Distinguished SOTW Member
TENOR, soprano, alto, baritone
It is true. Remember, 'most' can be interpreted as 51%, and I'm telling you that is a very conservative number. Plus, the Army band was only two years for me out of nearly 60 as a working musician, so you have to know I have known and worked with many, many musicians. I do have to make a clarification, though - I should have said 'wind instrument players' instead of musicians in general.I don't think this is true. As I mentioned earlier, I used to be one of those "read only" musicians. What I figured out was that, if I let myself read the chart, I'd continue to rely on it no matter how many times I played it.
For most musicians who start out reading, playing without sheet music is painful. In my case, I had made some progress, little by little, but it wasn't until I put the music away "cold-turkey" for an extended period of time (i.e., several years) that I was completely comfortable playing without music.
In the Army in particular (note that I too was once an Army bandsman), musicians are sort of selected for their 'legit' chops, which means that you're more likely to encounter musicians who have relied on reading.