Monday, March 24, 2014

Who Is Most Musical?

A study just released in the UK has tied the musical sophistication of its inhabitants (as they refer to it) to the average income of the area they live in. The immediate headline that followed was that One Direction’s Harry Styles was born in the least musically sophisticated region in Britain. But then sophistication doesn’t necessarily equate to success.

I don’t imagine many people would be surprised to hear children from wealthier families are more likely to have undergone musical training. But it was also quite fascinating to see the outliers. Low-income areas such as parts of Wales and the West Country made it into the 'most musical list', proving money isn’t always tied to musical aptitude. There will be cultural factors in play, no doubt. Unfortunately they haven’t investigated what they might be. But knowing the Welsh, it’s because they love a good sing-a-long in the pub or at a rugby game.

What was also interesting about this research is that it highlighted that those in certain professions, like media or teaching, are more likely to continue their love affair with music throughout life. Possibly they have more flexibility in their lives. More down time to enjoy their passions. Hard to say.

The Beatles, arguably the most influential musicians Britain has produced, all come from Liverpool. It’s middle of the road on this map. Neither here nor there. So it just shows, true talent can emerge from anywhere. It’s not about where you’re born, it’s about what you make of it.

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