The ArgusHastings is the most musically sophisticated town in the UK (From The Argus)

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Hastings is the most musically sophisticated town in the UK

The Argus: Suggs was born in Hastings "on a stormy evening on 13 January 1961" Suggs was born in Hastings "on a stormy evening on 13 January 1961"

People living in Hastings are the most musical, a new study into musical sophistication suggests. 

The residents of the East Sussex town were judged to have the highest level of musical sophistication, followed by West Somerset and North Dorset.

The study found that musical skills and ability are not evenly distributed across the population and are linked to a person's profession, education level and their average income.

Published in the PLOS ONE journal, the study carried out by researchers from Goldsmiths, University of London and BBC Lab UK, found a correlation between how musical people are and the average income of the area where they live.

Learning to play an instrument is strongly linked to household income with the highest level of musical training being found among the inhabitants of the City of London, Cambridge, York, Cherwell, and Oxford.

However, the inclusion of low-income regions in the 'most musical list', such as Hastings and areas of Wales and the West Country, prove that high income and musical aptitude were not always linked.

Dr Daniel Mullensiefen, lead researcher on the project from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, said: "It was fascinating to be involved in this study - the largest of its kind ever to be undertaken - and it was exciting to map out for the first time how musical expertise is spread across an entire nation.

"The most intriguing result for me is to be able to see on a map how musical skills are related to social conditions of our modern lives."

"Perhaps the most surprising result was the relationship between income and musicality.

"With a couple of exceptions, people who lived in postcode areas with a higher average income performed better in the music ability tests. The next question we're going to tackle is the cause behind this relationship."

More than 94,000 participants answered questions on their musical background and musical habits and took part in a range of objective musical tests.

Although the tests were not solely based on a person's ability to play an instrument, those with musical training had a clear advantage on the listening tests where they were asked to do things like remember distinctive tunes.

The study also found that musical sophistication is generally highest in early and flexible periods of life such as during school and university, and is also higher in certain professions such as the media or education.

But hope is not lost for those struggling to master an instrument. The findings also show that inherent factors such as gender and ethnicity explained very little in terms of the musical sophistication of individual participants.

Comments (5)

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11:56am Wed 5 Mar 14

Take it Personally says...

playing an instrument and having any talent are two very different things
playing an instrument and having any talent are two very different things Take it Personally
  • Score: 2

2:00pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Telscombe Cliffy says...

Absolute Madness!
Absolute Madness! Telscombe Cliffy
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Dave in Hastings says...

Take it Personally wrote:
playing an instrument and having any talent are two very different things
Did the article suggest they were linked?
[quote][p][bold]Take it Personally[/bold] wrote: playing an instrument and having any talent are two very different things[/p][/quote]Did the article suggest they were linked? Dave in Hastings
  • Score: -1

9:48pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Dave in Hastings says...

Telscombe Cliffy wrote:
Absolute Madness!
What is? The fact that the Argus have at last printed a positive story about Hastings? Or perhaps you are referring to your own comment? ;-)
[quote][p][bold]Telscombe Cliffy[/bold] wrote: Absolute Madness![/p][/quote]What is? The fact that the Argus have at last printed a positive story about Hastings? Or perhaps you are referring to your own comment? ;-) Dave in Hastings
  • Score: 4

9:49pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Dave in Hastings says...

Many of us residents of Hastings have been saying this for years. This town has a brilliant music scene - unrivaled by any town this size that I know.
Many of us residents of Hastings have been saying this for years. This town has a brilliant music scene - unrivaled by any town this size that I know. Dave in Hastings
  • Score: 6

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