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Are men more musical?

Brendy 18 Feb 00 - 08:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Feb 00 - 07:59 PM
Crowhugger 18 Feb 00 - 07:38 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:57 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:52 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:34 AM
Spider Tom 18 Feb 00 - 04:33 AM
alison 18 Feb 00 - 01:09 AM
sophocleese 17 Feb 00 - 11:32 PM
harpgirl 17 Feb 00 - 11:01 PM
Brendy 17 Feb 00 - 10:59 PM
alison 17 Feb 00 - 10:51 PM
sophocleese 17 Feb 00 - 10:16 PM
Brendy 17 Feb 00 - 09:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Feb 00 - 09:18 PM
Metchosin 17 Feb 00 - 01:21 PM
annamill 17 Feb 00 - 12:52 PM
Fortunato 17 Feb 00 - 10:15 AM
sophocleese 17 Feb 00 - 09:42 AM
Lady McMoo 17 Feb 00 - 09:36 AM
Lady McMoo 17 Feb 00 - 06:13 AM
Spider Tom 17 Feb 00 - 05:28 AM
JamesJim 16 Feb 00 - 02:53 PM
JamesJim 16 Feb 00 - 02:52 PM
bbelle 15 Feb 00 - 06:44 PM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 04:09 PM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 03:36 PM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 03:36 PM
The Shambles 15 Feb 00 - 03:29 PM
GUEST,Les B 15 Feb 00 - 01:53 PM
Joe Offer 15 Feb 00 - 01:27 PM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 01:17 PM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 01:15 PM
bbelle 15 Feb 00 - 12:36 PM
Troll 15 Feb 00 - 11:26 AM
MK 15 Feb 00 - 11:07 AM
Little Neophyte 15 Feb 00 - 11:01 AM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 10:42 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 00 - 10:32 AM
sophocleese 15 Feb 00 - 10:28 AM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 10:01 AM
catspaw49 15 Feb 00 - 09:56 AM
Blackcat2 15 Feb 00 - 09:42 AM
Crowhugger 15 Feb 00 - 09:39 AM
Amos 15 Feb 00 - 09:28 AM
JedMarum 15 Feb 00 - 09:16 AM
JedMarum 15 Feb 00 - 09:09 AM
The Shambles 15 Feb 00 - 08:58 AM
24 Mar 99 - 03:13 PM
Bert 24 Mar 99 - 02:50 PM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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 - 04:34 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 - 04:33 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 10:28 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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:
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: 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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