How musical are you? New BBC experiment

The BBC is offering you a chance to explore your musicality while at the same time helping scientists with their research. ‘How musical are you?’, the latest addition to the BBC UK Lab crowd sourcing website, is looking at people’s relationship with music. Participants are invited to answer a set of questions and do some practical tests (such as listen to two melodies and say whether they are the same, and tap the beat to a piece of music). At the end of the test, participant can see their individual musical profile that describes their musicality on five different dimension.

Scientists may already know more than ever before about how music can shape the brain, but there is still much to discover. (How musical are you? website)

The individual musical profiles are, however, not the only outcome of the exercise. The (anonymous) information collected through the test is valuable data for scientists who are working on understanding the musical brain – what it means to be ‘musical’ and how engaging with music affects our brains.

Sample musicality profile

Sample musicality profile

Anyone can take the test, whether you think you are musical or not and irrespective of any musical training or ability. You do not even have to like music! Your musicality is ‘scored’ in five categories:

  • Enthusiasm for music
  • Musical perception
  • Emotional connection
  • Social creativity
  • Musical curiosity

The test, which takes about 25 minutes, can be found at On the website, you can read more about the musicality categories and even see recommendations of programs selected for you based on your test results.

What the test will show is that musicality is a complex issue, and that it is not only those with musical training or formal schooling in music that are musical. With the help of the information gathered through this online test, scientists can explore the question of musicality further and learn what it is and what it means to us and our development.

The test was developed by staff from the Music, Mind and Brain research group at Goldsmiths, University of London in collaboration with BBC Lab UK. The data will be analysed by the researchers and the results of the experiment will be announced on the BBC UK Lab website within 18 months.

Lab UK opens science up to hundreds of thousands of participants, enabling you to help us create new knowledge and answer big scientific questions. (from BBC UK Lab website)

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