This post originally posted here.
by Noiseman433 on Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:06 pm
With no scientific reasoning, I’m going nurture over nature on this one.
Though I’d guess some of us are more naturally wired for music than others.
Of course there is no such thing as a music gene, art gene, math gene etc. There are millions of genes, all “setting up” a human with unque, individual mixtures. Intricate combinations of different genes that come from previous generations gives some better/worse abilties in certain areas than others…if they are nutured. And also, *how* these abilities develop (in what manner or style, as a nod to Noiseman) depends on how they are nurtured. But I firmly believe everything (about a person) STARTS with genetics. Everything. 😀
Yeah, I’m not denying genes [sic] play a part–it all start with genetics, all I’m denying is that there is anything specific for music (or language for that matter). General genetic “advantages” may play a part, but can easily be overridden by culture.
Even general differences, like the fact that women, as a whole, have better fine manual motor skills than men, hasn’t changed the proportion of, for example, the number of female musicians you see playing guitars in rock/pop music (granted–the number of classically trained female musicians is roughly equal to classically trained male musicians).
The thing is to [sic] look at a specific genetic trait, that those just become a part of the environment within which anyone develops (in the case of genes, those are a part of the “internal” environment). If absolute pitch is genetic, that doesn’t insure that a person will even decide to be a musician (as a number of people in the thread about “Perfect Pitch” have pointed out). If you never develop a way to use some genetic predisposition, it isnt going to matter much whether you have it.
Genes don’t make the musician. We each choose either to be one or not and use whatever resources are at hand. Some of us just happen to have rich resources (a musical family, for example) which makes things easier.