Intra-European variation in musical ability

Some discussion at Mangan's prompted me to look for studies comparing Europeans of various nationalities on tests of musical aptitude. I found a summary of several such studies in a 1955 book:
In a Chicago Jewish orphanage and a Chicago public school, children numbering 550 were given both the Sea shore and the Kwalwasser-Dykema Music Tests. The national and racial groups reported by Sanderson 146 are Jewish, German, Negro, Italian, and Polish. In order of standing, the Jewish group rated highest, followed by German, Italian, Negro, and last, Polish, who showed marked inferiority. In this study the Negroes earned the highest score in rhythm. The total mean scores of the Sanderson study follow: Jews 185.5; Germans 183.2; Negroes 180.6; Italians 178.4 and Polish 173.7.

The Witherson 188 study, a survey of all the children in the grade schools of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, numbering approximately 2,000 children, employed the Kwalwasser-Dykema Music Tests. More than a dozen different national and racial classifications were represented, and although the Sanderson and Witherson studies were conducted in communities separated by considerable distance the resemblances are striking. In descending order of achievement, the groups rate as follows: Jewish, native American, American foreign-born, Scotch-Irish, Welsh, German, English, mixed foreign, Serbian-Croatian, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Slovak, Italian, and Negro. The averages (means) of the Witherson study are presented for comparison with the Sanderson study: Jewish 185.9; German 183.5; Polish 180.5; Italian 178.2; and Negro 177.0. The Eneboe study of 740 Chicago high school students yielded similar results with the same music test. Scandinavian, English, and German children ranked high; the Slavic group was about 20 points lower, and the Italian and Negro children were very low.

Finally, the author wishes to present Dykema's 29 study of ten European groups, numbering approximately 6,000 children of secondary school age, measured abroad. While on sabbatical leave from Teachers College, Columbia University, in 1930-31, he gave the tests in ten different countries under conditions that were maintained fairly constant from place to place. The countries represented in his investigation were : Germany, England, Scotland, Czecho-Slovakia, Russia, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Ireland, and France. It would be foolhardy to accept his results without qualification, for an average sampling of only 600 children in each country can hardly be considered adequate. Yet the study is unique and, as test populations go, rather authoritative. The total mean scores earned by the ten groups are:

Country Mean

Germany 193.58
England 193.42
Scotland 193.42
Czechoslovakia 193.03
Russia 192.40
Italy 192.29
Hungary 189.25
Austria 188.98
Ireland 185.33
France 183.14

All countries 191.21

When we compare the scores of children abroad with those of our own country, we find that the average European child earns roughly ten points more. This difference is based upon the measurement of 4,250 American school children tested with the Kwalwasser-Dykema Music Tests about the same time that Professor Dykema was testing abroad. Statistically the difference is large enough to be considered significant. In addition, we note that foreign children show greater variation in their scores; European scores are more heterogeneous and ours more homogene ous. The standard deviation for all European children is 18.70; for American children 16.49. One-third of the children above the average and one-third below the aver age earn between 191. plus 18.7 and 191.2 minus 18.7. American children with their average of 180.9 show a variation of 16.5 above and below the mean. These scores showing less variation support the claims of anthropologists that hybridization is moving at a rapid rate in our country. Sharp national lines of cleavage are being eradicated to a great extent by the forty million immigrants who have settled here in a single century from 1830 to 1930.

[Jacob Kwalwasser. Exploring the Musical Mind.]

For comparison, here is Mangan's breakdown of Charles Murray's list of "significant" composers by national origin:
24 German
16 French
12 Italian
6 Russian
2 Czech
2 English
2 Hungarian
1 Dutch
1 Flemish
1 Norwegian
1 Polish
1 Swedish
Apart from Germany appearing near the top of both lists, within Europe there seems to be little relationship between the number of great composers produced by a country and the average raw musical talent of (modern representatives of) its people.

Interesting reunion

Vanuatu villagers whose ancestors killed and ate a Scottish missionary in the 19th century have apologised to the man's descendants at a ceremony on the anniversary of his death. 170 years after people on Erromango killed Presbyterian missionary the Reverend John Williams and his companion, James Harris, some of Mr Williams descendants travelled to the island to take part in a reconciliation ceremony last month.

Some local people felt Erromango had been cursed because of the killings.

New genetic study of Argentines

Nothing surprising here:
Argentineans carried a large fraction of European genetic heritage in their Y-chromosomal (94.1%) and autosomal (78.5%) DNA, but their mitochondrial gene pool is mostly of Native American ancestry (53.7%); instead, African heritage was small in all three genetic systems (less than 4%).
I'm a bit bored with the topic, but those interested are welcome to continue the previous discussion.

Upcoming study of Neolithic DNA from Germany

Polako writes:
About 250 Funnelbeaker (Trichterbecherkultur) and Wartberg Culture skeletons are being tested for Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal SNP and STR markers at a lab in Kiel. They come from 3400-3000BC burial sites at Panker, eastern Schleswig-Holstein, Gro├čenrode and Odagsen, southern Lower Saxony, and Calden, North Hessen. All of those places are in North-Central Germany. The scientists not only hope to determine the ancestry of the samples, but also their pigmentation traits, by looking at SNPs associated with hair, skin and eye color.
The project's website.

Racial differences in steroid use

Not a comprehensive review, just a summary of the first few studies I found.

A study of adolescents in Minnesota finds finds 2.1% of white males and 7.6% black males report having "used anabolic steroids to gain muscle in the past 12 months" [1]. Other numbers from this study: Hispanic 6.1%; Hmong 14.8%; other Asian 7.9%.

A study of high school football players in Indiana finds "minorities are twice as likely to use AAS" compared to whites [2].

An NCAA survey finds black college athletes are less likely to report using steroids than white athletes (unfortunately, results by sex and sport further broken down by race are not shown) [3]. Blacks also report less use of every other drug in this study. Considering that other evidence indicates blacks tend to underreport and whites tend to overreport drug use in surveys [4], I don't find these results terribly convincing.

[1] Irving et al. Steroid Use Among Adolescents: Findings From Project EAT. Journal of Adolescent Health 2002;30:243–252

[2] Stilger, GS and CE Yesalis. Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Use Among High School Football Players. Journal of Community Health, Vol. 24, No. 2, April 1999

[3] NCAA Research Staff. NCAA Study of Substance Use and Abuse Habits of College Student-Athletes. September 1997.

[4] Bauman KE, Ennett SE. Tobacco use by black and white adolescents: the validity of self-reports. Am J Public Health. 1994 Mar;84(3):394-8.
Studies consistently show that Black adolescents are less likely than White adolescents to use drugs. [. . .] Only one study has empirically addressed the possibility that Black adolescents might underreport their drug use more than White adolescents. Mensch and Kandel11 found that among youths who had reported in 1980 that they had used drugs, more Blacks than Whites reported in 1984 that they had never used drugs. The one study of young adults that compared Blacks and Whites concluded that Blacks underreported smoking more than Whites. [. . .] Future studies of Black-White differences in drug use that rely on self-reports should account for invalid measurement before proceeding to examine variables of more theoretical and practical interest, or they should give more credence to the possibility that the differences they attempt to explain may be due in large part to differential validity.

Racial differences in muscle mass

Blue Anonymous asked about this. The evidence I've seen suggests that in the US, black men average similar or very slightly greater muscle mass than white men.
Multiple-regression analysis in the present study demonstrated no significant differences in the SM/ATFM [skeletal muscle / adipose tissue-free body mass] ratio among Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic healthy groups. In contrast, African-Americans had a significantly larger SM/ATFM ratio than the other groups, although the difference was very small. According to Equation 4, for example, the mean SM/ATFM ratio is 0.524 for a 30-year-old African-American man weighing 70 kg, while the mean ratio is 0.522 for Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic men of the same age and body weight.
[Wang et al. Muscularity in adult humans: proportion of adipose tissue-free body mass as skeletal muscle. Am J Hum Biol. 2001 Sep-Oct;13(5):612-9.]
Blacks probably carry a greater proportion of their muscle in their arms and legs (which is unsurprising considering they have relatively longer limbs), but total skeletal muscle mass is similar.
Overall, the matched Black and White men had similar fat, FFM, TBW, and TBK. Thus there were no major absolute differences in body composition between the two ethnic groups beyond that of skeletal mass.

In agreement with our findings, Schutte et al. (1984) found that Black and White males of equivalent height and weight had a similar absolute TBW. Slaughter et al. (1990) also found no significant ethnic differences in TBW adjusted for height among adolescent Black and White boys.

[. . .] Total body potassium is an indirect marker of skeletal muscle mass and results are therefore difficult to interpret. One possible explanation for the varied findings is that Black men may have more appendicular muscle and less trunk muscle than White men. According to this hypothesis, Black and White men would have different amounts of skeletal muscle in specific anatomic regions but similar amounts of total skeletal muscle.
[Gerace et al. Skeletal differences between black and white males and their relevance to body composition estimates. Am J Hum Biol 1994;6:255–62.]
The evidence I've seen also suggests whites tend to have greater strength per unit of muscular cross-section than blacks. (Despite the fact that black males more frequently report lifting weights.)

White culture, Jewish culture, and the origins of psychotherapy

This author will have multiculturalists know that psychotherapy is not a White thing.
Multicultural literature often states that psychotherapy is a product of White culture. This article differentiates between White culture and Jewish culture and demonstrates the extent of the influence of Jewish culture on the origin and development of psychotherapy. The first section compares White culture to Jewish culture in terms of compatibility with the values and orientation of psychotherapy. The second section first demonstrates that psychoanalysis not only developed within Jewish culture, but also that it shares many features with Jewish mysticism. Then psychoanalysis and Gestalt psychology are compared to American behavioral psychology to demonstrate the differences in their orientations. The third section documents the contributions of Jews to psychological theory and psychotherapy.

[Langman, P.F. (1997). White culture, Jewish culture, and the origins of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 34, 2, 207-218.]
More excerpts within:

New Asian, African Genome Assemblies Reveal Novel Human Sequence

A news story about a recently released paper:
The team used short-read assembly approaches to put together new Asian and African genomes, which they then compared with the current human reference sequence. The result: about five million bases of sequence not found in the reference. [. . .]

They also began applying the data to answer questions about human population and migration patterns, honing in on 164 newly detected sequences that did not overlap between the Asian and African genomes. [. . .]

While the overall pattern in these sequences was consistent with an out of Africa migration, their analyses also uncovered new patterns that couldn't be detected from mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA studies.

For instance, they found that a sequence frequently found in the San population in southern Africa is less and less frequent in northern Africa. The frequency of this sequence apparently dwindles even more in populations outside of Africa, disappearing in European, Oceanic, and Native American populations.

In contrast, the team noted, they found a sequence that is more prominent with geographic distance from Africa. Still other sequences had less straightforward patterns, decreasing in East Asian and Oceanic populations compared with African populations but turning up again in European populations.

Along with population patterns, the genomes also provided hints about how genome sequence varies from one individual to the next. For example, while the Asian and African individuals' genomes differed by about four million bases (not including SNPs), the researchers found about a 1.8 million base difference between the Chinese genome and a preliminary Korean genome sequence assembly.

More on race, crime, and intelligence

Nathaniel Weyl, writing in 1973:
The hypothesis which I should like to explore in these pages is that the criminality of races and subraces tends to vary inversely with their intelligence.

This thesis would seem a priori plausible on two grounds. The first is that a variety of studies have shown that the average l.Q.s of criminals and prison inmates are significantly lower than those of the populations from which they are drawn. The second is that most crimes seem to be committed by people who are deficient in such positive psychic qualities as foresight and selfcontrol.

The hypothesis would not, however, apply to all types of crime. Such offenses as embezzlement, forgery, fraud, and even operating numbers games, are differentially attractive to people of above-average intelligence. These mentally exacting felonies yield a small proportion of total arrests, convictions, and sentences. Those who engage in them are not typical criminals.
Besides containing additional data showing the relationship between criminality and intelligence, this article also touches on some other issues raised in the comments of the previous post:
Professor Bonger presents statistics on criminal convictions of Jews, as compared with non-Jews, per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 years oki for Germany (1882-1891, 1892-1901. 1909- 1910, 1915 and 1916), Austria (1885-1900). Hungary (1904. 1906- 1909). Poland (1924-1925) and the Netherlands (1901-1909. 1910-1915, 1919 and 1931-1933). The German data for 1909-1910 are probably as representative as any for the pre-First World War period. They show that Jews committed proportionately two and a half times as many frauds and forgeries as Gentiles. Their conviction rate for "insult" was about 40 per cent higher and they participated about equally with non-Jews in proportion to population in embezzlement and receiving stolen goods. The Jewish rate for theft. however, was 71.1 per 100.000 as against 178.3 for all other components of the population. Their conviction rate was about 40 per cent of the Gentile rate for felonious assault, about half that rate for rape, less than a third for murder and about a fifth for malicious mischief.
More excerpts within:

Immigration to the United States, 1789–1930

NEHGS eNews describes one of Harvard's online collections:
While the collection stretches from the signing of the Constitution to the start of the Great Depression, the greatest focus is on the nineteenth century. The collection includes 1,800 books and pamphlets, 9,000 photographs, 200 maps, and 13,000 pages from manuscript and archival collections. [. . .] Themes include the Chinese Exclusionary Act, Scandinavian Immigration, and the Settlement House Movement. Both sides of immigration are illustrated with organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society, North Bennet Street School, and the Immigration Restriction League. [. . .] One of the books available online, for example, is America’s Race Heritage: An Account of the Diffusion of Ancestral Stocks in the United States During Three Centuries of National Expansion, and a Discussion of its Significance by Clinton Stoddard Burr, published in 1922. In discussing later immigration, Burr states:

“But from the year 1845 the crest of the immigration flood shows waves and troughs directly corresponding to economic or other variations in foreign countries, or to industrial conditions in the United States. The first great influx occurred in the decade from 1845 to 1854, when the potato famine in Ireland and the revolution in Germany brought many thousands to this country. The gold rush to California also attracted thousands, from England and other countries of Europe. Then followed a depression during the War of the Rebellion, recovery following only after the signing of the peace.” (p. 91)

Stoddard also imparts the view of many nativists of the time when he states:

“If we could recall the years, how many of us would wish the South to be populated in part with Negroes? Yet an even more rampant danger, from so-called white people of lowest quality, now threatens our native white stock; for we may segregate the Negro because of his remote racial type, but the qualities of low class Europeans will gradually and inevitably demoralize our body politic through introduction of a new heredity character and temperament among us.” (p. 168)

Stoddard was clearly a bigot, prejudiced against individuals of many ethnic backgrounds. However, an understanding of this point of view will allow you to greater understand your immigrant ancestors' experience in their new home.
Many of the books in the collection have probably also been digitized by (and might be more conveniently viewed at) Google Books or (as the Clinton Stoddard Burr book mentioned above has), but I would guess much of the material is not available elsewhere (e.g., the records of the Immigration Restriction League).

The Dark Side of High Self-Esteem

Interesting article, though probably wrong at least in some places (pdf):
Conventional wisdom has regarded low self-esteem as an important cause of violence, but the opposite view is theoretically viable. An interdisciplinary review of evidence about aggression, crime, and violence contradicted the view that low self-esteem is an important cause. Instead, violence appears to be most commonly a result of threatened egotism—that is, highly favorable views of self that are disputed by some person or circumstance. Inflated, unstable, or tentative beliefs in the self's superiority may be most prone to encountering threats and hence to causing violence. The mediating process may involve directing anger outward as a way of avoiding a downward revision of the self-concept. [. . .]

Comparing self-esteem across racial or ethnic groups is complicated by several factors, such as measurement issues and temporal changes, but the very possibility of temporal shifts presents an appealing chance to look for covariation in self-esteem and violence levels. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American White men presumably were fairly securely convinced of their superior status. This confidence is generally assumed to have eroded in recent decades, and indeed research now indicates that Black people have self-esteem levels equal to or higher than those of White people (see Crocker & Major, 1989, for review). Concerted efforts to boost racial pride and dignity among Black Americans in the 1960s and 1970s may have contributed to this shift.

Meanwhile, violence levels also appear to have changed, and these changes directly contradict the view that low self-esteem promotes violence. During the period when White men had the highest self-esteem, they were also apparently the most violent group. Historians believe that rapes of White women by Black men were quite rare, whereas the reverse was relatively common (e.g., Brownmiller, 1975). Likewise, the majority of interracial murders involved White men killing Blacks, a pattern that is still reasonably well documented into the 1920s (e.g., Brearly, 1932; Hoffman, 1925; Von Hentig, 1948). These patterns have been reversed in recent decades as Black self-esteem has risen relative to White self-esteem. According to Scully (1990), Black men now rape White women approximately 10 times as often as White men rape Black women. The timing of this reversal appears to coincide with the concerted cultural efforts to boost self-esteem among Blacks: LaFree's (1976) review of multiple studies of interracial rape concluded that researchers found approximately equal numbers of Black-on-White and White-on-Black rape in the 1950s, but since 1960 all studies have found a preponderance of Black-on-White rape (see also Brownmiller, 1975). Similarly, recent murder statistics indicate that the strong majority (80%–90%) of interracial murders now consist of Blacks murdering Whites (Adler, 1994). Clearly, both races have committed far too many horrible crimes, and neither race can find much claim to any moral high ground in these statistics, but the shifting patterns on both sides repeatedly link higher or rising esteem with increasing criminal violence toward the other.

[Baumeister RF, Smart L, Boden JM. Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: the dark side of high self-esteem. Psychol Rev. 1996 Jan;103(1):5-33.]