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Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Roland The Beagle #2231811 02/14/14 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
Give everyone the same opportunities in life and I bet there would be a lot more 'geniuses' around.

You might be surprised how much brilliance comes from unfortunate life circumstances.


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Polyphonist
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Polyphonist #2231830 02/15/14 01:35 AM
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The concept of genius being limited to 'intellectual' ability has no basis in physical reality, but it's such an old conceptual construction that it won't die away easily.

Excelling in any aspect that is controlled by the brain is a form of genius. There is no sports player who ever lived who was a legend that didn't also have a very keen mind. That mind may not have been devoted to excessive internal dialog, but instead it was directed it outward to mastery over their own body while still maintaining the necessary 'sports IQ' to outmaneuver their opponents. If you've played enough games and competitive activities, you know that at the higher levels of the game, it's almost entirely mental. When physical limits have been maximized it becomes a test of mental fortitude, focus, and instinct.

Sports are highly creative, but obviously not in the same way a musician would recognize.

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
Give everyone the same opportunities in life and I bet there would be a lot more 'geniuses' around.

You might be surprised how much brilliance comes from unfortunate life circumstances.


Very true, but I feel this supports my point more than detracts from it. Unfortunate circumstances in life can instill a fire in some individuals - a spark of endless motivation to push themselves and excel. This on it's own isn't brilliance, but it leads to brilliance. Once you have that fire, you have the mind-over-matter motivation to exercise your brain to the limits.

Although I was comfortable growing up, a bit later in my life I had some very, very rough times. Coming out of it, I've had the motivation to really push myself to achieve excellence and there's no doubt this has made me smarter. If you work at remembering everything instead of relying on electronic devices, your memory gets better. If you try to do all calculations in your head instead of pulling out a calculator, your calculations get better. If you work on music in your head and force yourself to hear everything before you play the note, your mental practice gets better.

Motivation and passion give us the means sharpens our minds, and so many a brilliant individual emerges from a harsh life. On the flip side, many a comfortable individual allows their blade to become dull in complacency and forfeits their potential.

Last edited by Roland The Beagle; 02/15/14 01:35 AM.

Danzas Argentinas, Alberto Ginastera
Piano Sonata Hob. XVI: 34 in E Minor, Franz Joseph Haydn
Nocturne, Op. 15 No. 1 in F Major, Frédéric Chopin
Prelude, Op. 11 No. 4 in E Minor, Alexander Scriabin
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. 2, Johann Sebastian Bach
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
pianoloverus #2231835 02/15/14 01:41 AM
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But doesn't that support my point? None of the most brilliant musicians in history have had easy lives, and some of the greatest composers went through the greatest trauma - consider Beethoven's wreck of a childhood, followed by his struggle with deafness and the world.


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Polyphonist
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
pianoloverus #2231837 02/15/14 01:47 AM
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Bach lost everything when he was 9. His home, his parents. Half of his 20 children died young. His first wife died at 35 years. Beethoven, well, need I say anything? Schubert was ugly, poor, sick. Chopin was very sick and depressed all the time. Schumann ruined his hand and could never really play piano again. He also tried to kill himself and died an insane man.

There seems to be a pattern here...

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Roland The Beagle #2231858 02/15/14 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
Intelligence is most definitely not fixed, and you can increase your intelligence. Music is a great way to do this.

I do remember at least one study that looked at Noble Prize winners and there was no correlation between them and their IQ scores as future predictors of success.




Also, intelligence is often so narrowly defined. Sports athletes are geniuses - the brain makes no distinction between physical and mental because they are products of the same system.

Mozart was once credited with increasing one's intelligence (the 'Mozart effect' - K448, to be precise) - that's since been debunked, though you can still buy CDs purporting to improve your (unborn and born) offspring's intelligence......

As for 'sports intelligence' and 'genius', well, that depends on how you define those terms. ("When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less" - Humpty Dumpty grin).

As for Nobel Prize winners, I think you'll find that those who win the ones for science subjects - chemistry, physics etc (think Marie Curie, Alfred Einstein, Richard Feynman...) have very high IQs. Maybe not so much Nobel Peace Prize winners, or those for literature etc.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
bennevis #2231867 02/15/14 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
As for Nobel Prize winners, I think you'll find that those who win the ones for science subjects - chemistry, physics etc (think Marie Curie, Alfred Einstein, Richard Feynman...) have very high IQs. Maybe not so much Nobel Peace Prize winners, or those for literature etc.

Richard Feynman said an IQ of 120 is good enough for physics.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
JoelW #2231885 02/15/14 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Bach lost everything when he was 9. His home, his parents. Half of his 20 children died young. His first wife died at 35 years. Beethoven, well, need I say anything? Schubert was ugly, poor, sick. Chopin was very sick and depressed all the time. Schumann ruined his hand and could never really play piano again. He also tried to kill himself and died an insane man.

There seems to be a pattern here...

But what about Rossini? The Mendelssohn siblings? Händel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

I say that for some people, adversities can be a motivation; for others it can be a burden. In the end, it depends on what you want in your life.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
patH #2231942 02/15/14 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by JoelW
Bach lost everything when he was 9. His home, his parents. Half of his 20 children died young. His first wife died at 35 years. Beethoven, well, need I say anything? Schubert was ugly, poor, sick. Chopin was very sick and depressed all the time. Schumann ruined his hand and could never really play piano again. He also tried to kill himself and died an insane man.

There seems to be a pattern here...

But what about Rossini? The Mendelssohn siblings? Händel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

None of them are as great as the composers Joel mentioned.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
pianoloverus #2231956 02/15/14 10:07 AM
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What ever happened to MissMeowsic? You know, the one who revived this thread some 256 or so posts ago. Her revival post remains her one and only posting at Piano World. She certainly spurred some intense and wide-ranging debate on this topic!

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Piano Doug #2231962 02/15/14 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Piano Doug
What ever happened to MissMeowsic? You know, the one who revived this thread some 256 or so posts ago. Her revival post remains her one and only posting at Piano World. She certainly spurred some intense and wide-ranging debate on this topic!


Would you have stuck around after seeing where your simple question went? "She" probably wondered what the heck she had done to deserve THAT!

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
phantomFive #2232094 02/15/14 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by bennevis
As for Nobel Prize winners, I think you'll find that those who win the ones for science subjects - chemistry, physics etc (think Marie Curie, Alfred Einstein, Richard Feynman...) have very high IQs. Maybe not so much Nobel Peace Prize winners, or those for literature etc.

Richard Feynman said an IQ of 120 is good enough for physics.


That's because Feynman understood that IQ isn't everything.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Polyphonist #2232100 02/15/14 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by patH
But what about Rossini? The Mendelssohn siblings? Händel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

None of them are as great as the composers Joel mentioned.

That's a matter of opinion.


My grand piano is a Yamaha C2 SG.
My other Yamaha is an XMAX 300.
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
pianoloverus #2232103 02/15/14 02:57 PM
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I have to admit, I don't know what Polyphonist means when he says "great".

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
patH #2232131 02/15/14 03:33 PM
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Oh, just stop with that, Joel.

Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by patH
But what about Rossini? The Mendelssohn siblings? Händel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

None of them are as great as the composers Joel mentioned.

That's a matter of opinion.

To an extent, but the point is that many composers would not have been as great if they had not undergone what they did - Beethoven's deafness is a prime, prime example.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Horowitzian #2232137 02/15/14 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by bennevis
As for Nobel Prize winners, I think you'll find that those who win the ones for science subjects - chemistry, physics etc (think Marie Curie, Alfred Einstein, Richard Feynman...) have very high IQs. Maybe not so much Nobel Peace Prize winners, or those for literature etc.

Richard Feynman said an IQ of 120 is good enough for physics.


That's because Feynman understood that IQ isn't everything.

Maybe also because his own IQ was "only" 125? wink (compared to Marie Curie's of 185).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
bennevis #2232142 02/15/14 03:54 PM
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Reggie Jackson (baseball player) was (and is) proud of his intelligence. smile
He was also, arguably, sometimes obnoxious, and not just about his prided intelligence. In fact, I don't know if he was arguably not obnoxious. ha

Famous exchange between him and teammate Mickey Rivers, not particularly known for intelligence:

Mickey: You're an idiot.
Reggie: Oh yeah? I happen to have an IQ of 160.
Mickey: Out of what, a thousand?
Reggie: What am I doing, talking to someone who can't read and write.
Mickey: Maybe you should stop reading and writing and start hitting.

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Polyphonist #2232155 02/15/14 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Oh, just stop with that, Joel.

Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by patH
But what about Rossini? The Mendelssohn siblings? Händel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

None of them are as great as the composers Joel mentioned.

That's a matter of opinion.

To an extent, but the point is that many composers would not have been as great if they had not undergone what they did - Beethoven's deafness is a prime, prime example.

If only Beethoven hadn't gone deaf at the moment he was learning to choose instrumentations, his symphonies wouldn't all sound like they were playing an organ.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Mark_C #2232162 02/15/14 04:45 PM
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My first baseball game as a kid was Yankee stadium and I can still feel the roar of the crowd when Mickey rivers hit a home run

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
Polyphonist #2232180 02/15/14 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Oh, just stop with that, Joel.

Excuse me? I'm serious. When you say "great" I never know what you really mean. Are you talking about quality of music, or legacy, or depth, or what?

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent?
phantomFive #2232182 02/15/14 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Oh, just stop with that, Joel.

Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by patH
But what about Rossini? The Mendelssohn siblings? Händel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

None of them are as great as the composers Joel mentioned.

That's a matter of opinion.

To an extent, but the point is that many composers would not have been as great if they had not undergone what they did - Beethoven's deafness is a prime, prime example.

If only Beethoven hadn't gone deaf at the moment he was learning to choose instrumentations, his symphonies wouldn't all sound like they were playing an organ.

Give me a break, please. Beethoven was able to write his greatest music only because of the detachment from the world that his deafness provided him.


Regards,

Polyphonist
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