Engineers tend to be musicians

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"Engineers tend to be musicians"

"Engineers tend to be musicians", my elderly geometry teacher said to me. "The last orchestra I played in, half of the musicians turned out to be from JPL".

Anyone want to comment on this?
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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"Engineers tend to be musicians", my elderly geometry teacher said to me. "The last orchestra I played in, half of the musicians turned out to be from JPL".

Anyone want to comment on this?
Obviously he was located very close to JPL. Doesn't sound like a respresentitive sample for comparison. Were he in Knoxville, he might conclude that cowboys tend to be musicians. :biggrin:
 
  • #3
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I noticed that many violin players tend to be musicians too. I probably just live around a bunch of violinists though.
 
  • #4
Jonathan Scott
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I noticed that many violin players tend to be musicians too. I probably just live around a bunch of violinists though.
I was on a music course a few years ago which included both instrumental players and singers. The instrumental players described the course as being for "musicians and singers" and the singers described it as being for "musicians and instrumental players".

I'm a software engineer and also play violin, viola and piano with local orchestras.

Whether this confirms your hypothesis depends on whether you consider "software engineer" to be an engineer.
 
  • #5
jtbell
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The instrumental players described the course as being for "musicians and singers" and the singers described it as being for "musicians and instrumental players".
Maybe both groups would agree on the description "for musicians and viola players." :wink:
 
  • #6
turbo
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When I was in engineering school, I worked my way through college in part by buying, selling, refurbishing electric guitars and amps, and playing rock and blues for weekend frat parties. After college, I worked some very demanding jobs in construction and in heavy industry. Between shift-work, weekend shut-downs, unexpected overtime, etc. There was no way that I could keep playing professionally, except as an occasional guest performer.

When I got back into a more 9-5 environment, I started hosting open-mic jams for extra cash on weekends. Another guy who helped out regularly with vocals and guitar-playing was Sears' local appliance service-man. Another guy who would stop in and play and sing (more country-rock influence) was the head mechanic at the local Polaris dealership. Anecdotal, at best, but it seems that in our little core group, there were some pretty talented people who also happened to have technical/troubleshooting skills.
 
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I play guitar and majoring Computer Engineering :x
 
  • #8
FlexGunship
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"Engineers tend to be musicians", my elderly geometry teacher said to me. "The last orchestra I played in, half of the musicians turned out to be from JPL".

Anyone want to comment on this?
Make this a poll.

I was the principle trumpet for the New England Youth Symphony Orchestra until I "aged-out." I played for a few years doing weddings and military ceremonies (in SE NH there aren't any National Guard buglers, apparently). For a few years I played with two local wind symphonies, but I've since left. Now I play piano.

I play guitar and majoring Computer Engineering :x
Everyone plays guitar. :rolleyes:
 
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turbo
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"Engineers tend to be musicians", my elderly geometry teacher said to me.
That's because they only have to get the job done.
 
  • #11
turbo
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That's because they only have to get the job done.
Get in, get out and get 'er done!
 
  • #12
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i would actually say ''musicians tend to be engineers'' because a lot of musicians are engineers, but not a lot of engineers are musicians.

Let me tell you:

Right now I am in 12th grade and through my highschool experience i passed through lots of bands, I can tell you that out of 10 people i remember working with, 5 are/are going to be engineers, so there is a somewhat strong relationship

on the other hand, if you go to an engineering school and ask who is a musician, i don't think youll get more than the half of the population.


oh and i play guitar, bass, drums and harmonica and plan to major in mecatronic, civil or maybe chemical engineering
 
  • #13


I'm an EE and I play the guitar. Wow, thats the first time I've ever said I'm an EE. :p Still have to collect my degree from college though...
 
  • #14
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i was a highschool brass instrument musician who went EE.

i think some would say there is a music/math link.
 
  • #15
russ_watters
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As a matter of fact, I was hanging out with a couple this weekend who said much the same thing (though it is stated backwards in the title).
 
  • #16
D H
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One simple explanation is that most musicians are not professional musicians. The demand for professional musicians is much, much smaller than is the potential supply. So most musicians are (professionally) anything but musicians. If you live in an area chock full of engineers you'll find that most of the members of the local orchestra are engineers. Move to an area chock full of bankers and accountants and you'll find that most of the members of the local orchestra are bankers and accountants.

Whether there exists a math-music connection is debatable. Some say yes, absolutely; others say no measurable effect.

However the effect only appears to be one way. Apparently we technical people should study music because it will make us better mathematicians, engineers, scientists. Does that mean that musicians and other liberal arts students should study mathematics and science (real math and real science, not that physics for poets malarky) because that will make them better musicians and poets?

The answer apparently is a resounding NO! Math and science teachers have to dumb down their subjects to meaninglessness for the sake of those liberal arts students who have to take one entire class on a technical subject during their entire undergrad career.
 

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