical and musical ability are strongly correlated. How are you at your sums?

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 11:02 AM

Dunno what happened in my family, last 2 generations talented, must have run out whern I arrived!
RtS


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Wolfgang
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 11:06 AM

Looking at the source (Twin research unit London, Director: Tim Spector) one knows that these findings state nothing but (however, also not less than) that under the assumption of a stable environment the precentage of variance due to genetic influences is larger than that due to environmental influences.

Two past findings from this group that received more popularity than research usually gets:

- genetics contributes to 60% of the variance in body fat in comparison to diet and exeercise

- laughter is nearly exclusively determined by nurture, that is genetic endowment contributes nearly nothing to what you find amusing or not.

Just a bit of perspective on that recent finding.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 11:07 AM

There's alot to it....Mickey and Beth's son is certainly is playing music at an early age.


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: radriano
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 11:09 AM

Right on, Bagpuss. Children who grow up with musicians get more exposure to music and, what's more, get to see the process up close.


Richard


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Ebbie
Date: 09 Mar 01 - 10:08 PM

An aside but related: We could say the same thing about a hundred other qualities. For instance, I know a man who can just about literally repair or build anything - and started very early- and yet both of his parents were notably inept. What explains that?

This man, FWIW, is an excellent musician.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 04:50 PM

My maternal grandfather played classical guitar and Italian Folk music, my Paternal grandmother played russian and Jewish folk music on a zither, my father played "stride" piano and the banjo mandolin, I play guitar, 5=string banjo, steel guitar, mandolin, and bass. I also sing, have a repertoire of over a thousand songs from Italian opera to bluegrass and everything in between. My three children and my wife are all professional folk singers and musicians. We all write songs.(my wife is certainly the best at that) My wife's father played the ukelele and her maternal granmother played "barrelhouse" piano, her uncle was a Jesuit that the church sent to Juliard and graduated with a Bachelor of fine arts degree in voice. He also wrote and arranged music for Fred Waring, with the church's blessing.

You know, I think there may be something to this genetics thing.


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Justa Picker
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 05:16 PM

No one in my family is musical. Not my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins. I honestly don't know where I get it from, but I'm externally grateful for having it. (Maybe it was given to me by mistake and meant for someone else. :-)


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Amos
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 06:07 PM

I spent several lifetimes during the Baroque and Elizabethan periods exploring a wide range of informal and formal musical paths, because of personal interest and aesthetic appetite. Partly as a result of that, I made sure that some musical bent was at least among the higher criteria when looking for fambly this lifetime. But then, you know, musical types tend to find each other, just like other good sorts. Music and other high-order relational skills are natural IMHO to those with a certain amount of free attention. But it is wildly variable; I never got into anything more disciplined than jugband this lifetime, while Barky is a full-fledged orchestral musician at sixteen. As to genes -- well, I guess sensitive nerves and such might play a part, but I think they're highly over-rated as the Big Kahuna -- an excuse for not rolling your own. (No, not that!).

A


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: GUEST,Zigzag
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 08:33 PM

Musical ability involves a lot of other abilities; fine motor skills, listening, memory, to name but three. Its possible to do well with a lot of hard work even if you're weak in one or more areas. Children may be taught that working around weaknesses is still of value whereas others may taught to give up early as they will never have IT and either style of teaching may be evident in a family where one or more parents are musicians. I figure genetics plays a part but only a part in the whole picture that determines whether a child is a musician or not.


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: GUEST,Dancing Mom
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:41 PM

Sure, genes play a part, and a genetic predisposition for musical ability can be very helpful for someone interested in it. But a person needs the interest, the opportunities for practice, and encouragement throughout life to make it happen (the nurture). My oldest child is a talented musician (strong family history). But what I thought was pretty cool was that I took a music theory class in college while I was well advanced in my pregnancy with her. At 10 a.m. every day I would go to class and while I was studying all this music my child would AWAKEN and become extremely active. She's always been a quick study ,which can be a little irritating to those of us who struggle sometimes. Coincidence or not?


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Matt_R
Date: 10 Mar 01 - 11:51 PM

None here! It's all natural, bay-bee!


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 04:11 PM

Alright, here's some more suff to strengthen the "inherited ability " viewpoint. I mentioned that my three children are all professionsl musicians-singers. After their Mother, and I divorced, amicably, She, their mother, who had no musical ability, married a guy, who I liked vey much, but also lacked musical ability. They had a lovely child. All three of my my kids were still living with their mother. To make a long story short, their new little sister was raised sin a household surrounded by music and with three musical siblings, tried desperately to learn to sing and play musical instruments, but to no avail. She even took formal "lessons" which none of my kids did. Undaunted, she turned to other artistic endeavors, quite successfully. she draws, paints, writes stories does sculpture, as her mother did. Oh, incidentally, My 22 year old granddaughter who's father is a circus juggler, is a classic ballerina, she also sings. My other grandbaby is still a baby, we shall see. My sister plays guitar and sings, but not professionally. Her children all have considerable musical ability as do her grandchildren.


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Subject: RE: Inherited musical ability
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Mar 01 - 04:24 PM

I became a musician despite my family.

No-one in living memory in either side of my family is/was a musician, nor was I actively encouraged. As a result, I was fifteen before I finally had piano lessons...

Fortunately, both my children have 'inherited' my musicianship.

Always an exception to prove the rule...


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