…a Finnish research group has demonstrated that it is highly likely that a gene on chromosome 4 (located in the vicinity of chromosome band 4q22) influences musical aptitude. They utilized three different measures of musical aptitude in coming to this conclusion and performed a “genome-wide linkage test.” This study has narrowed the region containing the gene to a segment of the chromosome containing ~50 genes, so further studies will be necessary to find the precise genetic change influencing musical aptitude in these families. The authors also noted other regions of the genome in which there was suggestive linkage, suggesting that musical aptitude is likely to be affected by multiple genes. It will be interesting to watch as these are hopefully identified in future studies.
K Pulli et al. Genome-wide linkage scan for loci of musical aptitude in Finnish families: evidence for a major locus at 4q22. Journal of Medical Genetics 45: 451-6, 2008.