Thursday, March 01, 2007

Do you believe studies?

This reported over on ArtsJournal from the Telegraph:

The shocking truth about sex and violas
Are we our own worst enemies? Is the world of classical music too stuffy by half? Certainly Muso magazine seems to think so, writes Julian Lloyd Webber
Are we our own worst enemies? Is the world of classical music too stuffy by half? Certainly Muso magazine seems to think so.
According to its website, Muso is "the groundbreaking magazine for the younger, more open-minded generation of classical music fans". And, following Muso's survey into the sex lives of classical musicians, its editor, Femke Colborne, isn't a happy bunny.
Not that the musicians themselves weren't responsive - they seemed only too ready to spill the beans on their sexual shenanigans. It's the reaction to her Valentine's Day jape from the rest of the profession that's riled her.
"Are classical music and fun mutually exclusive?" asks Colborne, who adopts a rather fetching pose herself above her steamy editorial. "This industry [sic] could gain a lot from lightening up a bit. Musicians are forever complaining about the lack of prominent classical coverage in the national papers; but by adopting these kinds of attitudes they are probably deterring the media, who are understandably reluctant to publish content that is stuffy, elitist and, well, boring to everyone who is not part of that 'serious' circle."
Phew! But Colborne is only just hitting her stride: "Classical music gets a lot of bad press from a bunch of pretentious old gits trying to impress each other with how much they know about it, but Muso gives it the vibrant, fun and colourful image it deserves."
So it's odds on that Colborne's next project won't be a rewrite of How to Make Friends and Influence People, but, while I am distressed by such blatant ageism, I do believe that the young lady has a point. After all, composers from Arnold (whose Grand, Grand Overture was scored for "full orchestra, organ, three vacuum cleaners, one floor polisher and four rifles") to Zemlinsky (whose opera The Dwarf features delicious black comedy) have always acknowledged the place of humour in music, and they have never exactly been averse to a bit of rumpy-pumpy.
As to the survey itself, there are a few startling results. Viola players, it seems, are "most likely to have sex on a first date", "most likely to have had sex three or more times in the last week" and "most likely to have had 10 or more sexual partners" (presumably not all at once).
Perhaps it's because they have so little time left to practise that violists are the constant butt (forgive me) of jokes such as: "How do you know when a viola's being played out of tune?" Answer: "The bow is moving."
Predictably, guitarists were "the most likely to have had a one-night stand" and tuba players not only played "the least sexy instrument" but were also "most likely to be single". Of course, had Colborne come to me I could have saved her a lot of unnecessary angst as the answer to the survey's key question - "Which musicians make the best lovers?" - was obviously "cellists".

Of course, I don't believe this study at all. And as always, ClassicallyHip is willing to go to the mat, so to speak, and find out.

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