And despite theoretically belonging to the second group I've generally felt that this was a bad thing. My parents used to sing on long car journeys, entertaining us when we were little, and it always seemed like a lot of fun. I can trace the point where I lost any interest in it to my first choir lesson in school, where we all lined up in rows and sang through something vaguely religious - and then afterwards the choirmaster told me that I should just mime along. This would have been twenty six years ago, but the memory still sticks with me.
The idea that a pupil who wasn't good at something should be told to just _stop_ is something that shocks me in retrospect - it's a massive failure on the behalf of any teacher. And the idea that singing is something that should be done only by the trained - rather than a natural expression of our humanity is also something that bothers me deeply.
There does seem to have been a resurgence recently - things like YouTube and Singstar/Rock Band seem to have encouraged people to put their own voice out there in the same way that blogs encouraged people to write. But I doubt very much that we're going to end up back at the point where sing-songs around the piano are common place again.
Mind you - a lot of this is probably down to the fact that playing Grand Theft Auto is a more distracting and, dare I say it, fun way of spending the evening :->
All of this triggered by a quote here in an article on the long history of articles decrying technical progress in the "content industry" - starting with Sousa (the composer) worrying about the player piano and the gramophone:
"Under such conditions, the tide of amateurism cannot but recede until there will be left only the mechanical device and the professional executant.