The Clements Blog
How musical are you, really?
by Tim Benjamin
Monday, 1st December 2014 | 1 comment
Obviously you must be pretty musical or you wouldn't be on this website, but what if there was a way of finding out if you had an undiscovered talent?
Well, now there just might be. The BBC have produced a set of online tests and questions on musical perception and creativity to try to answer the question "How Musical Are You?" It takes a little while – about 20 minutes – to complete, but it's a lot of fun and worth the time.
Some of the tests are simply lists of questions – do you tap your feet to music, are you able to read a musical score, etc. – but the fun starts with the more interactive tests. There are four of these: one asks you to tap your spacebar in time with different extracts of music, another asks you whether a beat is in time with the music or not, another asks you to pick out melodies that are the same or subtly different from each other, and the fourth – my favourite – asks you to arrange sixteen tiny snippets of music according to their genre. The extracts are only a second or so long, so that one's much harder than it sounds.
At the end, you are given a summary of how well you did in the tests, as well as a score for your enthusiasm for music, your musical perception, your emotional connection with music, your social creativity and your musical curiosity. I did pretty well, although I was surprised that I was better at remembering melodies than I was at matching the beat. I thought it would be the other way around.
In an interesting experiment, the Guardian newspaper asked three professional musicians – a cellist, a composer and a rock drummer – to take the test. Funnily, the two performers both did badly on their enthusiasm for music, but that might be because they play it so much during the day that they don't want to listen to even more when they get home!
So, how do you do? And are there any surprises in your results?
Well... I surprised myself! I got pretty high scores throughout but my favourite one is 99% for musical perception!
It is actually a really good test. How did everyone else do?
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