Entertainment & Arts

BBC Radio 3 to test nation's musical skills

Sir Paul McCartney
Image caption Sir Paul McCartney has never learned to read music

The BBC is teaming up with researchers at Goldsmiths University of London to find out whether personality or practice creates great musicians.

The How Musical Are You? test is being launched to tie in with Radio 3's celebration of the music of Mozart.

The aim is to establish the most basic musical skills shared by everyone and those achieved through years of training and practice.

The test can also be accessed through the BBC's Radio 3 website.

Questionnaires and musical tests will be used to evaluate abilities such as picking out beats and memorising tunes.

Radio 3 controller Roger Wright said it presented "a chance for everyone who enjoys music of whatever genre to find out more about their own capacity for engaging with music".

Many successful musicians, including The Beatles' Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon, claim never to have learned to read sheet music.

The team from Goldsmiths believe that people's listening habits and their emotional connection with music could predict whether or not they have untapped musical ability.

Music psychologist Daniel Mullensiefen said: "We're interested in finding out about the many different ways people can be musical, even without setting foot inside a music school."

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