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Are men more musical?

Barbara Shaw 22 Mar 99 - 09:46 PM
Craig 22 Mar 99 - 09:59 PM
Susan A-R 22 Mar 99 - 10:13 PM
j0_77 22 Mar 99 - 10:16 PM
catspaw49 22 Mar 99 - 10:26 PM
jets 22 Mar 99 - 10:41 PM
22 Mar 99 - 10:52 PM
22 Mar 99 - 10:58 PM
Bill D 22 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM
katlaughing 22 Mar 99 - 11:38 PM
Bruce O. 22 Mar 99 - 11:59 PM
Barbara 23 Mar 99 - 12:29 AM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 01:19 AM
The Shambles 23 Mar 99 - 04:13 AM
Night Owl 23 Mar 99 - 04:17 AM
karen jonason 23 Mar 99 - 04:21 AM
AlistairUK 23 Mar 99 - 05:08 AM
Sam Pirt 23 Mar 99 - 06:33 AM
Big Mick 23 Mar 99 - 08:01 AM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 08:07 AM
Big Mick 23 Mar 99 - 08:24 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 23 Mar 99 - 08:33 AM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 08:54 AM
Alan of Australia 23 Mar 99 - 09:03 AM
steve in ottawa 23 Mar 99 - 12:03 PM
Cara 23 Mar 99 - 12:49 PM
Bruce O. 23 Mar 99 - 01:36 PM
Jerry Friedman 23 Mar 99 - 03:15 PM
j0_77 23 Mar 99 - 03:42 PM
steve in ottawa 23 Mar 99 - 04:42 PM
Penny 23 Mar 99 - 04:54 PM
Art Thieme 23 Mar 99 - 05:26 PM
Paul G. 23 Mar 99 - 07:02 PM
Roger in Baltimore 23 Mar 99 - 08:18 PM
Barbara Shaw 23 Mar 99 - 08:42 PM
Barbara 23 Mar 99 - 09:31 PM
Susan A-R 23 Mar 99 - 10:11 PM
catspaw49 23 Mar 99 - 10:47 PM
katlaughing 23 Mar 99 - 11:23 PM
Sheye 23 Mar 99 - 11:55 PM
steve in ottawa 24 Mar 99 - 02:19 AM
The Shambles 24 Mar 99 - 03:55 AM
alison 24 Mar 99 - 08:03 AM
Bev Lawton 24 Mar 99 - 08:52 AM
steve in ottawa 24 Mar 99 - 11:29 AM
Barbara Shaw 24 Mar 99 - 01:14 PM
Bert 24 Mar 99 - 02:50 PM
24 Mar 99 - 03:13 PM
The Shambles 15 Feb 00 - 08:58 AM
JedMarum 15 Feb 00 - 09:09 AM
JedMarum 15 Feb 00 - 09:16 AM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 09:28 AM
Crowhugger 15 Feb 00 - 09:39 AM
Blackcat2 15 Feb 00 - 09:42 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 10:01 AM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 10:28 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 00 - 10:32 AM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 10:42 AM
Little Neophyte 15 Feb 00 - 11:01 AM
MK 15 Feb 00 - 11:07 AM
Troll 15 Feb 00 - 11:26 AM
bbelle 15 Feb 00 - 12:36 PM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 01:15 PM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 01:17 PM
Joe Offer 15 Feb 00 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Les B 15 Feb 00 - 01:53 PM
The Shambles 15 Feb 00 - 03:29 PM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 03:36 PM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 03:36 PM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 04:09 PM
bbelle 15 Feb 00 - 06:44 PM
JamesJim 16 Feb 00 - 02:52 PM
JamesJim 16 Feb 00 - 02:53 PM
Spider Tom 17 Feb 00 - 05:28 AM
Lady McMoo 17 Feb 00 - 06:13 AM
Lady McMoo 17 Feb 00 - 09:36 AM
sophocleese 17 Feb 00 - 09:42 AM
Fortunato 17 Feb 00 - 10:15 AM
annamill 17 Feb 00 - 12:52 PM
Metchosin 17 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Feb 00 - 09:18 PM
Brendy 17 Feb 00 - 09:26 PM
sophocleese 17 Feb 00 - 10:16 PM
alison 17 Feb 00 - 10:51 PM
Brendy 17 Feb 00 - 10:59 PM
harpgirl 17 Feb 00 - 11:01 PM
sophocleese 17 Feb 00 - 11:32 PM
alison 18 Feb 00 - 01:09 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:33 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:34 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:52 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:57 AM
Crowhugger 18 Feb 00 - 07:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Feb 00 - 07:59 PM
Brendy 18 Feb 00 - 08:42 PM
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Subject: Are men more musical?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 09:46 PM

I'm not sure I really want to start this discussion! Someone in the "How old are mudcats?" thread asked this question and wondered why there were always more men at jams. Were they more musical or just had more spare time?

There seems to be a correlation between math ability and music ability, and the typically "male" careers like engineering and.......

No, I'm getting out of those muddy waters. Let's hear someone else's thoughts on this subject. Aside from the predictable plumbing jokes and musical double entendres, it's an interesting question that I don't remember being asked before at Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Craig
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 09:59 PM

In an opposing correlation. Why are there more women in chorales and choirs than men? Are there more women than men who are able to read music?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:13 PM

I think that in the past, whether in bluegrass circles, symphony orchestras or the jazz world, women were not expected to play, but singing was ok. I also think, p'raps, there's a selfe assurance issue about sessions, as opposed to choruses where you aren't as exposed. Now, as for Mudcat, I dunno, maybe these guys are all independently wealthy, and we should all sit up and take notice. Or maybe all of these guys are just bigger an' stronger and can elbow their partners away from that computer and take over the net. Probably we're just more technophobic and less able to afford the equipment in the aggregate.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: j0_77
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:16 PM

Men like to socialize and compare toys. Women like to socialize but they don't seem to bother what kind of instrument they have just so long as it works for them. I don't think of a player as a man or woman - I just enjoy the entire sound :)


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:26 PM

Than what? A piano bench? No proof source either way and believe me I wouldn't want to touch this one with a 10 foot keyboard.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: jets
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:41 PM

When we are through with this question ,I would like to know if there are more married men than there are married women


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From:
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:52 PM

Are we including same sex marriages?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From:
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 10:58 PM

There are the same number until you include same sex marriages and bigamists. I don't know any statistics on these, but suspect there are more male bigamists than female ones. Am I wrong?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM

no...men are not more musical...women may tend toward different expressions...but they do NOT have anything to feel # 2 about!!


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:38 PM

Okay...I'll bite! Perhaps it started way back when men had more freedom to roam as troubadours; women were tied down to the castle, children, the midden heap, or what have you, tending to and being subservient to the men?

Which, if you really think about it, continued in most respects until the past forty years or so. Even when we were growing up in a musical family, none of us girls learned the guitar as much as we did singing and classical music instruments such as violin and piano. And, most of the famous women's groups such as the Andrews Sisters mostly sang that I know of, never much in instrument playing until later or in rare instances, although I know there were exceptions. And, I am not as knowledgable as you all in the history of trad. music.

I don't think we can say either are more musical, just maybe in different ways which societal dictates have strongly influenced. Ya' gotta admit it's much more common, now, to see a woman playing an instrument (other than a tamborine!) in a band or even fiddlin' than ever before. There was a woman fiddler in Ireland, on tv the other night talking about when she first picked up a fiddle, at that time not a common thing for a girl to do, and played trad music. The men were pretty sceptical at first.

Plus, you know, women have traditionally had the children etc. to tend and it's a LOT easier to use one's voice than try to haul a kid and instruments around then try to tune them while keeping the babies happy and quiet!

Even in more ancient times, when women were allowed to learn an instrument it was often so that they could perform as entertainment for the men and/or be shown off as exotic ornaments of power and conquest.

"Thoughts from an avowed feminist"

Now, according to Rev. Pat Robertson, I will "leave my husband, kill my children, practise witchcraft (he'll be my first victim!), destroy capitalism, and become a lesbian."

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 22 Mar 99 - 11:59 PM

In English (and American) society sin about 1600, there have been women who ditched the traditional roles, probably at great cost, to become successful in male dominated types of work. The Dutchess of Newcastle in the 17th century was a noted poet, as was Ann Bradstreet, the wife of the (English) governor of Massachusetts, and Aphra Behn the playright. Among the Irish harpers at the Belfast convention in 1796 was Rose Mooney. A Miss Johnson in Scotland was a noted composer of Strathspey reels in the early 19th century, but died at about 22 or so. C. K. Sharpe was a Scots collector of ballads and music, but his sister followed their father as a music composer. "Alknomook" on my website was writen by Mrs. John Hunter (who wrote the "Flowers of the Forest" in the Scots Musical Museum when she was still Anne Home). She wrote several other songs also. The better know "Flowers of the Forest" was written by Miss Jane Elliot (also on my website). (The third "Flowers of the Forest" was written by a Mrs. Cockburn.) One can say most of these had the advantage that they were married to rich men, but I think it's more important that they married highly intelligent ones, who could see societies rules were really quite arbitrary, not god given restrictions on women.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:29 AM

Men are better at playing musical chairs.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 01:19 AM

Wondering what Bonnie Raitt's perceptions would be!


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:13 AM

Are men more musical?

I suppose it depends on where and how hard you hit them. I find that the best volume can be obtained from striking the belly region with a vibraphone hammer or dropping something heavy on the feet.

As to how musical these emmisions are, or if a male foot or belly is more musical than a female ones, I wouldn't dare to comment.

***smiles the confident smile of someone who has just avoided falling in to a big hole***


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Night Owl
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:17 AM

Shambles, Sounds like the voice of experience.....hence the name?????? NOI


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: karen jonason
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:21 AM

At folk clubs I go to I have noticed that many men will get up to sing whatever the quality of their voices. Women who sing tend to have better quality voices. Is that to do with male confidence/arrogance/need to perform?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: AlistairUK
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:08 AM

Karen: actually I would disagree with you. In my experience there is no difference. I have heard awful singers get up and sing from both sexes and they still think they are the Frankie Armstrongs of the local sets.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Sam Pirt
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 06:33 AM

Are men more musical? Good question Its like asking are black men ore musical than white men?

I tend to find that most of the sessions I go to there is usually more men than women in it, I don't think that means they are any less musical though, as there are just as many big names in the folk scene that are women (take for example the Poozies) as there are men (patric street)

But I do agree there does seem to be a bias towards men at times, quite what that means I don't know.

bye, Sam


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:01 AM

Soooooooo..............How about those Mets????????????

Mick, who survived war, jumping out of planes, encounters with people eating sea creatures and jealous husbands with loaded pistols, but has no intention of tempting fate on this one.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:07 AM

Men are definitely more chicken***big, BIG grin***!

Guess they haven't learned just how reasonable and open-minded we women Mudcatters can be, eh?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:24 AM

"Try though you might, woman, I will not rise to that bait." he crowed and then went back to picking at the gravel in the coop yard.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:33 AM

Kat, I agree with you all the way. Circumstances and society have created the situations which have just made the voice more do-able. I would be a much better guitarist if in my days of early motherhood the little dears didn't 1- crawl into my lap while I tried to play 2- run around screaming NO MOMMY DON'T while I tried to play, 3- think the instrument was made for tug-o-war.
As for the preponderance of males on the"Cat, I think it's a computer thing much more than a music thing. I could start another thread- Are men geekier than women?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:54 AM

Animaterra,

You might be right, although personally I might be as geeky as the rest up to a point! Up until a year ago, to operate a computer in our house, one had to know what command to type in to make the recalcitrant 386 do its thing and woe to any who pushed a wrong button! I have a whole notebook full of notes on what I did to get where! Also, have a ring binder full of messages from when there was no readily available internet and I used to sit up late at night to get cheap long distance rates when I called up the Green Peace "chat" line and "talked" to people all over, at my expense!

They do like their gadgets though don't they!? **smile** The lil' darlin's!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 09:03 AM

G'day,
From Barbara's first post to this thread:-

"There seems to be a correlation between math ability and music ability, and the typically "male" careers like engineering and....... "

I've always found my engineering background to be helpful in understanding musical forms & structures. Such terms as 'octave' and 'harmonic' are as much engineering terms as musical.

Whether that helps with my playing is another story......

And this does nothing towards answering the original question. For that we'd need a response from a female engineer.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:03 PM

Why are social mixed-choirs dominated by women? Why are social mixed-jams dominated by men?

Possibilities?:
don't men's voices change more radically when they hit puberty? -- wouldn't this cause more of them to temporarily/permanently lose interest in singing.
it's harder to harmonize when your voice is the lowest in the lot -- this can make it harder to even understand/appreciate harmony.
men are more often drawn to situations where they can show off -- difficult in a choir, and hey, children! can sing in choirs, but they generally can't play instruments very well.
jams are often competitive
jams are often exploratory in nature, with nobody really knowing where they're going; choirs aren't
most jams are unamplified and men, who often can sing louder than women, sometimes possess the only voices easily heard over the instruments
men take more pride in owning tools more than women
men take more pride in mastering tools more than women
men are more upset by percieved impotence in any task

Note that none of these suggestions has much to do with musical talent.

Other points: Math and music? I think the experiments were done with easy high school math and *appreciating* Mozart-ish music. It's interesting, but doesn't prove anything about higher math and the talent to *make* music.

If you want to study the "best" people in music -- fine. That's only raises the question of whether the most talented people always develop their talents.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Cara
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 12:49 PM

I guess "musical needs to be well-defined before this discussion can really take off. Love of music? Talent for it? Dedication to it?

Re the number of men and women in choirs vs. at jams: Some years ago I read an interesting book on the differences between the communication styles of men and women by deborah Tannen. She made the point that even the earliest studies find that little girls in the classroom (first group setting)won't raise their hands to be called on, even if they know the answer. They prefer to blend in to the group. Little boys (again, this is a generalization of course) will pipe right up and glory in being the center of attention. The gender messages we send children begin very early. I guess it's not "ladylike" to call attention to oneself. I think it ties in with a whole larger picture--women are taught to be self conscious of their appearance, and to some extent that their worth is contingent upon other people's opinions of them.

All generalizations of course. I certainly don't have any of those hang-ups.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 01:36 PM

My math background has help me considerably in understanding musical notation, and modal sturcture of tunes, but that's as far as it goes. I can't sing on key, and I've tried several instruments, but never got to the heights of being even mediocre.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 03:15 PM

I can say for sure that some men are more musical than some women. And vice-versa.

I'm with Bruce on math and music. If there is a correlation (which I've heard too), there are exceptions.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: j0_77
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 03:42 PM

Sorry but I dissagree completely - math skill is acquired and if the basics are not there then the person is not mathematical. Consider 1/0 and the difference between deduction and induction. Many a good musician I know would not have clue if asked about that kind of stuff, and most of the smartest math geeks I know would not know a C from a D let alone how to both sing and play.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:42 PM

I was thinking (I do that sometimes) about this one. Professionals aside, most of the good guitar players I know are male and almost all of the good piano players I know are female. Does this match the experience of other people out there?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Penny
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 04:54 PM

Could the differences in structures of singing groups be due to the places they are happening? Our folk club at college, all girls, was mixed, with more women, because of where it was, but when I came out into the great wide world, I found that clubs were in pubs, not always the most open to unaccompanied women, (the nearest was also notorious for dealings in certain substances and it wouldn't have fitted my job to be seen there). Choral groups, choirs and operatic societies meet in more controlled environments, so can be seen as safe.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 05:26 PM

Mars? Venus? More musical? Better endowed? Whatever ya got?

Men are from Earth. Women are from earth. Live with it!

There never has been a female nitwit who fell in love with a man because of his huge breasts!

There's never been a woman whose music became popular because she had a voice that sounded like Bob Dylan! (And men keep on trying to hit that "high lonesome sound"---Monroe, Elton Britt, Osborn Bros etc. etc.)

Whoops, Yma Sumac!!

What do it prove?

Nothin' don't prove nothin', but it's free!!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Paul G.
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 07:02 PM

Oy. Dangerous landscape here. Differences in talent or ability? Don't think so...differences in versatility? Perhaps. I have found the female voice to be able to "do more" than most male voices...more expressive, quicker and cleaner dynamic and tonal changes. Different, yes. Qualitatively better or worse.......nah. Better or worse instrumentalists...nope, again. The beauty is always in the ear of the beholder.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:18 PM

I think I can dare to tread into this discussion. Opinions? I have plenty to spare!

I think research and my personal experience indicates that there are correlations between musical understanding and math. There are too many engineers and computer experts in the folk field to explain otherwise. On average, men are more likely to have good math skills than women are. For individuals, there is no rule.

I think people's personal experiences as stated above have much influence. In the past, guys frequently learned music to "impress the girls." I have not heard any women who expressed learning music to impress the guys.

Single women seem less likely to venture into new situations (jams) alone. If they don't find a partner (male or female) to go with them, they often don't go. You will see similar happenings in audiences. A number of solo men, few solo women.

When I think of the singer-songwriter genre, I think there are more women than men. I am not sure of the "why" for this.

There are bias against female players, note Pattie Larkins "Not Bad for a Girl" song. That's how her guitar work was "complimented."

As for the Mudcat, I think the proportion of women has increased in the year I've been posting. Certainly among the frequent posters like me who can't keep their keyboards silent!

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 08:42 PM

Interesting comments! I left for work this morning wondering if anyone would post anything.

So is there any effect of testosterone and/or estrogen on the musical process? Some of the politically incorrect assumptions of the past may well turn out to have some biological basis, such as the male hunter providing for the mother and child or the nesting impulses of the pregnant woman.

Another thought: many of the arts support groups of the past were run by women of leisure (read wealthy wives), and these groups supported starving (male) artists who were expected to support themselves rather than marry for support. Now that opportunities for careers are more equally available to both sexes, this has become somewhat of an anachronism. (I'm hedging). The cultural basis has changed, which may account for more women playing rather than listening.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Barbara
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 09:31 PM

In regards music and math, I read a quote somewhere recently where a famous violinist -- I think it was Yehudi Menyuhin -- was asked about Einstein's violin playing, and he replied something like "Yes, I played with him a couple times and he wasn't bad. But like most mathematicians, he had a terrible sense of time."
Music ability and gender, I think performance is biased toward males in our culture, and emoting towards females. Ideally music is both, so do they cancel each other out?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 10:11 PM

As someone who's math is limited to balancing the check book and multiplying recipes by twelve, (And I WANT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY, PLEASE PLEASE, I am not sure that I buy the math thing, although I suppose that I could be a statistical anomoly (wow! where did THAT come from?)

I am some glad that music is not a male or female thing exclusively, and seemingly getting more inclusive all the time, particularly in the instrumental realm. It makes it much more fun, both harmonically when we sing, and socially too. As someone who is married to a terrific male concert pianist, I have to say (p'raps another anomoly here) I don't buy the better female pianists arguement. Although piano lessons were certainly part of the "accomplished female" thing when I was growing up. Glad they thought fiddle would be better for my legally blind self. Kinda hard to truck one of those pianos around to festivals, jam sessions, etc.

ramblin' Susan A-R


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 10:47 PM

This thread has moved along nicely since I checked in this AM and I must say the thought of it crossed my mind. At this point I think the best I can say is that in some cases I'd go with the piano bench.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 11:23 PM

Susan A-R: I agree. I've known more good male pianists, esp. my brother, even though all four of us girls had piano lessons, too, and play pretty well. I, too, am grateful to've had the opportunity to fiddle, as well.

As for math, I know we cannot use generalizations, but I was really good at math, hated algebra and still amaze my kids with the math I do in my head. My husband, the enginer, whose head is always in the clouds, hasn't much of a musical bone/ability in his body, except a deep appreciation, no matter the gender of whoever is making the music!

As for girls: when we moved East, we found women who'd grown up there or emigrated there were in general, raised to be more demure and self-effacing, bowing out for the men to shine. On the other hand, as you may have figured out, being raised in the West, I remember always thinking I could do anything I wanted to, even what the boys did, and sometimes better than they. Don't think my older sisters felt this as much, but I was not afraid to shine and I DID take up the violin to impress a man....my dad!

All of which gets us no where nearer an answer to the original question....ah, well. It's, as always, interesting!

katlaughing


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Sheye
Date: 23 Mar 99 - 11:55 PM

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

Wow, Barbara, this is quite the lure.

Catspaw, you beat me to the question that begged to be asked, so I'll agree - definitely more musical than a piano bench. And also less likely to pinch your fingers in too...

Mick, how did you grow to be so sage? Pistol-packin' hubbies, eh?

Sheye


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 02:19 AM

I remember a report of a study of young men and young women doing math problems alone in a cubicle, both clothed and in their underwear. Apparently, the young men weren't significantly affected by their clothing levels, while the young women did significantly worse when asked to take the tests wearing only underwear. The researcher planned to run similar tests for reading skills. But of course I'm wondering: are young women missing out on otherwise valueable semi-clothed practice time?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 03:55 AM

This will probably stir things up a little, but it is a genuine question on a subject that I know very little about. I did a forun search before posting this here and I was none the wiser. I did find out that Catspaw attended one of the concerts, (with Karen). Could someone inform me of the rationale of and comments on of something in the US called 'Lilith Fair'? All I know is that is or was a series of concerts or festivals where all the performers were women? I don't know if any men were allowed to perform or attend (Catspaw there in disguise?), but if my information, such as it is, is correct, it would seem to be a very strange concept.

Maybe the audience of these shows would be the best ones to answer the original question? So how about comming off the fence, Catspaw?

***smiles the nervous smile of someone who has just avoided walking into a big hole, but now finds himself face to face with a hungry tiger***


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: alison
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 08:03 AM

Hi,

Answering an observation above....... never had a problem walking into a jam session or folk clubs on my own....... you may get some funny looks.. and more than a few hopeful males will chat to you......... Oh .. and you meet lots of nice people...

Any of you shy girls out there.. it's worth a try.....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Bev Lawton
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 08:52 AM

My basic answer is : It depends on how empty the head and how hard you hit them!!

re. The computer/engineer thingy - well I'm employed as a computer analyst/programmer and reckon I'm pretty competant!!! but music theory etc is all Greek to me! I have to draw a little ring-a-round any time I want to change a song's key!

re. Bad male/female singers we get a fair proportion of both! The only common denominator is their singular lack of tonal appreciation. As a singer only hears what they are singing thru the cranial bone structure I guess some peoples bones adjust the sound worse than others - it's got to be the only reason they think they sound ok:}}


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 11:29 AM

Re: Lilith Fair. I *think* it usually ran festival style with more than one stage. The main performers were all women -- I'm not sure about the backup musicians, and I'm damn sure the roadies weren't all women 'cause that woulda made the news by itself. Anyone with money was welcome to attend. Organized by the hugely talented Sara McLachlan who unfortuneately has an more huge ego. Semi-quote: "Radio stations didn't play two women in a row before I organized Lilith Fair." Yeah, right, Sara.

I *really* can't understand objections to an all-women show. Or an all women musical retreat. And I suspect something good is lost when there's no men-only venue at a Shanty festival.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 01:14 PM

Does testosterone help the self-confidence? This may be a factor in performing in public.

And I hate to even bring up the 'B' word, but there are many more men playing *anjo than women.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Bert
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 02:50 PM

Well my Mother was the musical one in our family (Stepmother really, so I didn't inherit anything). My sister (also step) certainly did and she has perfect pitch and a wonderful voice.

Now my Dad is singing all the time but he isn't too good musically and tends to simplify a lot of tunes and hits off notes now and then. Of course, I inherited ALL of his abilities.

So I find music very difficult, with practice, over the years I have improved a little but it's still hard work.

BUT, being an engineer, some of the theory is quite simple. One time when I was stuck out in the Middle East with no reference material I was able to work out from scratch that the ratio between successive frets on a guitar was the 12th. root of 2. Having learned at school that a string stopped at half it's length will sound it's octave. There is no way though that I could HEAR those intervals.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From:
Date: 24 Mar 99 - 03:13 PM

12th root of 2 = 1.059463094+, which is the basis of the equal tempered scale. With A = 440, then C below = 261.6255661+ Hz.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 08:58 AM

I stumbled over this one and I must have been feeling mischievous?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:09 AM

Good thread, but I think it should have been entitled; "Are men more musical than whimsical?"


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: JedMarum
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:16 AM

but atcually - I think we've touched on some of the answers already. Men are probably more likely to enthralled with the muscial toy itself. So are likley to learn it at a different level (not neccessarily better level). And women are much more situationally socially conscious - when it comes to jams; where typically a group of individuals go and sit with strangers or distant acquaintances to play and sing - women are more likely to feel uncomfortable. But when it comes to a controlled environment with a known group, and a team effort at choral work - women are likley to feel comfortable.

These are, of course, generalizations. But porbably help explain the statistics of attendance at both events - rather than musical affinity; which seems to me to be quite evenly balanced.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:28 AM

Some men love whimsy, and some love wimmin.


The link between math and music is overrated. Music, it is true, has tons of math to be discovered in it, but there is a Mississippi of fine music that was generated by people who knew little more than addition, if that.

Knowing how to count 1, 4, 5 is not exactly an advanced mathematical skill. I haven't seen Woody Guthrie's SAT scores lately, or Leadbelly's, but I would guess way back in the dim mists of history that music had a very long head start, before the math to deconstruct it was evolved.

As for gender, it has nobearing, to my mind -- there may be cultural biases that set girls more toward one or another kind of performance or instrument, but musicality per se is purely human, and transcends gender.

You might as well ask whether women have souls!! Silly question.

A


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:39 AM

More musical than what? I'm off to the garage now for I do believe the boxwood is in need of a trim. Oh dear, it's under a whack of fresh snow...

...well, here goes: I agree with Alison and k/k and quite a number of others, including 'Spaw. The beauty of a 10' keyboard is the number of rug rascals that fit on the extended lap, though the output would have Schoenberg turning over in his grave.

Alison, do the initial sideways glances come more from the men or the women in your experience? In my limited public performings, as soon as the music starts the men tended to forget gender and anatomy. Until the chatty little break. The women tended to continue, to look confused and something else I can't quite figure out, at least for a while. None of this applies to busking, where liquor consumption seems to be the big factor in behaviour.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Blackcat2
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:42 AM

Greetings all

On The Lilith Fair - I attended (I'm male) with 3 female friends (only 2 were lesbian) - It was great and in my mind was really just a marketing move (no insult intended here - just that anyone who puts together a multi performer concert is trying to make it a success - Lilith was - so was Lolapalooza, Monsters of Rock, most Jazz Fests, etc.) Whaty it did was give a wider audience to the smaller groups than they would have had by just doing a bar tour in the same cities. I'm sure it also allowed them to hang out with performers that they respected and could learn from.

As for the main discussion: I think times are changing and more and more women are becoming publicly musical. This has (in my opinion) everything to do with the fact that women are continuing to move towards "actual equality" with men when it comes to public lives.

But to say that men are better or women are better in anything is really an unfortunate and probably incorrect generalization. Individuals are individuals and that is that. Strengths and weaknesses with the exception of physical size are (in my opinion) primarily culturally based.

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM

Its been a year almost, but I'm still going with the piano bench.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:01 AM

All men are more musical than someone -- for example, a rug, or George Bush.

A


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:28 AM

Part of the idea for Lilith Fair came out of Sarah McLachlan being told by promoters that you couldn't organise a concert and have a female main act preceded by a female warmup, nobody wants to hear two female bands in one night. This does not apply to male bands, of course. She proved them wrong by putting female groups all together in the festival and it was a success. She has an ego and so do an awful lot of male performers. It does them very well in getting onto the stage and in front of others. She used what she had to get others into the limelight with her.

Men and women are neither more nor less generally musical than each other. There are still quite likely more mediocre male musicians getting airplay and public space than mediocre female musicians, but I think its changing.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:32 AM

Oh great Soph....more mediocrity.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:42 AM

Not MORE mediocrity Spaw, simply a more representative sample of it.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 11:01 AM

I think for men, the musical instrument offers them a key to unlock emotions which seem, in general, to be more readily available to women.
Not that men are more musical, but rather the music may provide a wonderful vehicle for men to outwardly express their feelings.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: MK
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 11:07 AM

I agree with the comment made by Sophocleese - ''Men and women are neither more nor less generally musical than each other.''

As for the mathematical correlation between those good in math and being good musicians, personally I was always terrible at math.

Beyond being quite capable of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, I never got Algebra, Geometry or Calculus, (could never see the so-called logic) and dropped math after grade 9....yet for some unexplainable reason, playing musical instruments proficiently has never posed a problem.

So if there is a correlation, I must be doing it on some sublimnal level.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Troll
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 11:26 AM

I just looked at the original question.

More musical than what?

I'm a good singer but my wife, who is not as good, has organized and fronts a successful band while I sit in the back row and do as I am told.

Who is the better musician then:I, who can sing well, or she,who brings her music (and mine) to everyone?

troll


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: bbelle
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 12:36 PM

I think there are more men who are purely instrumentalists and I think it has to do with that part of their brains that make them want to take things apart and put them back together again. This is not to discount the women instrumentalists, but there does seem to be fewer. I'm not a great or even a really good guitarist, however, I work with my hands extremely well and could probably have been a whole lot better had I had someone to teach me when I first started playing. I'm self-taught and just didn't know what to learn, way back when.

I think there are many more great women singers than men ... because our range is so far greater. There are, however, many more women on earth than men, and because of that fact I think we cancel each other out. There are fewer men and the ones with truly extraordinary voices just seem to stand out more.

The above is purely conjecture on my part.

As far as being afraid to walk into a session or jam alone, never happen! But that has a lot to do with self assurance of one's talent ... moonchild

This is purely conjecture on my part.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 01:15 PM

I just remembered that my voice teacher used to say there were fewer female pianists at the upper levels because they tended to get waylaid.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 01:17 PM

I think she only said it once though, sorry.
Duplicated messages dutifully deleted.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 01:27 PM

Who started this thread, anyhow? Barbara? Are you trying to get us men in trouble?
I know that, as a man, if I give the "wrong" answer to this question, I'm likely to get stomped on. For that matter, if I give "any" answer to this question, I'm likely to get stomped on. Come to think of it, if I stop right here and give "no" answer, my fate is likely to be the same.
What's a guy to do?

OK, so I'll give an answer anyhow. I have two areas of musical experience, church music and folk music - mostly in organizations which are supposed to encourage group singing, with mixed levels of success. The men generally seem to be in the minority in both types of music, but not always. In church music, it seems the women are more likely to be the prima donnas, troublemakers, and solo singers; and the men seem to be more interested in singing together (bonding?) and staying out of squabbles and following directions. In my experience in folk music, it's just the opposite. In the experience of others, it may well be just the opposite of mine, so what's it all prove?
The men seem to be more likely to play guitars, and the women choose a wide variety of instruments. The women who do play guitars seem to be the ones the men are most attracted to. The men who don't play guitars seem to be the ones the women are most attracted to. Other musical instruments seem to have either a neutral or negative effect on sexual attraction, but there's definitely something that goes on with guitars. So, is that Freudian, or something?
I think the only thing that's for certain is that there's a lot of sexuality mixed up in our music, one way or another.

Did I say anything that's gonna get me in trouble?
-Joe Shellshocked-


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 01:53 PM

From what I've observed on my local scene (southwest Montana) there are more men playing fiddle, but the fewer women players are usually more accomplished. There are no women banjo players (5-string) and several men, although one woman played banjo a few years ago, and she was very good. There are no women mandolin players and several men. There is one woman bass player, very good, and about three men also good. There are a great number of male guitar players and slightly fewer women. The men are by far better players, both lead and rhythm. In the past there were a couple of women autoharp players, but no men. In terms of playing and singing there are about equal numbers men and women, about equally good.

I think that women are better at fine hand coordination - hence the better fiddlers - but have less brute strength to press down the strings, especially to make barre chords, on guitars with heavy string guages and high actions. I also think its cultural(here)that certain instruments (banjo) are a "man" thing, while fiddles and autoharps are a "woman" thing. Guitars seem to be considered fair game for both genders. I do think there is a testosterone/ show-off factor in getting up to perform in public and find that women who will sing in public are usually very good, whereas the men are all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 03:29 PM

From personal experience, I would say that mediocre female performers tend to receive more attention and good will from a mixed audience, than very good male ones. Not making any real point but that is just the way things are.

Every creation can be reduced to maths, equations and to atoms. Fine music after it is created, lends itself wonderfully well to software programs and can then be juggled with and transposed with ease Fine paintings can be shown to be only tiny particles of pigment. Science shows us the HOW of things and for some of us that is sufficient. Some of us however, need to know the WHY.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 03:36 PM

Joe, you have nothing to fear. I find your observations about the difference between the folk and church groups you describe very interesting. No stomping allowed!

A


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Amos
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 03:36 PM

Joe, you have nothing to fear. I find your observations about the difference between the folk and church groups you describe very interesting. No stomping allowed!

A


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for deleting the extras Joe. I do remember the shock and astonishment when it was discovered that somewhere in Southern Ontario is a church choir with SPARE TENORS!!!!! Our local song circle has and always has had far more men than women. The women tend also always to be led by their voices, other instruments are secondary.

Just on a different tack. Women's hearing can become more acute and fine tuned during pregancy and while they are looking after infants. Theory is that its a necessary defence when you have to be hyper-aware of dangers while caring for little ones; need to know what's happening further away so there's more lead time for action. Anybody notice anything along those lines applying to music?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: bbelle
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 06:44 PM

Well, I guess your observation evens out the fact that men mediocre singers tend to get lots of attention, i.e., Dylan ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: JamesJim
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 02:52 PM

DEFINITELY YES!... er, NO!.... uh, well, MAYBE.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: JamesJim
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 02:53 PM

DEFINITELY YES!... er, NO!.... uh, well, MAYBE.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Spider Tom
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 05:28 AM

Man, or boy can always be found fiddling with some instrument, or other. The sad thing is, I suppose, that too many never learn how to play the damn things. The younger lady, on the other hand,often take to an instrument with a passion when young, yet often lose interest after one or two of their own compositions have seen the light of day. Yet, the man will still show interest in the ladys idle instrument. Would that make the man more musical? I await your further observations (girls)


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 06:13 AM

Yes definitely....I can sing in 12 different keys in one song. I haven't heard any women who can do that!

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 09:36 AM

Accidentally during one performance I mean...!

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 09:42 AM

Florence Foster Jenkins, shares your unique ability mcmoo. Try and listen to A CD of her performances. When I'm really nervous and singing a cappella I can creep slowly up half a tone or even two tones during one song.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Fortunato
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 10:15 AM

I it is observed that men emit more noises than women, and these noises are formed with musical tones, yet it is clear that not all musical tones form music but many are merely crass emissions, then men are not more musical just more crass.

logically speaking, fortunato


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: annamill
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 12:52 PM

Bev Lawton, I'm a Programmer/analyst also, but my math skills are non-existant in anything over basic math. Linear Equation was the only thing I failed in College. I'm trying, but I haven't been able to really pick up the guitar. How are your math skills? I'm a very good programmer, but I think programming is more of an abstract mindset. Creativity is very important. Math is rote and fully defined with formulas set down. Programming requires extreme creativity. If it's done well anyway.

I think that computer skills referred to in these posts are skills in creating the computer itself. Engineering type skills which are very math orientated skills.

I don't know.. maybe I should have spent more time on my math skills. Just wasn't interested.

Love, annap


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Metchosin
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM

I wasn't going to touch this thread with the proverbial pole either and as it has grown so long (the thread not the pole) I didn't read the whole thing, so pardon me if I am being redundant.

It is intersting to note that there seems to be a predominance of young females in piano lessons as opposed to males and that the rote songs in school yards tends to be also in the primary realm of young girls. (possibly due to their earlier verbal communication development than males.)

However, that seems to change once they hit puberty and all of a sudden the piano lessons are dropped and boys become more interesting, whereupon the males take up guitars and such to woo said maidens.

I could rant on, but I really shouldn't be here, I should be using my math skills to do the Company books in order to keep Revenue Canada at bay and not be "wasting my time at Mudcat" she says, giving herself a toungue lashing.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 09:18 PM

I think Joe Offer's observation ties up with the fact that you get more women in church than men, and more men in pubs than women.

In my time anyway, I think it was true that more young men learned to play guitars and so forth than women - there's a stage in life when young men are waiting around, trying to make themselves interesting to young women who aren't too interested in them, and learning to play the guitar used to be one way of filling in the time. Meantime the young women were off going out with older fellas who already played the guitar, so they didn't get round to learning to play.

Also, as someone pointed out, when your voice breaks and you sound embarassing, playing an instrument is a survival technique, and that doesn't happen to women.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Brendy
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 09:26 PM

There is the phallic symbolism too. Even greater reason!!!


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 10:16 PM

I can't really think that there's anything particularly phallic about a guitar, its shape is a dead giveaway as to what the young men really want to be caressing. But then again I play recorder....


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: alison
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 10:51 PM

so what does that say about me playing a whistle?????

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Brendy
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 10:59 PM

Maybe I should have said 'Perceived symbolism'.
Then again I didn't actually mention the guitar neither, although to remember Robert Plant, Elvis before him, and others of the ilk, there was a kind of a 'je ne sais pas' about their 'performance'


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: harpgirl
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 11:01 PM

...that you're jolly good at it, my dear!!!


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: sophocleese
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 11:32 PM

I don't know what that says alison, do you like the 'low' whistles? I've always played soprano recorder but this Christmas have started toying with an alto, god help me if I ever try bass....


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: alison
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 01:09 AM

hahaha... love low whistles... can't stretch them though...... (shut up 'spaw).....LOL

slainet

alison


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Spider Tom
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:33 AM

I can't get enough. Plucked, strummed,beaten, blown, perfect pitch,mellow tone, some of each I long to own. Would that make a man musical or just gready? And to you who talks of the low whistle, I got one too,I could stretch ,but can I blow?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Spider Tom
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:34 AM

I can't get enough. Plucked, strummed,beaten, blown, perfect pitch,mellow tone, some of each I long to own. Would that make a man musical or just gready? And to you who talks of the low whistle, I got one too,I could stretch ,but can I blow?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Spider Tom
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:52 AM

I can't get enough. Plucked, strummed,beaten, blown, perfect pitch,mellow tone, some of each I long to own. Would that make a man musical or just gready? And to you who talks of the low whistle, I got one too,I could stretch ,but can I blow?


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Spider Tom
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 04:57 AM

Can you notice a recurring theme ? Whoops I am new to this thing, and you know I love to fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 07:38 AM

mcmoo,

Can't think of any women I know who would even try. *claws retracting* ;-)


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 07:59 PM

Now let's not start to even think about the bodhran and the tipper...

Or the subtle differences between a culture centreing round elbow pipes and one centreing on mouth pipes.


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Subject: RE: Are men more musical?
From: Brendy
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 08:42 PM

Oh a Chaoimhín, I feel a new thread coming on.
B.


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