Friday, April 20, 2007

42 Percent?

One of the String Magazine articles I mentioned a couple of days ago states that 42 percent of adults between 35 and 50 play a musical instrument. This strikes me as very high! I searched the Internet and found this story:

Gallup Organization Reveals Survey Results,
which also quotes that figure, and says 20 percent of those 50 and older play an instrument.

On the other hand, Jamming with the Mamas and Papas says that 42 percent of the people who play musical instruments are between the ages of 35 and 50, which is an entirely different statistic!

Though all in my family and most of my friends play an instrument, I know this is a very select group. Still, I think Blair Tindall's figure, in her recent Los Angeles Times article, that 1.8 percent of Americans play an instrument in their leisure time seems much too low.

Maybe it depends on how you define "play an instrument." For years I played the flute only at Christmastime. I'm not sure that counts as much as a daily involvement in music.

Maybe it depends how you define "play an instrument in their leisure time." Maybe she is not counting any professional musician, or those who occasionally gig, or those of us amateurs who consider the cello one of our primary occupations, not something we do in our "leisure time."

I'd like to see some more definitive research. If you know of any good sources, please let me know!

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