The setup to this question is that humans are good at predicting how things move, so a sportsman can anticipate where to move to on the field so they can catch a baseball that's in the air, or again they can anticipate where a team mate is running to so they can kick a football to where their team mate is going to be.

Here's the question: are these sports anticipation skills in any way related to the musical visual skills we use when following a conductor or following an audible beat?

  • I’m quite good in sight reading, listening to an orchestra, justing the tuning, hearing the different voices, analyzing what happens ... but I’m an absolute rivets in games like football, volley, basket etc. There must be a hole in my brain. But I know a lot of good musicians that are good in sports while there are not so many footballers good at singing - especially not the national hymns. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 13:12
  • The question is probably better fitted for the Biology SE.
    – MeanGreen
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 9:36
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because, as interesting as it is, it's more of a science question than a musical one.
    – Richard
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 10:24
  • I agree with Richard. Also, you are asking musicians to evaluate something they may not be aware or cognizant of. I think you may be correct in that there is overlap between sports skills and musician skills but a scientist would be more apt to comment.
    – user50691
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 13:55
  • 1
    Which SE site would be a better home for this question? Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


@brian thomas is correct in that this question belongs in a different SE. However, start with the Wikipedia page neuroscience of music. Sports skills primarily rely upon episodic reactions. Music skills rely upon an entire panorama of brain functions (see article). While there appears to be overlap in sports and music such as in pattern recognition, motor skills, rhythm, and timing, there are more questions than answers. There would appear to be significant neurological differences between throwing a 97 mph fastball and performing Paganini's Caprice No. 24.

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