Look around most concert halls during any evening or matinee performance, and you might notice more women than men listening for the strains of Mozart or Rachmaninoff.
But after the curtain falls and the lights go up, saunter over to the classical section of the nearest record store to see the flip side of this gender-tuned natural selection. There you will more likely find men thumbing through the current batch of music magazines or buying yet another version of the Bach B-minor Mass.
While the appeal of classical music is hardly limited to one sex, an unofficial roundup of research by record companies, poll-takers, concert halls and academics suggests that men and women seem to enjoy their music in very different ways. Among those who call themselves lovers of classical music, women are more likely to attend live performances, while men outnumber women when it comes to buying music.
Some women may well buy records into the hundreds or thousands, but they say they buy simply for the pleasure of listening to the music.
Many men who collect records, on the other hand, describe their quest for every known recording of a given composer, conductor or musician as an urge not just to listen to the music but to possess it.