Is There A Gene For Music?

newspaper on a grand piano at the Dupont Hotel

I’ve often wondered: Is there a music gene one might inherit? There must be something that would cause one to pick up a guitar and start plucking at the strings, or give one the idea to beat sticks against objects readily available to him or to have that natural rhythm. My brother and his sons have it–I don’t. Do you?

© Teresita Abad Doebley All rights reserved 2009-2011.

ps The camera repairs is turning into a bit of a fiasco. Whenever I call, I either get disconnected or get someone who doesn’t speak English. But the point-and-shoot is getting me by.

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15 thoughts on “Is There A Gene For Music?

  1. I have a sense of music, if that’s what you mean. My grandmother could play the piano by ear. Her whole family played instruments (except her mother, I think.)

    I think it is hereditary

  2. love your colors, photos and set up…my late Grandmom played the piano by ear and was the pianist for our church choir…oh, those memories…being in her living room, sitting next to her at the piano as she played His Eye Is On The Sparrow and Somewhere Over The Window, songs that I learned and ones that have definitely aced numerous musical theater contracts. Our daughter is now 22 .As a child, I recall drumming out rhythms with her on the dining room table and living room heater. I also recall stopping her in the middle of a busy pedestrian zone in Basel, Switzerland to simply catch the rhythms of sounds during our frozenness…the baby’s giggle, the street musician’s flute, the banker’s steadied yet rushed gait, the chestnut griller’s swish into the brown bag…Genes? Most definitely…She is an awesome singer(my Aunt hears echoes of Nina Simone and I hear my Grandmom’s contralto)…I hear timbers of colors and emotions that will absolutly soar her over a rainbow….Patience….I’ve heard that the soup that simmers is the best for the pot.

    • on this weird halloween night, the kids do not ring the bell for sweets, do not see my wigged get up at the door, nor my last minute get up costume of a reincarnated spirit(boo hoo)..so I check my blog and see your halloween photo(submitted a comment) merci! and see your follow-up comment–nina simone-triple merci!!! long distance kindness is just as warming as a bowl of pumpkin soup

  3. All my kids and I play an instrument but not well. Not well at all. My granddaughter sits 1st chair and has already been offered several scholarships. So I could not tell ya. I do love your photo though. Is a good eye past down in the genes I wonder?

  4. I have it but don’t fully express it… What can I say, we all have some music in us but some are fully developed and others work at it. Love that photo. 🙂

  5. Ok, this might get a little rambly. “Is there a gene for music?” I’m willing to bet that there isn’t just one, but probably a combination of genes that would make one more geared towards picking an instrument up. On a macro level, the trait that has allowed humans to stick around on this floating rock for as long as we have is the ability to recognize, understand, and manipulate patterns. Music is an extension of this (for an amazing perspective on how people may have first figured out the whole music thing, check out the first 10 minutes of a movie called “Latcho Drom.”), and although some might argue as to whether or not there’s a practical use for music beyond just the shear enjoyment of it, I would argue that music is one of humanity’s first languages. More so, I would argue that music is a universal language (have you ever shared the pleasure of dancing with someone with whom you didn’t share a common spoken language?).

    As to whether I have the gene (or set thereof), yup, I got it! And, while I play (guitar and some percussion) mostly on my own for myself, on the rare occasion I get the chance to play with others and it all comes together, I tend to walk away in a state of bliss that is indescribable with words and incomparable to anything else I’ve done.

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