Many of our readers have a musical bent. More than half of the 392 people who responded to our latest survey play a musical instrument. One-third play the piano, and another third play the guitar. Twenty-six other instruments round out the band, which includes bagpipes, didgeridoo, glockenspiel, and bouzouki.

The vast majority, 74%, play alone; 17% perform in informal groups; and 9% play in a band or orchestra. They consider themselves so-so musicians, rating their abilities an average of 2.7 on a 1-to-5 scale. Some aren't happy about it, either. As one reader remarked, "If I could play better, do you think I would be in science?"

Of course, there's the opposite end of the spectrum. One reader was a professional musician before becoming a research technician; another has produced two CDs. Others didn't fret about their abilities, or lack thereof, but commented on...

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