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People still show a massive gender bias when it comes to musical instruments

People still show a massive gender bias when it comes to musical instruments

People still think that violins are for women and trumpets are for men, according to a new study.

Only 3% of people who associated the trumpet with a particular gender expected a woman to play it, and 3% thought the harp would be played by a man.

Just 3% thought the average trombonists would be female, with 5% assuming a horn player would be male.

The study, conducted by the Royal Albert Hall, questioned 2,000 adults about which instruments they associated with which gender.

Female harpists
Only 2% of people expected harpists to be male (Toby Melville/PA)

But it’s not the public’s fault. Lucy Noble, director of events at the Royal Albert Hall, said she often sees fully male brass sections and all-female strings within orchestras at the venue.

She think parents steering their children towards instruments they think are particularly masculine or feminine is to blame.

“In a time when the ‘leader’ of the free world is Donald Trump and it seems gender equality is teetering on the edge, we must do what little we can to ensure music and the arts more generally, is seen as accessible to all and without gender stereotyping,” she said.

The Royal Albert Hall in London
The Royal Albert Hall in London (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

One performer due to play the iconic venue is breaking this trend, though.

British trumpeter Alison Balsom has won three classical Brit awards and is headlining the Royal Albert Hall in March.

She also bagged an OBE last year for services to music.

Alison Balsom getting her OBE (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Alison Balsom getting her OBE (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Top 5 instruments most associated with men

A trombone player
(Ben Birchall/PA)

1. Trumpet
2. Trombone
3. Tuba
4. Horn
5. Bassoon

Top 5 instruments people thought women would play

A violin
Victoria Jones/PA

1. Harp
2. Violin
3. Viola
4. Flute
5. Percussion

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