Hackney, more musical than some of the Welsh

© david.altheer@gmail.com

HACKNEY is one of the top ten musical areas in the UK, but below, uhm, Haringey. At least, so says Goldsmiths, University of London, which claims to have taken part in the “biggest ever study into musical psychology”.

Goldsmiths did not say how many other big studies have been made in this area, nor why anyone would want to.

These are the areas where residents are most musical:

Yr Wyddfa from Llwyngwril May 2013 © david altheer
Musical inspiration? A view of Yr Wyddfa from Gwynedd in Cymru

1    Hastings

2   West Somerset

3   North Dorset

4   Blaenau Gwent, Cymru

5   Haringey

6   Sevenoaks

7   Shetland Islands

8  York

9  Hackney

10 Gwynedd, Cymru

How is that Hackney does better than a Welsh county and why is an East Sussex town once known for social-security dependency best of all?

It could be that both areas allow their children more spare time than most, giving them the chance to goof off with musical instruments, or their electronic/online versions. Many an artistic career has in effect been State-subsidised.

Possibly, too, it reflects Hackney’s high number of young graduates – the highest in Britain, according to The Times.

Perhaps  now that these hipsters are starting to have issue, those children are being persuaded to take up an instrument, to face dread sights such as that pictured above every evening when they drag their feet home from the classroom.

Result: they become high-earning pop musicians or adults condemned to lug a heavy instrument case around for the rest of their life.

Dr Daniel Müllensiefen, lead researcher, says there is a correlation with the average income of the area in which musical people live. For every point scored on the “beat perception” test (No, don’t explain, Prof.), the average weekly income of the participants’ postcode was £99 higher and for every point on “melody memory’” the average increase was £111.

Me neither – maybe he should explain after all. Regardless, he goes on to say: “The next question we’re going to tackle is the cause behind this [income] relationship.”

Almost 95,000 Britons, and more than 147,000 people around the world, took part in the study by answering questions on their musical background and habits and doing some musical tests.

And the list of shame? The least musically inclined areas are:

1 Redditch; 2 Ashfield; 3 Richmondshire (it’s up north); 4 Anglesey; 5 Christchurch; 6 North Lincolnshire; 7 Boston; 8 Maldon; 9 East Lindsey; 10 Swale.

* The full research paper 

Hamish Scott 050314 

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

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One thought on “Hackney, more musical than some of the Welsh

  1. I don’t understand the claimed income relationship since most of the areas in the top 10 are fairly poor.

    I do however note a historic relationship with mining and some of these. Of course lots of mining communities had organised bands and choirs.

    Very interesting to note that Gwynedd (with its working-class mining history) is in the top 10, but just over the Menai Straits, Anglesey (wealthier middle-class history) is in the bottom 10.

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