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Personality Types And Choice Of Instrument


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#1 gwu

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 11:53

Do you think there's any link between choice of instrument and personality? (Barry Green in The Mastery of Music assumes that there is e.g. trombonists and tuba players tend to be more extroverted and fun loving than other instrumental players.)

I don't know enough instrumentalists to comment. I play the guitar which was my parents choice but it suits me as I'm quite introverted and independent.

What do you think? Can you see any common personality traits for those who play the same instrument? Does your primary instrument reflect your personality?

G


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#2 AmandaL

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:43

Yes, there is a link between instrument choice and personality. I can't think of the full title of the book or the author at the moment, but there is a text called 'The Musical Temperament', in which psychologists have performed research into the personalities of those who play particular instruments and there is definitely a correlation.

Brass players also tend to be a bit brash - first to the artists bar after a concert and generally still propping the thing up long after everyone else has gone home.

String and woodwind players tend to be a little more introverted, but orchestral performers of these instruments also exert a certain amount of extrovertion, which enables them to cope with weird hours and the general uncertainty of the work.

From my own perspective, I discovered there are similarities in personality of those who play the violin to those who play the oboe. Both are seen as instruments that take a lot of hard work before an acceptable tone and a reasonable standard of playing is attained. The authors of the above mentioned book think that only those with a strong and determined personality will really succeed with either the violin or the oboe.
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#3 andante_in_c

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:50

I wonder what it says about me that my original desire was to play the oboe, but I settled on the flute as a compromise? Was I perhaps not determined enough for the oboe? Realistically I knew there was no chance my parents could afford to buy me one. unsure.gif
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#4 jojo

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:02

QUOTE(AmandaL @ Jun 7 2007, 01:43 PM) View Post

The authors of the above mentioned book think that only those with a strong and determined personality will really succeed with either the violin or the oboe.


uuuuuuuuuuu I like this thread! niceThread.gif
If there is any truth in the above then I am delighted to find out that I will 'really' succeed at violin as there are not many people with a strong and determined personality like mine!!!!! I am well known amongst friends/family/acquantainces for 'never letting go until I get it/get there' laugh.gif I can be a 'pain' to some because of this personality trait of mine but on the positive side I can also be the one who encourages them by being the role model in some situations.

When I was little (age from 6 to 8) I was always 'nagging' that I wanted to learn the flute and the harp (although never did as my parents couldn't/wouldn't or did not take me seriously)....as an adult I am no longer interested in learning these but I was as determined back then personality wise...it could be that some other personality traits were overpowering so.....must read that book to find out what type of personality you tend to have if you play flute/harp just out of curiosity to if and how I've changed in 27-29 years of my life! rolleyes.gif

QUOTE(andante_in_c @ Jun 7 2007, 01:50 PM) View Post

I wonder what it says about me that my original desire was to play the oboe, but I settled on the flute as a compromise? Was I perhaps not determined enough for the oboe? Realistically I knew there was no chance my parents could afford to buy me one. unsure.gif


Andante, is the 'original' desire to play the oboe still there? I wanted to learn flute and harp at age 6 to 8 but at 37 I can no longer see anything desirable in them (although I LOVE listening to these instruments) and instead I am in love with violin/piano.
If your desire is still there, why not try to pursuit now? even just 'part time' for your own satisfaction? is that possible?
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#5 Alicia Ocean

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:06

QUOTE(AmandaL @ Jun 7 2007, 01:43 PM) View Post

Yes, there is a link between instrument choice and personality. I can't think of the full title of the book or the author at the moment, but there is a text called 'The Musical Temperament', in which psychologists have performed research into the personalities of those who play particular instruments and there is definitely a correlation.



That book can be read online here - http://www.questia.c...hony-e-kemp.jsp , I managed to open some of the pages but I think the full version is only for subscribers to that site.
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#6 jojo

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:06

QUOTE(AmandaL @ Jun 7 2007, 01:43 PM) View Post

Yes, there is a link between instrument choice and personality. I can't think of the full title of the book or the author at the moment, but there is a text called 'The Musical Temperament', in which psychologists have performed research into the personalities of those who play particular instruments and there is definitely a correlation.


I've just looked it up, it's by an author calle A E Kemp and it's £37! Looks very interesting especially as I've always been attracted by psychology subjects and similar stuff smile.gif I am saving up for it smile.gif
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#7 andante_in_c

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:12

QUOTE(jojo @ Jun 7 2007, 02:02 PM) View Post

QUOTE(andante_in_c @ Jun 7 2007, 01:50 PM) View Post

I wonder what it says about me that my original desire was to play the oboe, but I settled on the flute as a compromise? Was I perhaps not determined enough for the oboe? Realistically I knew there was no chance my parents could afford to buy me one. unsure.gif


Andante, is the 'original' desire to play the oboe still there? I wanted to learn flute and harp at age 6 to 8 but at 37 I can no longer see anything desirable in them (although I LOVE listening to these instruments) and instead I am in love with violin/piano.
If your desire is still there, why not try to pursuit now? even just 'part time' for your own satisfaction? is that possible?


Well, it has been subsumed under my even greater desire to play the piano. That one I did fight for. And when an opportunity to have singing lessons presented itself in the form of the Grade 1 challenge, I went for that, as I would never have plucked up courage to ring up a singing teacher. So now I have four instruments, a large teaching practice, and no time to take up anything else. smile.gif
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#8 jojo

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:15

QUOTE(andante_in_c @ Jun 7 2007, 02:12 PM) View Post


Well, it has been subsumed under my even greater desire to play the piano.


AAAhhhhh, so the piano 'overtook' the oboe in the race wink.gif well, it would be interesting to find out about 'piano' personalties and to see if that personality trait in you is stronger than the trait common for oboe players?
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#9 TSax

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:22

As I've posted on other threads, for the past few years I've been to the summer school organised by Just Flutes. They have a saxophone course running alongside a flute course, the classes are all separate but we mingle in the evenings. I'm not really one for generalisations, but the differences between the sax players and flute players are quite striking, and consistent from one year to the next.

Generally (and there are exceptions!) the first people down to breakfast are the flautists, who like to get some early morning practice in as soon as the morning ban is lifted, forcing the sax players out of their beds. The last (and first) people in the bar are usually the sax players who then proceed back to the boarding house where they are the last to bed, annoying all the flute players who are kept awake when they want to get up early and practice the next morning...

There are quite a few regulars, such as myself, in both camps and despite our differences there is mutual respect between the two groups. A few years ago was the first "jazz night" organised by the sax tutors who brought a rhythm section in for classes during the day, and then in the evening instead of a formal tutors concert we had jazz in the bar, which went down a storm and had everyone up and dancing. I'll never forget being in the ladies and overhearing a conversation between two of the regular flautists who in very surprised tones acknowledged that "it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, in fact it's really rather good fun!"
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#10 andante_in_c

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:27

QUOTE(jojo @ Jun 7 2007, 02:15 PM) View Post

QUOTE(andante_in_c @ Jun 7 2007, 02:12 PM) View Post


Well, it has been subsumed under my even greater desire to play the piano.


AAAhhhhh, so the piano 'overtook' the oboe in the race wink.gif well, it would be interesting to find out about 'piano' personalties and to see if that personality trait in you is stronger than the trait common for oboe players?


I suspect the dominant piano personality is introversion - you don't need anyone else if you're a pianist. The classic example is Schroeder in the Peanuts cartoons. And that doesn't apply to me really: I'm shy, but I'm an extravert (deliberate spelling) rather than an introvert as I need lots of input from others to keep me sane. wink.gif

I wanted to play piano because I wanted the harmony, not just the melody. Now, what does that say about me? wink.gif unsure.gif rolleyes.gif
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#11 katyjay

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 13:33

Been singing as long as I can remember (although didn't have lessons until I was 35), nagged my parents for my first recorder when I was five, had a brief and disastrous attempt at the flute in my early teens, a traumatic first attempt at piano also early teens, a second brief and pathetic attempt at piano in my late thirties and have taken to violin also in my late thirties more than I could possibly have imagined.

What does that little lot equate to?
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#12 StuMac

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 14:43

QUOTE(andante_in_c @ Jun 7 2007, 02:27 PM) View Post

QUOTE(jojo @ Jun 7 2007, 02:15 PM) View Post

QUOTE(andante_in_c @ Jun 7 2007, 02:12 PM) View Post


Well, it has been subsumed under my even greater desire to play the piano.


AAAhhhhh, so the piano 'overtook' the oboe in the race wink.gif well, it would be interesting to find out about 'piano' personalties and to see if that personality trait in you is stronger than the trait common for oboe players?


I suspect the dominant piano personality is introversion - you don't need anyone else if you're a pianist. The classic example is Schroeder in the Peanuts cartoons. And that doesn't apply to me really: I'm shy, but I'm an extravert (deliberate spelling) rather than an introvert as I need lots of input from others to keep me sane. wink.gif

I wanted to play piano because I wanted the harmony, not just the melody. Now, what does that say about me? wink.gif unsure.gif rolleyes.gif


I'd completely forgotten about Shroeder in peanuts!

Lucy was madly in love with him of course!
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#13 jod

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 15:01

Before I think "Ahh Mendelssohn" -Schroder from Peanuts.

Surely a degree of introversion is required by most musicians. We all stick in practice rooms trying our level best to get better with little or no feedback. Surely the same can be said about determination, without that you can't get beyond the early grades of the "more pleasurable to start with instruments".

Sure in choirs, orchestras and ensembles we need to get on with other people, but does one have to be a natural extrovert to be a performer? - I tend to think not. The "Joanna" people get on stage is not the same as the real me. Stage Joanna is my extroverted side, but naturally I'm an introvert - more likely to curl up in front of the TV with a mug of cocoa, or choose quiet places on my own to relax.
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#14 Guest: SueHM_*

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 16:49

I think my personality is ideal for the piano, not sure if I'm typical - I'm happy to spend plenty of time alone and am fairly 'self-sufficient'. On the other hand I enjoy being with other people, but don't want to be 'one of the crowd' so I would rather be the accompanist than sing in a choir. biggrin.gif
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#15 sonataform

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 18:00

I play piano and percussion.

I like hitting things.

(A singer I work with reckons that sopranos and altos unconsciously "choose" their vocal ranges according to their personality.)
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