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Are professional pianists highly intelligent?

Posted By: pianoloverus

Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 04:15 PM

Do you think professional pianists are in general highly intelligent or even super intelligent?

Of course, one would need a definition of "intelligence" to answer. I know there are generally considered to be different kinds of intelligence. I'm not talking about musical intelligence because the answer would obviously be yes in that case. I'm talking about something more like analytical intelligence, verbal skills, IQ, or general smarts. Someone who would be thought of as very smart in school(but didn't necessarily have to receive good grades).

I don't know many professional pianists personally, but many of the ones I know seem super intelligent. (It's possible that it's hard for me to separate their very high musical intelligence from the rest of their intellectual ability.)

Are some famous pianists known to be super intelligent or polymaths? Are some known to be only smart only when it comes to music?

Based on their writings/interviews Hamelin, Chiu and Hough seem extremely intelligent to me(these are not the pianists I mentioned above as knowing personally!).
Posted By: Kreisler

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 04:34 PM

This one is!

http://jeremydenk.net/blog/
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 04:37 PM

No. I heard some years ago traditionally parents would put their 'duffer' kids into music cause they weren't too good at much else. In fact I know someone who told me he was a poor student. So his dad said 'All those music lessons you've had...why not go for that?"
Posted By: Pogorelich.

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 04:46 PM

Kbk so I guess we're all stupid?
Posted By: eweiss

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 04:55 PM

Test it. IQ tests are often used for this kind of thing. My guess, is musicians have something called 'aural/spacial' skills. Although I don't even know what that means. smile
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 05:05 PM

Originally Posted by AngelinaPogorelich
Kbk so I guess we're all stupid?
A lot of the ones I know are! Still, maybe I don't get out enough?
Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 05:18 PM

People who play piano well are usually smart (way above average). Or I can say, a smart people can be taught to play piano easily (may not play beautifully, but they can get the mechanic of playing piano easily).

You also can tell kids who cannot sight read are usually not smart kids. Those who are smart always understand what is going on with the music in front of them. Below average kids are usually not able to associate between what on the book and what needs to be done.
Posted By: cast12

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 05:20 PM

I remember reviewing a study that attempted to determine whether musicians with absolute pitch had higher IQs than those without it. (They didn't.) What struck me about the study was its finding that the average IQ was around 115 -- a full standard deviation above the population mean. Based on this study, I would say that most musicians are of above average intelligence.

Among famous pianists, there are many who strike me as geniuses. Camille Saint-Saens is probably the most salient example: he could read and write when he was three and had an eidetic memory. Among living pianists, Evgeny Kissin strikes me as exceptionally intelligent. His facility in English -- a second language for him -- rivals that of any native speaker I've encountered.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 05:22 PM

Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
People who play piano well are usually smart (way above average). Or I can say, a smart people can be taught to play piano easily (may not play beautifully, but they can get the mechanic of playing piano easily).
[...]


I fail to see the relationship between a physical skill (since you're not talking about interpretive talents) and intelligence.

Regards,
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 05:27 PM

Just think, with all the hours of private mentoring music students get, if an averagely intelligent student (remember the OP is about whether or not they're highly intelligent) had 1-to-1 in maths from age 8, plus all the daily extra homework, how advanced they'd be.

I don't think 'Among famous pianists' counts as in general.

Originally Posted by cast12
What struck me about the study was its finding that the average IQ was around 115 -- a full standard deviation above the population mean.

Interesting nugget on IQ 's from 1994: 'When Britain still had the 11-plus examination, children of professional and managerial parents recorded average IQ scores of 113, compared with an average of around 96 for the children of unskilled manual workers. Similar differences have been recorded in the US and elsewhere.'

Now what would be interesting is a study on the demographics of professional pianists in their youth. Actually... it wouldn't.
Posted By: bachchica

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 06:20 PM

Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway


You also can tell kids who cannot sight read are usually not smart kids. Those who are smart always understand what is going on with the music in front of them. Below average kids are usually not able to associate between what on the book and what needs to be done.


Ok I tried not to take the bait but I can't help it. I am simultaneously working towards a BM in piano perfomance and a BS in microbiology. I am not a good sight reader, I've always been more of an ear player. I certainly don't consider myself "below average" and I don't consider sight reading to be any sort of indicator of general intelligence. I appreciate the "usually" you stuck in there as a preemptive strike against anyone taking offense, but my ego was bruised anyway. smile
Posted By: Jeff Clef

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 07:24 PM

I have heard that a surprisingly large number of pro pianists and conservatory whiz kids are not especially good sightreaders. It would seem to be a skill unto itself.

I've only known a couple of pro pianists personally over the years, but they gave me the impression that they do have a few brain cells firing. Besides that, they had great motivation and an outstanding work ethic. Lazy whores need not apply.

Just being able to pound a keyboard, of course, isn't an indication of anything. I have known a number of very dim bulbs who could do that. Why, I've even seen trained chickens who could peck out a tune.
Posted By: jeffreyjones

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 07:44 PM

Maybe not in terms of IQ, but certainly in terms of educational attainment - for a variety of reasons. It's a self-selecting kind of vocation, not the sort of thing that you can "fall into."
Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 08:09 PM

Originally Posted by bachchica
Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway


You also can tell kids who cannot sight read are usually not smart kids. Those who are smart always understand what is going on with the music in front of them. Below average kids are usually not able to associate between what on the book and what needs to be done.


Ok I tried not to take the bait but I can't help it. I am simultaneously working towards a BM in piano perfomance and a BS in microbiology. I am not a good sight reader, I've always been more of an ear player. I certainly don't consider myself "below average" and I don't consider sight reading to be any sort of indicator of general intelligence. I appreciate the "usually" you stuck in there as a preemptive strike against anyone taking offense, but my ego was bruised anyway. smile


Microbiology is a memorization subject, not like Math, Physics, or Engineering. So, I am sorry, you do not fall in the category that I intended.
Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 08:13 PM

Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
I have heard that a surprisingly large number of pro pianists and conservatory whiz kids are not especially good sightreaders. It would seem to be a skill unto itself.



Where did you hear this? If it is true, it will take forever for them to just read and count difficult pieces that they must learn in a short time. Even non artist pianists such as people with master piano performance degree, sight read very well. It is hard to keep up with the requirement without excellent sight read ability.
Posted By: eweiss

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 08:27 PM

Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
People who play piano well are usually smart (way above average). Or I can say, a smart people can be taught to play piano easily (may not play beautifully, but they can get the mechanic of playing piano easily).

You also can tell kids who cannot sight read are usually not smart kids. Those who are smart always understand what is going on with the music in front of them. Below average kids are usually not able to associate between what on the book and what needs to be done.

First, when you wrote 'a smart people,' are you indicating an entire race? If not, not very smart. Second, where's your evidence to support your claim about sight reading? Because if you don't have any evidence, that's a pretty ludicrous statment.
Posted By: RonaldSteinway

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 08:32 PM

Regardless of the race.

I used to teach for 13 years. This is my personal observation. I dealt with hundreds of children and adults. Smart kids can relate what they play and what is on the book. The notes mean something to them. The not smart kids (below average)do not understand what they see infront of them.
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 08:44 PM

'The not smart kids (below average)do not understand what they see in front of them.' Agreed but we're supposed to be OT as highly gifted. Just normal kids can become proficient enough - no need to be high flyers.
Posted By: GeorgeB

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 10:54 PM

Well i find that most pianists not all's lives revolve around music constantly. If its not bout music then they lose interest. I also find a positive correlation between wits and level of carrer, but not always true.
Posted By: dolce sfogato

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 10:58 PM

BUT OFCOURSE THEY ARE !!!:):):)
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 11:09 PM

Piano playing is a difficult mental process, so I'd guess practicing it lifelong and succeeding must mean something as far as "intelligence" is concerned. I think a big "give away" of intelligence is the attention to detail, the finesse of mind ; and pianists definitly must develop that quality.


"Polymathy" is really something else ; though some pianists are known to dabble in poetry or philosophy, it's usually pretty limited in breadth. Music is very time consuming, so I'm not sure it's really feasible to attain a level that would be considered good in another field.
From the little I've heard, and from my point of view, eminent pianists that talk about literary fields usually don't seem really particularly enlightened.

It's also really different than it was a century or more ago, as most fields have dug significantly deeper ; things that were considered arcane and expert during the Renaissance, or even during the Romantic era, are now common knowledge (moreso in science, in literature that definitly wouldn't be the case ; grammar, rhetoric, and many other vital literary subjects have faded into oblivion - despite them being as necessary in linguistics as solfege is in piano playing. But hey, it doesn't prevent anybody from writing songs, poetry, essays, without having a godmn clue - what, bitter, me ?)
Being a professional pianist in the XXth is also different, and is probably really time demanding - especially since virtuosi often miss a good part of their childhood.


I don't think you need to go as far as the professional level to see the effect of piano playing on a brain though. I've had the luck of breezing through most of my school life, and having played the piano was definitly one of the big reason why ; it makes you think, it makes you want to understand - and the traits of analysis/synthesis and curiosity are both paramount in every intellectual pursuit. It's not the only thing that can "make you smart" though ; mathematics, chess, all those things "prodigies" are known to practice have about the same effect because they encourage an active attitude toward an abstract object. However, music was certainly the most fun and rewarding thing for me to learn as a child !
Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 11:10 PM

Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
Why, I've even seen trained chickens who could peck out a tune.

Like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN7EfjwkKMo&feature=related
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 11:11 PM

The vast majority of professional pianists I know are highly intelligent and then I know a few, who, let's says "Thank God" they can play the piano well, because tying their own shoelaces is a chore.
Posted By: sarah_elizabeth

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 11:14 PM

Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
I have heard that a surprisingly large number of pro pianists and conservatory whiz kids are not especially good sightreaders. It would seem to be a skill unto itself.



Where did you hear this? If it is true, it will take forever for them to just read and count difficult pieces that they must learn in a short time. Even non artist pianists such as people with master piano performance degree, sight read very well. It is hard to keep up with the requirement without excellent sight read ability.


I think Jeff Clef was probably taking about sightreading in the sense of being able to sit down and whiz off a difficult piece nearly perfectly at first sight, a la Liszt. I have several friends who are excellent pianists with music degrees; some can do this, some cannot. I agree that you've got to be fairly decent with sightreading in order to do well, and I don't know any good pianists who "take forever" to unleash the secrets of the score; but I personally know excellent professional musicians who don't have first-rate sightreading skills.
Posted By: cfwpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 11:32 PM

I think it depends on what we consider "intelligence", here. I know a few pianists that are amazing at playing, but have atrocious people skills. One my teachers is like this. This person says things that are incredibly harsh and out of line, but they don't believe it to be so and have no idea how to empathize with other people (I think this person is a narcissist, but they're so hard to diagnose).

I don't, however, feel like skill level in sight reading is an indication of intelligence. Ive been slowly progressing in my sight reading abilities. Its a skill that requires a lot of practice, but I think competency is very attainable with the right practice habits and time.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/22/10 11:54 PM

Originally Posted by cfwpiano
I think it depends on what we consider "intelligence", here. .
That's why I tried to explain in my OP what should be considered intelligence for the purposes of this thread.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 12:00 AM

Originally Posted by sarah_elizabeth
I think Jeff Clef was probably talking about sightreading in the sense of being able to sit down and whiz off a difficult piece nearly perfectly at first sight, a la Liszt.
I can't be certain of what he was talking about but if he meant many pianists can't sight read as well as Liszt, I would respsond ala Cheney with "So?"

I'd say that the huge majority of professionals can sight read at an extremely high level. I think it's kind of like chess grandmasters and speed chess. While there's not an exact correlation between chess rating(for non blitz) and blitz rating, there's still a strong correlation because the two skills are related.
Posted By: deAlmeida

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:12 AM

One of the most intelligent musicians I know is our friend, ChopinAddict. She is very clever. smile

I don't think the pure and simple motor skills has something to do with intelligence (otherwise Eisntein would have been a terrific violinist), but composition skills and interpretation skills are certanly a product of high IQ, just because both require creativity.
Posted By: deAlmeida

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:16 AM

Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
'The not smart kids (below average)do not understand what they see in front of them.' Agreed but we're supposed to be OT as highly gifted. Just normal kids can become proficient enough - no need to be high flyers.


I agree. The fact not smart kids doesn't sightread or do not understand well the "musical process" does not imply that those who can do it are highly gifted.
Posted By: cfwpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:23 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
]That's why I tried to explain in my OP what should be considered intelligence for the purposes of this thread.
In your OP:

Quote
analytical intelligence, verbal skills, IQ, or general smarts

It all depends on perception. I personally feel that IQ tests are not the be-all end-all to how "smart" someone is. Sure, someone may be book smart, but do they have inter-personal skills? This is what I find to be laking among people who are otherwise very intelligent. I guess it all depends on what we consider "essential" in a human being's personality. I would rather be able to carry on a conversation with someone, rather than have them be insanely smart and completely un-approachable and un-communicative.
Posted By: MikeN

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:05 AM

I think sight-reading is more about confidence and familiarity. I wouldn't think of it as something that indicates intelligence.

I've found from experience that if I pick up a score and I'm uncomfortable than I stutter and I sound unsure of myself. Yet, if I've been at it for a few hours and I pick up a score I can sight read rather well.

Sight reading involves many variables. You must be sure of the tone your creating, you must have complete security in your knowledge of music, you have to have a good sense of internal rhythm. So many things must happen to be a good sight reader.

Heck, I bet even personality plays a part. I doubt the hyperactive Argerich is a great sightreader.
Posted By: deAlmeida

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:22 AM

I wish the mechanics of playing the piano were a matter of reason alone. If it were true, all the muddle/gangly/disorganized nerds (I didn't find the correct translation for what I'm trying to say, hope you understand) would play appassionata in a matter of weeks, discovering the reasonable and logical facts behind it. Instead, as my tinny experience sugests, it is a matter of "imput" and feedback. Of course there is a reasonable way to do that, but this is different than saying that there is a logical and discernible unique way to move your body such that it applies to all people.

ps: funny to mention Argerich. There is a brazilian film about Nelson Freire, a pianist who is a great friend of Argerich. In such film there are scenes with Argerich and him sightreading a piece, besides talking and smoking thousands of cigarrets smile . She complains she cannot sightread the score well as he does (she did it quite well of course, but he sighread better than she, despite the fact she is much better pianist than him IMO).
Posted By: argerichfan

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:53 AM

Originally Posted by al-mahed
Funny to mention Argerich. There is a Brazilian film about Nelson Freire, a pianist who is a great friend of Argerich. In such film there are scenes with Argerich and him sight-reading a piece, besides talking and smoking thousands of cigarretes smile . She complains she cannot sightread the score well as he does (she did it quite well of course, but he sigh-read better than she, despite the fact she is much better pianist than him IMO).

I've seen that film. Great fun to watch.

Argerich has always been notoriously modest about her abilities, all the more remarkable considering her talent is in (or at least bordering) Horowitz and Richter territory.

It has been reported several times from independent sources that Argerich learned and memorized the slow movement of the Ravel concerto, just by reading through it. This is not considered an easy movement to memorize! But if Argerich wasn't sight-reading, then what was she doing? smile
Posted By: deAlmeida

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:59 AM

I don't know, but thank you for the corrections in my grammar on the quotation smile
Posted By: LimeFriday

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 03:16 AM

What is most amusing is that I've seen this kind of post on other specialist forums -
"Are people with eating disorders highly intelligent", "Are people who love reading highly intelligent", "Are people who excel at X highly intelligent".

It seems to me there is always someone somewhere who wants to belong to a group of people who are considered 'highly intelligent'. Not suggesting that that's what the OP was trying to do - considering the question was about 'professional pianists' and not all people who play piano.

The answer to such questions though is almost always "Some are - some aren't".
And then we could get into arguments about the reliability of IQ tests in determining intelligence. There is large body of evidence showing that IQ tests are useful in determining intelligence in those for whom the test was designed - not 'actual' intelligence.

But that's a whole 'nother discussion!
Posted By: Jeff Clef

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 03:51 AM

"I think Jeff Clef was probably taking about sightreading in the sense of being able to sit down and whiz off a difficult piece nearly perfectly at first sight, a la Liszt. I have several friends who are excellent pianists with music degrees; some can do this, some cannot. I agree that you've got to be fairly decent with sightreading in order to do well, and I don't know any good pianists who "take forever" to unleash the secrets of the score; but I personally know excellent professional musicians who don't have first-rate sightreading skills."

Of course, I didn't mean to cast aspersions on our advanced musicians, yet it seems that this statement about who can sightread especially well calls for attribution. So, I'll have to try to dig it up out of my music library. However, I didn't mean reading "as well as Liszt;" he was a very special case and if you can do as well as he, you don't need to care what Clef says.
Posted By: TheFool

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 09:37 AM

Originally Posted by keyboardklutz

Originally Posted by cast12
What struck me about the study was its finding that the average IQ was around 115 -- a full standard deviation above the population mean.

Interesting nugget on IQ 's from 1994: 'When Britain still had the 11-plus examination, children of professional and managerial parents recorded average IQ scores of 113, compared with an average of around 96 for the children of unskilled manual workers. Similar differences have been recorded in the US and elsewhere.'

Now what would be interesting is a study on the demographics of professional pianists in their youth. Actually... it wouldn't.


Agreed, because this calls to mind something I was reading in Oliver Sachs and/or an economics book.

A.) Playing music does affect the brain in a measurable, tangible way. Scans of the brains of professional musicians -and even non-musicians given finger exercises to perform - showed a pronounced physical change. This, interestingly, is in contrast with professional authors, poets or serial killers. While these people are different or distinguished, certainly, it tends not to show up on the physical brain.

B.) A faculty for music does not, however, necessarily mean you are intelligent. Rather, a faculty for music means you are likely to be from an affluent background as described by kbk. One way or another, classical music tends to be the preserve of those who can afford it. Lessons, concerts, etc.
And all _sorts_ of factors go into determining that 'IQ gap' between societal strata, not just your own innate talent. Access to education, formative experience of education, familial attitudes to education and intellect...

So to summarise into a borderline offensive bulletpoint:

Both professional musical ability and intelligence are by products of a third phenomenon: class. grin
Posted By: wr

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 10:50 AM

Originally Posted by TheFool


So to summarise into a borderline offensive bulletpoint:

Both professional musical ability and intelligence are by products of a third phenomenon: class. grin


And the very measures of intelligence are also a product of social classes, developed by members of a particular class in order to measure people according to their own values. I am not trying to say that intelligence is only a by-product of class, but that there really aren't even agreed-upon ways to measure it across class and cultural boundaries (yes, I know there are attempts at that, and some make sense, but they are still being created by people other than those being subjected to the test). It would be interesting to read a good survey of attitudes about the very idea of "intelligence" in various human cultures. Do all of them have that concept?

At any rate, I know that the prosaic intelligence tests of the sort I took as a kid would automatically favor a kid who was comfortable with the scenario of taking the test and the format of the test, and that comfort with the situation was at least in part a class issue.

Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 11:03 AM

Originally Posted by cfwpiano
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
]That's why I tried to explain in my OP what should be considered intelligence for the purposes of this thread.
In your OP:

Quote
analytical intelligence, verbal skills, IQ, or general smarts

It all depends on perception. I personally feel that IQ tests are not the be-all end-all to how "smart" someone is. Sure, someone may be book smart, but do they have inter-personal skills? This is what I find to be laking among people who are otherwise very intelligent. I guess it all depends on what we consider "essential" in a human being's personality. I would rather be able to carry on a conversation with someone, rather than have them be insanely smart and completely un-approachable and un-communicative.
I never said that IQ or any of the factors I mentioned were the "best" tests for intelligence or that interpersonal skils aren't useful. I said for the thread I created I wanted the particular kinds of intelligence I mentioned to be the ones discussed in their realtion to professional pianists. This thread is not supposed to be about what kinds of people one wants to have a conversation with.

I'd appreciate it if posters stop discussing sight reading and intelligence. And debating "If one is intelligent, is it true that one can be a professional pianist?

I'm really looking for specific examples(although names can be omitted) of people who personally know or have read enough about specific professional pianists to judge how "intelligent" they are in the sense I mentioned in my OP. Exactly like what Kreisler did early on in the thread. Or the specific examples I gave in my OP.
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 11:38 AM

Quote
Both professional musical ability and intelligence are by products of a third phenomenon: class. grin

I don't mean to argue semantics, but that really isn't true. While classic music might be prevalent in the more bourgeois and materialistic class, being a professionnal pianist is not a direct effect of belonging to that social class ; the fact that the parents of most professional musician, independly of social class, are musicians themselves is really more relevant.
It's also not really relevant to music itself ; since the dawn of humanity, children have often followed in the footsteps of their family's craft. Even nowadays, teachers' children often become teachers themselves, doctors' children etc.

Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.

While learning piano seriously can no doubt be an expensive thing, I don't think money is really what matters for a child to become / to not become a pianist.

Quote
I wish the mechanics of playing the piano were a matter of reason alone. If it were true, all the muddle/gangly/disorganized nerds (I didn't find the correct translation for what I'm trying to say, hope you understand) would play appassionata in a matter of weeks, discovering the reasonable and logical facts behind it. Instead, as my tinny experience sugests, it is a matter of "imput" and feedback. Of course there is a reasonable way to do that, but this is different than saying that there is a logical and discernible unique way to move your body such that it applies to all people.

I'm not sure of what you mean exactly by reason ; in fact, piano playing is for the most part a most reasonable and reasoned thing. There is musical theory to guide our understanding, and technical theories and practices to guide our fingers.
I don't see either the point of saying "nerds" can't play an advanced sonata in a matter of weeks either. Piano playing, like mathematics, like chemistry, like physics, like video gaming, like literature, are complex processes that result of a multitude of underlying knowledges and habits. Trying to understand the Appassionata without any prior knowledge would be like trying to synthetize a specific protein or demonstrate an advanced theorem without knowing the basics of chemistry or mathematics.
Likewise, moving your body in a coordinated fashion must be learned and practiced. Some people such as gymnasts or dancers spend their life perfecting these functions.
You really shouldn't confuse innate and acquired knowledge.

Cognitive functions heavily factor in what we usually call intelligence. The ability to analize heavily relies on the ability to perceive - and perception is both the reception of information, and the organisation of that information (seing shapes, seing objects, instead of mere dots of colored lights.)
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 11:47 AM

Originally Posted by Mostly

Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.
The exception that proves the rule.
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 11:51 AM

Quote
I'm really looking for specific examples(although names can be omitted) of people who personally know or have read enough about specific professional pianists to judge how "intelligent" they are in the sense I mentioned in my OP.

That's a really hard if not impossible task to do. You can't really judge of someone without meeting and chatting with them (in a good dialectic and socratic fashion I might add.)
Most often, intelligence in History is judged by the individual's perceived contribution to the field. Pianists with great recordings or, for those that came before, with great reviews, are judged "intelligent", "gifted" in piano playing. Writers are judged by their books, often after they've been dead for a while and analizes have been done on their work - even then not everybody agrees ; for instance, even after Marcel Proust's death, many people argued that his style was horrible, and littered with atrocities against the French language, and deemed him of mediocre brains. Some aren't even said intelligent because of what they've done, but because it is culturally associated with them ; Mozart is by definition a prodigy for non-musicians (it's in the language ; in French rhetoric we call that a "catachrèse".) even though they barely listen to it, let alone understand. In the same way, many authors are remember as gifted for witty quotes, sometimes that aren't even theirs ; I would almost mention Einstein, because few really understand his work, and yet many quote his silly sentences (that are most of the time philosophically bland, but I won't go there.)
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 11:51 AM

Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by Mostly

Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.
The exception that proves the rule.

I would like to argue with your signature.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 12:24 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly
Quote
I'm really looking for specific examples(although names can be omitted) of people who personally know or have read enough about specific professional pianists to judge how "intelligent" they are in the sense I mentioned in my OP.

That's a really hard if not impossible task to do. You can't really judge of someone without meeting and chatting with them.... Pianists with great recordings or, for those that came before, with great reviews, are judged "intelligent", "gifted" in piano playing.
As I said in my OP, I'm not talking about musical intellgence here, so you're second sentence doesn't apply. Although I would assume there are people at PW who personally know professional pianists, that doesn't have to be the case either. One can also judge their intelligence by their writings, interivews, what their biographies have said about them, etc.
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 12:31 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
One can also judge their intelligence by their writings, interivews, what their biographies have said about them, etc.
I've a copy of Schnabel's Music and the line of most resistance. I've read it twice and still don't know what it's about!
Originally Posted by Mostly

I would like to argue with your signature.
Would that be the ten minute argument or the full half-hour?
Posted By: TheFool

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 12:33 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly

I don't mean to argue semantics, but that really isn't true. While classic music might be prevalent in the more bourgeois and materialistic class, being a professionnal pianist is not a direct effect of belonging to that social class ; the fact that the parents of most professional musician, independly of social class, are musicians themselves is really more relevant.
It's also not really relevant to music itself ; since the dawn of humanity, children have often followed in the footsteps of their family's craft. Even nowadays, teachers' children often become teachers themselves, doctors' children etc.

Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.


No, it is not a _direct_ effect. Bang on. Parental input is key, no doubt. Couldn't agree more.

But if we're disputing semantics, then I never said it was a directly causal relationship. grin I said that it was a by-product of class; i.e it requires money to be a pianist, regardless of whether you get it from your parents or a scholarship. The number of rich parents greatly exceeds the number of scholarships, meaning it is easier and more common for affluent children to grow up musicians. In addition, it is often more acceptable for them to do so. This is not direct causality; being rich does not instantly turn you into a musician. But this is a link, and a strong one.

Also: can you be a musician 'independently' of social class? As was mentioned above, our standards of 'musicianship', musicality and intelligence are all shaped by society.

An example: George Bellamy. Rhythm guitarist of The Tornadoes. The fact that he was a musician undoubtedly influenced the future career of this fella.

http://img0.liveinternet.ru/images/attach/b/2/22/190/22190848_MattBellamy.jpg

George Bellamy was highly musical, albeit not highly trained. Why? I hate to use a buzz phrase like socio-economic background. But in large part, George Bellamy was not highly trained because of his socio-economic background which, asides from anything else, didn't _value_ the idea of running off to a conservatory for five or six years. Much more acceptable was the idea of being in a band.
Is it a coincidence that his son grew up a rock-star instead of a pianist, albeit a rock star who writes songs like this? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOCZFChafOQ let's play spot the Rachmaninoff!) Hardly. Parents influence their children? Yes. Society influences parents and children? Big time.

I recognise your point about Glazunov, but dispute the significance. To me, the fact that his students succeeded _in spite_ of their financial issues merely proves that finance and background are of huge importance, huge obstacles which must be overcome if someone who's not 'bourgeois' wants to succeed in a very 'bourgeois' world.
Posted By: John_B

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:03 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly
Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.


Sorry to be picky but Glazunov was director of the St Petersburg/Leningrad Conservatory (not Moscow).
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:06 PM

I agree with your general point.

However, and this is not my domain of expertise, it would be interesting to think about "musicianship and society". I'd say CLASSical music is a social class of its own, one that can be joined by a weird association of predestination (having the luck to learn music young) and effort (working tears and sweat to make it.) From what I've seen, classical musicians have values of their own, and though there are various schools of piano, there are some common values that could be said pianistic. In a way, classic music has something of a "corporation", in the old sense of the word, people united in their craft. It is quite the same in literature and linguistics ; there are people from various backgrounds, but years of a certain intellectual method (in the cartesian meaning) have shaped more than just their work habit, and molded them into a coherent ensemble of individuals.

Quote
As I said in my OP, I'm not talking about musical intellgence here, so your second sentence doesn't apply.

It does apply, I was trying to see what the "measures of intelligence" would be in the relevant fields, and illustrating my point with various fields, including piano playing.
You even confirm the validity of that approach by saying :
Quote
One can also judge their intelligence by their writings, interivews, what their biographies have said about them, etc.

I'm not really sure that's true, but even then, I don't think I've read anything from a pianist that wouldn't be music related and that seemed deep to me. On the other hand, I've read about writers, like Oscar Wilde, that were supposed to be pretty good pianists. Would "pretty good" qualify ? I don't know.

The bottom line of this thread is really pretty obvious anyways ; piano playing does improve brain functions, but "intelligence" as it is determined by society is hardly a matter of brain functions alone.
Things such as achievements are really much more important to us. In that way, IQ tests are quite useless as they judge potential intelligence; which by that definition doesn't exist ; but that might be the Sartre in me talking.
Hence my point, you'd need some pianists right here so we could judge (Intellectual Idol here we go.)
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:07 PM

Originally Posted by John_B
Originally Posted by Mostly
Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.


Sorry to be picky but Glazunov was director of the St Petersburg/Leningrad Conservatory (not Moscow).

You could be right I'm speaking strictly from memory ; I'd have to check his biographies to see where he taught. Doesn't really affect my point though smile Thanks for the clarification.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:39 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly


Originally Posted by Pianoloverus
As I said in my OP, I'm not talking about musical intellgence here, so your second sentence doesn't apply.

It does apply, I was trying to see what the "measures of intelligence" would be in the relevant fields, and illustrating my point with various fields, including piano playing.
???
You said "Pianists with great recordings or, for those that came before, with great reviews, are judged "intelligent", "gifted" in piano playing." I said in my OP the topic wasn't about how musically gifted or intelligent pro pianists were because the answer was obvious.


Originally Posted by Pianoloverus
One can also judge their intelligence by their writings, interivews, what their biographies have said about them, etc.

Originally Posted by Mostly
I'm not really sure that's true...
I think how someone writes, what they choose to write about, and what they have to say are almost universally considered one of the clearest indications of how intelligent they are.
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 01:57 PM

Quote
???YOu said "Pianists with great recordings or, for those that came before, with great reviews, are judged "intelligent", "gifted" in piano playing." I said in my OP the topic wasn't about how gifted or intelligent great pianists were musically because the answer was obvious.

Obviously gifted pianists are gifted in piano playing, that's a tautology smile I'm saying that regardless of the fact that there are pianists. Doesn't really matter, but it's for reasoning's sake. By wondering why gifted pianists are considered gifted pianist, you can understand how they would be considered gifted-anything-else, and see if they are. That was the general idea.

Quote
I think how someone write and what they say are a clear indication of how intelligent they are.

I both agree and disagree. Writing is an acquired skill. Usually, educated people tend to write better, so you can correlate the quality of their writing with their supposed intelligence (though it is less and less true, as most people nowadays write horribly.)
Sadly, I'm frequently rewriting essays by "high-level" scientists (side-job as a public writer), and I can tell you they write horribly. Historians are also terrible writers, despite being in the field of what we call "the humanities".

I wouldn't say a blog qualify as a valid measure of "intelligence". That may just be me, but it seems shallow to think so. I remember reading a few posts on the blog Kreisler linked (the Hamelin interview was there, right ?), and though it is interesting, it doesn't have any striking brilliance. Not to say he's not highly intelligent - just that it's undecidable based on that sole element.
A blog is usually a one-sided medium of expression (hence why it is highly favored by most people - ask your local sociologue) ; there really is a reason why Plato wrote dialogues : real substance can only be attained through careful scrutiny and contradiction.

Well, I don't think I have anything else to add to this thread. I've also talked about polymaths earlier ; that might sound conceited, but sure, some people do sound intelligent for some, but really, when placed in front of specialists, they pale in comparaison. I mean, most people I know find my piano playing wonderful ; most of them also aren't musicians. So what may seem a highly skilled and intelligent individual might infact just be a little more advanced in some of his studies than you are. Piano playing isn't the only "lifelong pursuit or nothing" subject you know.
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:03 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly
but that might be the Sartre in me talking.
Who, incidentally, played the piano every day. Perhaps the question should be - Do highly intelligent professionals play the piano?
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:07 PM

Per Pianoloverus - "I think how someone writes, what they choose to write about, and what they have to say are almost universally considered one of the clearest indications of how intelligent they are."

Excellent point !!

Someone should compile the "writings" of several well-known professional pianists (dead or alive) and see what they had to say !!! That's assuming, however, that those pianists actually devoted much of their time to writing in the first place (as opposed to practicing, teaching, composing and performing as a pianist or conductor).

Seems to me that the number of languages some professional pianists are/were able to speak fluently would also be a measure of their overall smarts.

Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:17 PM

I've studied Sartre for years and yet I didn't know he played the piano. Funny. Was he any good ?
Anyways, he was a highly learned man, and wrote many interesting things on many topics. He made some very thorough analyses of a few literary works (there's a very interesting text by him on Borgès for instance), and though I don't necessarily agree with everything he wrote, it no doubt was quality work.
He's also a great playwright in my opinion (his novels are a little less convincing because of the underlying philosophical elements that do not suffer well the transposition in this very literate medium.)
He might be the closest thing we have nowadays of a polymaths, though it's not as "poly-" as it was centuries ago. There were a few of those "intellectuels" in the middle of the XXth in France ; sadly, they were an ephemeral breed.

People like Lacan are also interesting, though Lacan is another species altogether.
And then there were the structuralists that analyzed pretty much everything - that could be called "intelligence through system". People like Roland Barthes are also very interesting to read because they've wrote with great insight on many topics.
I don't think piano playing transposes as well on other intellectual objects though. Sure some of the methods are the same, but the words... really a whole different animal.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly
Quote
???You said "Pianists with great recordings or, for those that came before, with great reviews, are judged "intelligent", "gifted" in piano playing." I said in my OP the topic wasn't about how gifted or intelligent great pianists were musically because the answer was obvious.

Obviously gifted pianists are gifted in piano playing, that's a tautology smile I'm saying that regardless of the fact that there are pianists. Doesn't really matter, but it's for reasoning's sake. By wondering why gifted pianists are considered gifted pianist, you can understand how they would be considered gifted-anything-else, and see if they are. That was the general idea.
???

Originally Posted by Mostly
Originally Posted by Pianoloverus
I think how someone write and what they say are a clear indication of how intelligent they are.

I both agree and disagree...

I wouldn't say a blog qualify as a valid measure of "intelligence". That may just be me, but it seems shallow to think so...
Anyone can write a blog. I never said it meant they were intelligent. It's what they say there and how they say it that shows their degree of intelligence.
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 02:24 PM

My brother's very much a Lacanian. As you seem to be French maybe you could get a copy of this and let us know how good Satre was? Le toucher des philosophes : Sartre, Nietzsche et Barthes au piano
Posted By: Little_Blue_Engine

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 03:25 PM

Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
One can also judge their intelligence by their writings, interivews, what their biographies have said about them, etc.
I've a copy of Schnabel's Music and the line of most resistance. I've read it twice and still don't know what it's about!
Originally Posted by Mostly

I would like to argue with your signature.
Would that be the ten minute argument or the full half-hour?
laugh LOL!
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 04:00 PM

I had actually heard about that book from François Noudelmann ; he's a teacher on philosophy and literature in the modernity at a concurrent university - I've heard him speak a few times on the radio I think.
Never had the occasion to read the book, but I'll definitly give it a quick read and share anything interesting. It's avalaible on amazon, I'll check in a university library tomorrow and if I can't find it I'll order it.

I can translate the summary if you're interested, it's somewhat funny.

PS : Having a Lacanian brother must be really hard, you have my sympathy ! smile
Posted By: deAlmeida

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 05:23 PM

Originally Posted by Mostly
Quote
Both professional musical ability and intelligence are by products of a third phenomenon: class. grin

I don't mean to argue semantics, but that really isn't true. While classic music might be prevalent in the more bourgeois and materialistic class, being a professionnal pianist is not a direct effect of belonging to that social class ; the fact that the parents of most professional musician, independly of social class, are musicians themselves is really more relevant.
It's also not really relevant to music itself ; since the dawn of humanity, children have often followed in the footsteps of their family's craft. Even nowadays, teachers' children often become teachers themselves, doctors' children etc.

Your point on class and social wealth could also be argued against, far more than I care to do ; in early XXth Russia, the Moscow conservatory was, I think, known for having less than wealthy students - so much that teachers such as Glazunov were quite famous for helping gifted individual progressing despite lack of parental or monetary support.

While learning piano seriously can no doubt be an expensive thing, I don't think money is really what matters for a child to become / to not become a pianist.

Quote
I wish the mechanics of playing the piano were a matter of reason alone. If it were true, all the muddle/gangly/disorganized nerds (I didn't find the correct translation for what I'm trying to say, hope you understand) would play appassionata in a matter of weeks, discovering the reasonable and logical facts behind it. Instead, as my tinny experience sugests, it is a matter of "imput" and feedback. Of course there is a reasonable way to do that, but this is different than saying that there is a logical and discernible unique way to move your body such that it applies to all people.

I'm not sure of what you mean exactly by reason ; in fact, piano playing is for the most part a most reasonable and reasoned thing. There is musical theory to guide our understanding, and technical theories and practices to guide our fingers.
I don't see either the point of saying "nerds" can't play an advanced sonata in a matter of weeks either. Piano playing, like mathematics, like chemistry, like physics, like video gaming, like literature, are complex processes that result of a multitude of underlying knowledges and habits. Trying to understand the Appassionata without any prior knowledge would be like trying to synthetize a specific protein or demonstrate an advanced theorem without knowing the basics of chemistry or mathematics.
Likewise, moving your body in a coordinated fashion must be learned and practiced. Some people such as gymnasts or dancers spend their life perfecting these functions.
You really shouldn't confuse innate and acquired knowledge.

Cognitive functions heavily factor in what we usually call intelligence. The ability to analize heavily relies on the ability to perceive - and perception is both the reception of information, and the organisation of that information (seing shapes, seing objects, instead of mere dots of colored lights.)


You missed my point entirely. smile
Posted By: alexb

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 05:46 PM

Any good artist is intelligent. A great one, highly intelligent. I personally have yet to see any exceptions - whether it's in music or any other art form.
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 05:57 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Do you think professional pianists are in general highly intelligent or even super intelligent?
[...]


How is it possible to answer this question "intelligently"?

One would have to know a great number of professional pianists - or, from having read, know about the intellect of a great number of professional pianists - to answer one way or another. For every "intelligent" professional pianist there may well be his/her opposite in intelligence; and many a fine, professional pianist may know nothing about anything else. Since the question can't be answered, really, what is the point of the question?

The only possible answer : "Some are, some aren't."

Regards,
Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 06:04 PM

Originally Posted by burma
Any good artist is intelligent. A great one, highly intelligent. I personally have yet to see any exceptions - whether it's in music or any other art form.
Yes but every professional pianist is not a good artist.
Posted By: cfwpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 08:07 PM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I never said that IQ or any of the factors I mentioned were the "best" tests for intelligence or that interpersonal skils aren't useful. I said for the thread I created I wanted the particular kinds of intelligence I mentioned to be the ones discussed in their realtion to professional pianists. This thread is not supposed to be about what kinds of people one wants to have a conversation with.
*sigh* I was saying that being able to have a conversation with someone is one way I measure intelligence. And I'm sorry if that's not what the thread was about, but your original post didn't do a good job of explaining WHAT exactly this thread is about, hence the 3 pages of discussion.

Your post proves my point that there's no way to determine whether a pianist is more intelligent than others or not, because the measures of intelligence are completely subjective. I agree with BruceD, whats even the point of asking the question if there's really no way to determine the answer?
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 08:39 PM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Do you think professional pianists are in general highly intelligent or even super intelligent?
[...]


How is it possible to answer this question "intelligently"?

One would have to know a great number of professional pianists - or, from having read, know about the intellect of a great number of professional pianists - to answer one way or another. For every "intelligent" professional pianist there may well be his/her opposite in intelligence; and many a fine, professional pianist may know nothing about anything else. Since the question can't be answered, really, what is the point of the question?

The only possible answer : "Some are, some aren't."

One has to be willing to generalize from the professional pianists one knows. If one knows four professional pianists and they're all are extremely intelligent some people would be willing to offer an opinion on the original question. I'm not looking for statistically valid evidence for people's opinions.

For example, I think many would say that doctors are in general highly intelligent in the way I described in my OP because of the complex nature of the material they must know.

Posted By: keyboardklutz

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 08:42 PM

Doctors!? Not my GP. You really are equating middleclassness with intelligence - it's a scam!
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 08:44 PM

Originally Posted by cfwpiano
I was saying that being able to have a conversation with someone is one way I measure intelligence. And I'm sorry if that's not what the thread was about, but your original post didn't do a good job of explaining WHAT exactly this thread is about, hence the 3 pages of discussion.
You keep wanting to bring up social intelligence. I don't see that mentioned in any way in my OP.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 08:52 PM

Originally Posted by keyboardklutz
Doctors!? Not my GP. You really are equating middleclassness with intelligence - it's a scam!
I think you should look for a new GP.
Posted By: ChopinAddict

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/23/10 10:14 PM

Concerning musicians, I would think that really good musicians are intelligent (in general, although there might be exceptions, like everywhere else). However, of course not all intelligent people can be good musicians or even average musicians, and that's for sure because I personally know some people with a very high IQ who gave up music within a month... I cannot go into details because PW comes up in Google all the time... ha
Posted By: Mostly

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/24/10 07:44 AM

Quote
For example, I think many would say that doctors are in general highly intelligent in the way I described in my OP because of the complex nature of the material they must know.

I don't want to be the rotten strawberry on the forum's cake, but really, I'd like to politely disagree. Doctors surely are well trained, usually have a good memory, but is that high intelligence ?
Some doctors I met were quite close-minded people, because they had spent so much time studying only medecine (in France in can take like 10 years of non-stop work to finish your medical cursus). I think you call that "getting tunnel-visionned". However, because they have "learnt to work hard", it is also true they can catch up pretty fast in other field ; I always have that mental picture of an old doctor, sitting in his armchair with a smoke and a good book.
To be fair, it's easy for students / young workers to be caught in that "one subject" trap.

Quote
You missed my point entirely. smile

Sorry... Can't seem to get what you meant other than that.
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/24/10 11:52 AM

Originally Posted by Mostly
Quote
For example, I think many would say that doctors are in general highly intelligent in the way I described in my OP because of the complex nature of the material they must know.

I don't want to be the rotten strawberry on the forum's cake, but really, I'd like to politely disagree. Doctors surely are well trained, usually have a good memory, but is that high intelligence ?
I think you make it sound like becoming a doctor is mostly memorizing and hard work. I think the complexity of the material and the need to make critical decisions(diagnoses) every day based on complex situations requires extremely intelligent(in the way described in my OP) people.
Posted By: Andromaque

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 06/24/10 12:45 PM

Ah Mostly! may you never encounter an unintelligent doctor.. Luckily that is not commonly the case.

I think that discussions of intelligence levels are fraught with danger, though PLUS tried to navigate the subject away from the usual cookie-cutter arguments.
I think that succesful pianists (famous or not) are "generally" more intelligent than average (parallel to successful people in other fields) but the corollaries are not always true. Many highly intelligent people fail at "accessing" music and piano playing despite some motivation. Similarly a fair number of pianists and music students are not particularly (above average) "smart"..
Since PLUS asked, my personal experience is based on knowing some successful musicians (but not only pianists) and also music teachers (ex-concert pianists and otherwise). I think that very good music teachers are at a higher risk of having above average intelligence.

Of course we are defining average intelligence on a standard curve here, not outliers.. (within a single SD or so smile

P.S> I realllly hate this kind of argumentation. It is sooo refutable.. But tehre you ahve it.
Posted By: MissMeowsic

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/10/14 11:15 PM

I am 51 now, but I still remember how I would shut down during piano lessons. I started at 6 and it took me several years to really get the notes down. It wasn't till I got into my late teens till I got fluent in reading music and sight reading. Now I live to sight read and there is nothing more exciting than getting a new piano book or piece. We all like to think we are more intelligent that the average bear. I think I was a slow learner because I didn't discover until my late 40s that I have had Asperger's Syndrome. Most people I meet now are in awe of my abilities and would say that I am highly intelligent, but growing up with an abusive mother who forced me into piano lessons, her pet name for me was stupid. Under stress I would shut down and freeze up. We are very quick to judge someone's intelligence based on social cues and IQ tests don't always tell the whole story either. I think through hard work and over time we can rewire our brain through playing piano and music literacy - we are forced to use such intense concentration on a regular basis, that is impossible to do without higher level intellect. People we sometimes think have it pretty much together socially or professionally can make some of the stupidest life decisions and when we watch the news we wonder how much of the population makes it to middle age. I really hate to have the elitist attitude, but there are some DUMB people in the world. My mother called me stupid when she herself had no more than an 8th grade education - had 5 children and divorced twice when she really hates children. I wasn't stupid, she was, but for a long time during my life I believed I was inferior. When a child comes to me for piano lessons I make no judgment about their intellect. I don't care how slow they learn. There may be other issues that get in the way of their focus and concentration that I don't know anything about. I believe that learning to play piano and to read music can change your brain, even if it's through the route of finding the confidence in who you are.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/10/14 11:21 PM

I'll save BruceD the trouble. This thread is three and a half years old, etc, etc. grin
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/10/14 11:35 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
I'll save BruceD the trouble. This thread is three and a half years old, etc, etc. grin

There you go again. grin

MissMeow, your post was fine.
And welcome to the site. smile

Poly, that kind of stuff serves no good purpose. I know that the re-upping of old threads annoys some people (for no evident reason). If it annoys you, how about just ignoring them. Most people here seem at least not to mind them, and some of us (like me) find it very interesting and useful.

And most important of all, old threads bring a lot of new members here, and posting on those old threads is very often how those new members begin participating.

Do you really want to stifle that?

Why old threads are often what bring new members here: Because when people do internet searches (or searches on this site) for specific things, old threads often show up, often indiscriminately from newer threads. And new members, not being familiar with the site, aren't necessarily able to tell that they're old threads, and/or they might not realize that re-upping an old thread is so inexplicably annoying to some people.

Please, y'all, let them do it, stop b***ching about it, and let it be. It's a good thing. And even if you don't feel it's a good thing, on balance it's a good thing. smile
Posted By: BruceD

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 12:52 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
[...]I know that the re-upping of old threads annoys some people (for no evident reason).


Occasionally, there is good reason.

Originally Posted by Mark_C
If it annoys you, how about just ignoring them.


If it annoys you that some people comment negatively on the reviving of old threads, how about just ignoring them?

If you feel the right to express your opinion, why can't others do likewise? Is it wrong because it disagrees with yours?
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 01:11 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by Mark_C
[...]I know that the re-upping of old threads annoys some people (for no evident reason).


Occasionally, there is good reason.

Originally Posted by Mark_C
If it annoys you, how about just ignoring them.


If it annoys you that some people comment negatively on the reviving of old threads, how about just ignoring them?

If you feel the right to express your opinion, why can't others do likewise? Is it wrong because it disagrees with yours?

I really just think Mark is trying to weed out the negativity.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 01:37 AM

Originally Posted by MissMeowsic
I am 51 now, but I still remember how I would shut down during piano lessons. I started at 6 and it took me several years to really get the notes down. It wasn't till I got into my late teens till I got fluent in reading music and sight reading. Now I live to sight read and there is nothing more exciting than getting a new piano book or piece. We all like to think we are more intelligent that the average bear. I think I was a slow learner because I didn't discover until my late 40s that I have had Asperger's Syndrome. Most people I meet now are in awe of my abilities and would say that I am highly intelligent, but growing up with an abusive mother who forced me into piano lessons, her pet name for me was stupid. Under stress I would shut down and freeze up. We are very quick to judge someone's intelligence based on social cues and IQ tests don't always tell the whole story either. I think through hard work and over time we can rewire our brain through playing piano and music literacy - we are forced to use such intense concentration on a regular basis, that is impossible to do without higher level intellect. People we sometimes think have it pretty much together socially or professionally can make some of the stupidest life decisions and when we watch the news we wonder how much of the population makes it to middle age. I really hate to have the elitist attitude, but there are some DUMB people in the world. My mother called me stupid when she herself had no more than an 8th grade education - had 5 children and divorced twice when she really hates children. I wasn't stupid, she was, but for a long time during my life I believed I was inferior. When a child comes to me for piano lessons I make no judgment about their intellect. I don't care how slow they learn. There may be other issues that get in the way of their focus and concentration that I don't know anything about. I believe that learning to play piano and to read music can change your brain, even if it's through the route of finding the confidence in who you are.


Welcome to Piano World, Miss Meowsic! That is a beautiful, personal post you wrote. I am curious--how did you find this thread that caused you to resonate with it so much?

You will find, if you stick around Piano World, that there are others with Asperger's here, too, who find solace and order in their musical endeavors.

Also, you might want to explore the Teacher's Forum!

Warm Regards,
--Andy
Posted By: Roland The Beagle

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 01:46 AM

I don't believe there is only one kind of 'intelligence', but rather many different kinds.

In that view, certainly professional pianists are possessed of high degrees of intelligence in several areas. But that doesn't necessarily mean they are extremely gifted in other areas, or even that they don't struggle in other areas.

The brain is incredibly complicated and it's possible for an individual to have near super-human musical gifts but be impoverished in almost every other area (these individuals are commonly known as 'savants'.) Certain kinds of intelligence to seem to be connected with others and the exaggerated presence of one tends to mean a somewhat diminished presence of another, although not always.

Generally speaking though, musicianship is a discipline that requires intense intellectual focus and has the consequence of sharpening the mind into a razor. No matter who you are or how smart / not smart you think you are, music will certainly make you smarter and sharper!

It will also make you happier and help you live longer. In short, everyone should play the lute.
Posted By: Orange Soda King

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 02:58 AM

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
...analytical intelligence, verbal skills, IQ, or general smarts. Someone who would be thought of as very smart in school (but didn't necessarily have to receive good grades).


I would assume so, because...

Originally Posted by pianoloverus

I don't know many professional pianists personally, but many of the ones I know seem super intelligent. (It's possible that it's hard for me to separate their very high musical intelligence from the rest of their intellectual ability.)


The professional pianists I know/know of are quite intelligent. Of course, there is always some varying in (what I perceive as) intelligence, (as well as varying in level/professionalism itself, hehe), but it does seem that way in my limited experience.

Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Based on their writings/interviews Hamelin, Chiu and Hough seem extremely intelligent to me(these are not the pianists I mentioned above as knowing personally!).


I agree!!
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 03:06 AM

Master pianists would probably perform pretty well in certain portions of the WAIS-IV, but don't expect anything from the final score. Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.

If you look here: http://www.statisticbrain.com/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major/

You'll actually find that "Arts-Performance & Studio" majors are pretty low on the spectrum, with an average IQ of 114.

Being a master pianist does not mean you are necessarily highly intelligent. However, the elite in things such as math, the sciences, and engineering can be considered to be "highly intelligent" (insofar as a composite IQ score).
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 04:13 AM

Originally Posted by BruceD
If it annoys you that some people comment negatively on the reviving of old threads, how about just ignoring them?

You're usually much smarter than this. grin

Bruce, I said in my prior post why. The re-upping of old threads is almost always a result of a post by a new member, and the "negative commenting" is (whether so intended or not) a slam at them. Which isn't very welcoming, and perhaps discourages other would-be members from even trying. After all, we have many more readers than members, and I modestly offer that it's better to attract them than to repel them.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 04:15 AM

Every sentence fragment begs for completion. grin
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 04:54 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Every sentence fragment begs for completion. grin

I usually just say it, every sentence fragment begs for
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 04:55 AM

but then I'm not a professional pianist, so maybe I'm not intelligent enough.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 05:00 AM

That must be it. grin
Posted By: ChopinLives81

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 06:43 AM

I'm not a professional, but last I checked my I.Q. several years ago I scored between 136-144 on multiple tests. Although, I'll be honest, I do act like an idiot sometimes...
Posted By: ChopinAddict

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 08:26 AM

Many people hide their high IQ because of bullying or fear of being bullied (particularly among peers, but not only), so even if some professional pianists actually know their IQ they probably won't reveal it, maybe not because of fear of being bullied if they are asserted adults, but it is not something people usually reveal to strangers, let alone media... So even if they know their IQ we won't know.
Being a professional pianist is something that requires high intelligence, but not only that (like in maths for example). High sensitivity and musicianship are also important of course (but I guess this has already been said in this thread). AND if you want to be a professional pianist you also need a high EQ because of all the stress associated with performing publicly etc. So IQ,EQ and musicianship.
Posted By: CianistAndPomposer

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:17 PM

Every professional classical musician is intelligent, not sure if highly/super intelligent, but definitely above average.

One can't just play bach, haydn or mendelssohn without understanding the complexities in their music and the differences between their compositional styles. I'm talking about the kids who have to take mandatory piano lessons in school, and practice just because their parents tell them to. Or the teenage girls who worship the "great" pop icons like Bieber and Gaga. *cringe*
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:26 PM

How can you all possibly continue to think that master (or professional) musicians are "intelligent". Look at the evidence I have posted.

If anything, they are not so far from average intelligence, and are actually less intelligent (insofar as a composite IQ) than their not-so-musically-skilled counterparts (not to mention their IQs are on the lower half of the median).

This is just confirmation bias. If you can present evidence that supports your ridiculous claims that master pianists are somehow magically enlightened with grand intelligence, only then do your claims have any merit. Until then, it's just poor speculation and confirmation bias.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:26 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Master pianists would probably perform pretty well in certain portions of the WAIS-IV, but don't expect anything from the final score. Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.


Perhaps, but I've never known a master pianist who wasn't highly intelligent. smile

Quote
If you look here: http://www.statisticbrain.com/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major/

You'll actually find that "Arts-Performance & Studio" majors are pretty low on the spectrum, with an average IQ of 114.


Interesting as the "stats" might be, they are IMHO completely meaningless. smile "Arts-Performance & Studio" majors are not "master pianists." And, for that matter, the "arts" as a category encompasses a vast variety of endeavors.....not just musical performance.

Quote
Being a master pianist does not mean you are necessarily highly intelligent. However, the elite in things such as math, the sciences, and engineering can be considered to be "highly intelligent" (insofar as a composite IQ score).


And isn't it interesting that many mathematicians, scientists and engineers are also highly skilled musicians. crazy

Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:32 PM

Originally Posted by carey

Perhaps, but I've never known a master pianist who wasn't highly intelligent.

Correlation is not causation.

Originally Posted by carey

Interesting as the "stats" might be, they are IMHO completely meaningless.

Stats are only meaningless to people who don't understand them.

Originally Posted by carey

"Arts-Performance & Studio" majors are not "master pianists."

Agreed, but the sample space has enough overlap. If you performed more statistical analysis and hypothesis testing (p and z) you'd get a more accurate answer, but it will be very similar to what has already been said.

Originally Posted by carey

And isn't it interesting that many mathematicians, scientists and engineers are also highly skilled musicians.

Correlation is not causation.

This is just nonsense. No evidence as usual. So far the only evidence presented shows that musicians do not have especially higher composite IQs. It might be hard to bite the bullet, but facts are facts.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:34 PM

Correlation is not causation.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:42 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
How can you all possibly continue to think that master (or professional) musicians are "intelligent". Look at the evidence I have posted.


Evidence???? What evidence????

Quote
If anything, they are not so far from average intelligence, and are actually less intelligent (insofar as a composite IQ) than their not-so-musically-skilled counterparts (not to mention their IQs are on the lower half of the median).


The stats focus on college majors in all areas of the arts. NOT professional musicians - or master pianists.

Quote
This is just confirmation bias. If you can present evidence that supports your ridiculous claims that master pianists are somehow magically enlightened with grand intelligence, only then do your claims have any merit. Until then, it's just poor speculation and confirmation bias.


I dunno. It takes a certain amount of "intelligence" to learn, maintain and perform (by memory) a vast repertoire of complex musical works either as a soloist or soloist with orchestra in front of a paying audience. And, of course, many "master pianists" earn Doctorates - which require educational background and knowledge of a variety of subjects (including music theory, history and foreign languages) well beyond just playing an instrument.

Quote
Until then, it's just poor speculation and confirmation bias.


Sort of like the gross assumptions underlying the so-called "stats." grin
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:56 PM

Originally Posted by carey

The stats focus on college majors in all areas of the arts. NOT professional musicians - or master pianists.

I don't think you have a well enough understanding of statistics to understand the extrapolation that can be made from the data.

Originally Posted by carey

I dunno. It takes a certain amount of "intelligence" to learn, maintain and perform (by memory) a vast repertoire of complex musical works either as a soloist or soloist with orchestra in front of a paying audience.

You're just saying things...there is still no evidence or data being presented. Imagine if scientists and engineers operated like you: "Well, we think this solid rocket booster is enough for lift off. We haven't done the math or checked the data, but I have a hunch!"

Originally Posted by carey

Sort of like the gross assumptions underlying the so-called "stats."

Again, stats are only meaningless to people who don't understand them. Anyone here that has taken upper division statistics courses should understand that there is much more to statistics than you think there is.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 09:59 PM

Well - since we're focused on the "stats" - according to the research there seems to be a clear correlation between the SAT Quantitative Score and IQ - whereas, the SAT Verbal Scores tend to be rather "average" across the board among all college majors. What does that tell us about "intelligence?" grin

Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 10:04 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Again, stats are only meaningless to people who don't understand them. Anyone here that has taken upper division statistics courses should understand that there is much more to statistics than you think there is.


I'll give you that. BUT I fear there is much more to the ARTS (and advanced musical performance) than you apparently seem to think there is. grin

P.S. Are you having as much fun with this discussion as I am??
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 10:06 PM

Originally Posted by carey

there seems to be a clear correlation between the SAT Quantitative Score and IQ - whereas, the SAT Verbal Scores tend to be rather "average" across the board among all college majors. What does that tell us about "intelligence?"

I think all we can draw from that observation is that composite IQ scores are not necessarily associated with Verbal SAT scores.

How about that Verbal SAT score spike for Philosophy majors! That might explain why students (myself included) always seem to be captivated and focused during philosophy lectures :P The philosophy professors are very articulate people.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 10:26 PM

Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Atrys
Again, stats are only meaningless to people who don't understand them. Anyone here that has taken upper division statistics courses should understand that there is much more to statistics than you think there is.


I'll give you that. BUT I fear there is much more to the ARTS (and advanced musical performance) than you apparently seem to think there is. grin

Yes...Atrys is an engineer, not a lowly musician. (Which again begs the question - what is he doing over here trying to explain music to us...)
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 10:34 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Yes...Atrys is an engineer, not a lowly musician. (Which again begs the question - what is he doing over here trying to explain music to us...)

Yeah. We get it. You don't like me. Your sniping is pretty childish though.

Also, not once have I tried to explain musical ideas to anyone here. I wouldn't even dare to. You know why? Because I have little knowledge about things like that, and I can provide little to no value in a discussion about melodic lines, etc. Your constant sniping gets old quick, especially since it's always about something trivial or nonexistent.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 10:38 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by carey
There seems to be a clear correlation between the SAT Quantitative Score and IQ - whereas, the SAT Verbal Scores tend to be rather "average" across the board among all college majors. What does that tell us about "intelligence?"
I think all we can draw from that observation is that composite IQ scores are not necessarily associated with Verbal SAT scores.


So - in essence, reading comprehension and writing skills have little bearing on one's overall IQ ?? Quite frankly, I find that difficult to believe. Perhaps the composite IQ scores cited in the study are only measuring a certain kind of "intelligence." ha

Quote
How about that Verbal SAT score spike for Philosophy majors! That might explain why students (myself included) always seem to be captivated and focused during philosophy lectures :P The philosophy professors are very articulate people.


Interesting to note that the verbal scores for "Arts - History, Theory, Critical Theory" and "Other Humanities & Arts" are fairly respectable as well. smile
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/11/14 10:40 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Yes...Atrys is an engineer, not a lowly musician. (Which again begs the question - what is he doing over here trying to explain music to us...)

Yeah. We get it. You don't like me.

Do you get it? Perhaps not.

The point is, you constantly assert that everyone here is a hopeless idiot. I won't repeat the question.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist

The point is, you constantly assert that everyone here is a hopeless idiot.

Lol! I have never said (nor implied) that either. There is definitely some failure to understand some governing factors of our world by a select few members, but that doesn't mean that "everyone here is a hopeless idiot".

You must be one of those people who like to constantly victimize themselves by extrapolating outrageous conclusions. Pity smile
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:15 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
How can you all possibly continue to think that master (or professional) musicians are "intelligent". Look at the evidence I have posted.

If anything, they are not so far from average intelligence, and are actually less intelligent (insofar as a composite IQ) than their not-so-musically-skilled counterparts (not to mention their IQs are on the lower half of the median).

This is just confirmation bias. If you can present evidence that supports your ridiculous claims that master pianists are somehow magically enlightened with grand intelligence, only then do your claims have any merit. Until then, it's just poor speculation and confirmation bias.


Blah, blah, blah. You've no way of supporting such a claim. Period. I understand, however, that we all want to close the gap in some way...
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:20 AM

Originally Posted by stores
You've no way of supporting such a claim.

I already have.
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:23 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by stores
You've no way of supporting such a claim.

I already have.


No, I'm sorry, you have not. You may BELIEVE it to be "evidence", "support", whatever you want to call it, but it's nothing more than a bunch of blah, blah, blah. There's one like you every six months or so, Atrys. Give it a rest.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:24 AM

I've shown you the evidence, yet all you can do is plug your ears and whine like a small child smile

It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:25 AM

This topic is so stupid, just like musicians.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:28 AM

Now you're starting to sound like another Atrys.

But you are correct that this is not the greatest conversation topic ever conceived....
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:29 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
I can't force you to be right.


Quite true, since I already am.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:29 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Now you're starting to sound like another Atrys.

Yet another snipe! Keep going, you're on a roll!
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:29 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
... this is not the greatest conversation topic ever conceived....


+1
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:30 AM

Quote
Now you're starting to sound like another Atrys.
You didn't detect my sarcasm?
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:30 AM

Originally Posted by stores

Quite true, since I already am.

[citation needed]

Nice try though. It's cute how, in the face of undeniable evidence, all you ever do is think you're "right" when you have nothing to support your claim, and all the evidence is against you wink
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:32 AM

Ah, the irony...
Posted By: Hamburg-D

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:33 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys

Also, not once have I tried to explain musical ideas to anyone here. I wouldn't even dare to. You know why? Because I have little knowledge about things like that, and I can provide little to no value in a discussion about melodic lines, etc.


you tried to convince us that valentina is the most amazing pianist.

Don't babble too much about statistics. Just because you have a few college courses in the subject doesn't make you an expert. You're 20, so relax. No one is expecting you to be some engineering mastermind. Are you well on your way? Maybe, we are not hating.


Back to the original topic...
It's a strange question. I'm sure in some forum about model train building there is a similar thread "are the best model train builders highly intelligent?"

Well, to be the best in the world at anything probably requires some amount of intelligence. Even being the fastest 100m sprinter would require intelligence to be able to understand the analyzed data explained to you by your engineers because you have potentiometers all over your body during practice.

One thing we know for sure, is that it takes persistence and ambition. I can't think of any "best in the world" at any subject that relies on sheer talent. Hard work and ambition is perhaps the biggest culprit.

Starting very young and having being a pianist mapped out for you is probably just as important. The fastest motogp (motorcycle) racers were basically born on a motorcycle. It is part of them and their reflexes and instincts are one with the bike. There is no one competing in motogp who hasn't started as a child.

Same with piano. Sorry for late starters, including me. You can get close, but it will never be like 2nd nature which is required for truly polished playing I think.


Well spoken? Good at math, history, physics,street smart, I don't think have anything to do with it. Musical? Not necessary either. definite advantage, but not required. A truly musical person would end up composing, not playing other's music.

I have heard very young kids performing some of the most emotionally deep pieces. They have not suffered enough in life in order to understand those pieces they are playing, but, their playing was 100% convincing. Musicality can be learned, and mimicked! An excellent teacher is required for this.

Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:36 AM

Originally Posted by noambenhamou
I have heard very young kids performing some of the most emotionally deep pieces. They have not suffered enough in life in order to understand those pieces they are playing, but, their playing was 100% convincing. Musicality can be learned, and mimicked!

yawn
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:37 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Ah, the irony...

I am literally the only person in this thread to support my claim with hard evidence. Your silly confirmation bias coupled with your hunch is not evidence.

What we know with the evidence provided so far: there is no reason to believe pianists of any skill are especially intelligent.

Originally Posted by noambenhamou

you tried to convince us that valentina is the most amazing pianist.


I never tried to do that either. What is wrong with you? You're inventing straw men and putting words into my mouth. No where did I ever try to convince anyone that Lisitsa is the "most amazing pianist".
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:38 AM

Originally Posted by noambenhamou
I have heard very young kids performing some of the most emotionally deep pieces. They have not suffered enough in life in order to understand those pieces they are playing, but, their playing was 100% convincing. Musicality can be learned, and mimicked!

Define "young".
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 04:39 AM

I didn't think it was likely I would ever do this, but.... grin

Originally Posted by stores
No, I'm sorry, you have not. You may BELIEVE it to be "evidence", "support", whatever you want to call it, but it's nothing more than a bunch of blah, blah, blah.

+1


Atrys: We could call it "evidence" if we want to, but you have to understand, "evidence" doesn't necessarily prove something; it's merely one indicator. If you think "evidence" necessarily does prove a thing, you must have slept through part of whatever you learned on evidence and proof. smile

AND EVEN BESIDES THAT.... a few things:

-- Unless I don't know where to look, that thing you linked doesn't give anything about "professional pianists"; it gives a figure for Arts-Performance & Studio majors. I think it's a fair guess that the ones from among them who become PROFESSIONALS are higher than the average on just about anything we might mention, including intelligence.

-- ....and anyway, the average IQ even just of the college majors is pretty high. Yeah, it's below most of the other majors, but it's a number that I would indeed call "highly intelligent."

-- And finally.....As has been said, there are different kinds of intelligence, and they get manifested in greatly varying degrees on IQ tests. Two of my close friends (musicians) have been people that I know to be extremely intelligent, on anything that I'm sure most of us would regard as important, but never did particularly well on those tests. Their standardized test scores and class standings were so mediocre that they were funny, if you knew how intelligent these people really were. I would guess that it's probably unusually common among musicians and other kinds of artists to fare worse than their actual intelligence level on those kinds of tests, as it is among various other groups also, like (I think) athletes. The 'test' kind of stuff just isn't how their minds work, or how they want their minds to work. And BTW this isn't to say that those tests aren't meaningful or useful, just that what they measure isn't as synonymous with "intelligence" as you're trying to make it out to be.

But as per the above, even if it were, you still wouldn't be right.
Posted By: Kuanpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 04:45 AM

I listened to a girl - probably no older than 8 years old - playing Liszt's valse-impromptu with tremendous technique, nuance, and clarity. While not the most emotionally-involved piece, her expression and phrasing (with an immaculate technique) was incredibly mature.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 04:56 AM

@Mark_C
I've already addressed your points. To add: I am still the only person in here to back my claim with evidence. Currently, those who believe pianists are of greater intelligence have absolutely no evidence, and therefore the claim is invalid. C'mon man, this is literally middle school level material...

It seems like a couple of you don't know what confirmation bias is. I encourage you to look it up so that you realize that's your only reason for arriving at such hilarious conclusions. "If you are a master pianist, you must be highly intelligent". Are you serious? Then show us the evidence. I am totally open to the claim, so long as you can provide evidence.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:13 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
"If you are a master pianist, you must be highly intelligent".

Wait a minute, is anyone actually saying that?
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:15 AM

Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by Atrys
"If you are a master pianist, you must be highly intelligent".

Wait a minute, is anyone actually saying that?


I couldn't find any instance of it. Classic straw man argument.

Anyone who actually knows anything about statistics knows that they can be made to show pretty much anything you want them to.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:18 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Mark_C
I've already addressed your points....

Bull. smile

How I know it's bull (among other ways): Because you're still talking about "evidence."

Look back at my post, if you care.

Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by Atrys
"If you are a master pianist, you must be highly intelligent".

Wait a minute, is anyone actually saying that?

Good question. In fact, I think we'd have to say that what he said was a pretty unintelligent inference. grin

Intelligence, by the way, includes the ability to know what kinds of assertions are justified and what kinds aren't, and to know what can be concluded from something or not. Actually those kinds of things are a significant portion of what is tested in IQ tests. Pretty ironic, then, how Atrys is holding forth.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:23 AM

Originally Posted by JoelW

Wait a minute, is anyone actually saying that?


Originally Posted by pianoloverus

many of the ones I know seem super intelligent


Originally Posted by pianoloverus

Hamelin, Chiu and Hough seem extremely intelligent


Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway

People who play piano well are usually smart (way above average)


Originally Posted by RonaldSteinway

Among famous pianists, there are many who strike me as geniuses.


Originally Posted by stores

The vast majority of professional pianists I know are highly intelligent


The list goes on and on.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So far, there is no evidence.

(also it looks like cast12 and keyboardklutz actually did provide some flavor of evidence that did not quite serve the purpose of showing advanced pianists are "highly intelligent")
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:25 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C

Pretty ironic, then, how Atrys is holding forth.

*cough* show us the evidence *cough*

Let's reiterate that confirmation bias is not evidence. Also, in case you haven't seen it, I have provided evidence. All you have to do is look at it. Silly boy.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:27 AM

What does "Atrys" mean?
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:30 AM

I find it slightly amusing that no one has yet to ask what constitutes intelligence.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:31 AM

Originally Posted by JoelW
I find it slightly amusing that no one has yet to ask what constitutes intelligence.

All of my arguments are based on WAIS-IV composite IQ scores.

Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:33 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Mark_C

Pretty ironic, then, how Atrys is holding forth.

*cough* show us the evidence *cough*

Let's reiterate that confirmation bias is not evidence. Also, in case you haven't seen it, I have provided evidence. All you have to do is look at it. Silly boy.


Seriously? All the quotes you brought up are just people commenting based on their own experience and observations. In no way do these quotes support your (outrageous) claim that people are saying "If you are a master pianist, you must be highly intelligent".

That said: Being a master pianist is not a necessary condition for someone to be a genius; however, becoming truly at the top of Parnassus at things such as music or mathematics requires a level of cognition that many (if not most) people lack.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:36 AM

None of those quotes =

Originally Posted by Atrys
"If you are a master pianist, you must be highly intelligent".
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:37 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian
All the quotes you brought up are just people commenting based on their own experience and observations.

Exactly.

Originally Posted by Horowitzian

becoming truly at the top of Parnassus at things such as music or mathematics requires a level of cognition that many (if not most) people lack.

See, now that is a reasonable claim. It doesn't mean they have significantly higher rates of IQ, but it is still a reasonable claim.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:43 AM

So, what exactly is your stance on this, Atrys?
Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:45 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by JoelW
I find it slightly amusing that no one has yet to ask what constitutes intelligence.

All of my arguments are based on WAIS-IV composite IQ scores.



Nope.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:49 AM

Originally Posted by JoelW
So, what exactly is your stance on this, Atrys?

It's very simple!

There is no presented evidence to support the claim that professional pianists are highly intelligent (assuming WAIS-IV composite IQ scores beyond 2 standard deviations). Therefore, there is no reason to believe that professional pianists are highly intelligent.

Sure, they may excel in certain portions of the WAIS-IV, but this does not mean they have significantly higher composite scores.

Unless evidence to the claim can be provided, it's just speculation, poor reasoning (but the reasoning for believing that they may excel with certain things is totally fine), and confirmation bias.

Again, I'm not "hesitant" to believe or anything like that. There is just simply no reason to (yet).
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:57 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
All the quotes you brought up are just people commenting based on their own experience and observations.

Exactly.


You missed the point. This is a public forum, not a peer reviewed journal.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 05:59 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian

You missed the point. This is a public forum, not a peer reviewed journal.

Agreed. That's why my initial post was simply giving an evidence-based answer to the OP question.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:01 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by JoelW
So, what exactly is your stance on this, Atrys?

It's very simple!

There is no presented evidence to support the claim that professional pianists are highly intelligent (assuming WAIS-IV composite IQ scores beyond 2 standard deviations). Therefore, there is no reason to believe that professional pianists are highly intelligent.

Sure, they may excel in certain portions of the WAIS-IV, but this does not mean they have significantly higher composite scores.

Unless evidence to the claim can be provided, it's just speculation, poor reasoning (but the reasoning for believing that they may excel with certain things is totally fine), and confirmation bias.

Again, I'm not "hesitant" to believe or anything like that. There is just simply no reason to (yet).

So this is what the fuss is about? Again, nobody actually said that great pianists necessarily have outstanding intellects.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:04 AM

Originally Posted by JoelW

nobody actually said that great pianists necessarily have outstanding intellects. You're arguing with people who agree with you.

If this is truly the case, then this means that everyone acknowledges that there is no known (or at least presented) correlation between IQ and skill at piano. This is great! So long as people aren't arriving at crazy conclusions without any real reason, all is good in the world cool
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:10 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by JoelW

nobody actually said that great pianists necessarily have outstanding intellects. You're arguing with people who agree with you.

If this is truly the case, then this means that everyone acknowledges that there is no known (or at least presented) correlation between IQ and skill at piano. This is great! So long as people aren't arriving at crazy conclusions without any real reason, all is good in the world cool

Folks, what we're seeing here is a plain inability to reason very well.

Which perhaps explains a lot of the rest of what we've been getting from this source.

Atrys, you are sorely incorrect. And if you're not able to see what's wrong about it, which you aren't, then you are completely incapable of coming close to concluding any of what you've been putting forth.
Posted By: The Wind

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:11 AM

Pro pianists could be highly intelligent, but may lack proper socials skills.

Pro rock guitarists on the other hand could be of questionable intelligence, but have all the social excesses!!
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:12 AM

@Mark_C
Wow! You even fail to provide evidence to that claim! I really hope your discipline is not in any of the sciences, engineering or otherwise logic-intensive fields. If so, I pity your employer thumb
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:15 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Mark_C
Wow! You even fail to provide evidence to that claim! I really hope your discipline is not in any of the sciences, engineering or otherwise logic-intensive fields. If so, I pity your employer thumb

I pity someone who has nothing better to do than sit here and read this thread. smokin
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:16 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Mark_C
Wow! You even fail to provide evidence to that claim! I really hope your discipline is not in any of the sciences, engineering or otherwise logic-intensive fields. If so, I pity your employer thumb

(That would be me.) grin

Atrys, you're being kind of blind here, and I suspect it's on purpose.

The thing in my above post doesn't need any "evidence," because what you said is plainly, simply, incorrect. It's a simple error of reasoning. Some things, y'know, are just incorrect, like 2 + 2 = 5. smile
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:16 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Horowitzian

You missed the point. This is a public forum, not a peer reviewed journal.

Agreed. That's why my initial post was simply giving an evidence-based answer to the OP question.


Allow me to quote your original post.

Originally Posted by Atrys
Master pianists would probably perform pretty well in certain portions of the WAIS-IV, but don't expect anything from the final score. Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.


No, it doesn't. But it also doesn't mean that the best of the best aren't necessarily also highly intelligent. As I state above, ascending Parnassus is no mean feat. Those that make it certainly are intelligent.

Quote

If you look here: http://www.statisticbrain.com/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major/

You'll actually find that "Arts-Performance & Studio" majors are pretty low on the spectrum, with an average IQ of 114.


That category paints musicians with a rather broad brush, don't you think? I don't know for sure, but that category seems like a composite of a lot of different disciplines that may be considered under the umbrella of "The Arts".

Quote

Being a master pianist does not mean you are necessarily highly intelligent. However, the elite in things such as math, the sciences, and engineering can be considered to be "highly intelligent" (insofar as a composite IQ score).


The burden of proof is on you here. Show us specific data relating to musicians vs. mathematicians/physicists/engineers. The statistics quoted are far too broad and do not apply.

Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:17 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Atrys
@Mark_C
Wow! You even fail to provide evidence to that claim! I really hope your discipline is not in any of the sciences, engineering or otherwise logic-intensive fields. If so, I pity your employer thumb

(That would be me.) grin

Atrys, you're being kind of blind here, and I suspect it's on purpose.

The thing in my above post doesn't need any "evidence," because what you said is plainly, simply, incorrect. It's a simple error of reasoning. Some things, y'know, are just incorrect, like 2 + 2 = 5. smile

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if he came in here and started arguing that.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Atrys
@Mark_C
Wow! You even fail to provide evidence to that claim! I really hope your discipline is not in any of the sciences, engineering or otherwise logic-intensive fields. If so, I pity your employer thumb

(That would be me.) grin

Atrys, you're being kind of blind here, and I suspect it's on purpose.

The thing in my above post doesn't need any "evidence," because what you said is plainly, simply, incorrect. It's a simple error of reasoning. Some things, y'know, are just incorrect, like 2 + 2 = 5. smile

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if he came in here and started arguing that.


But 2 + 2 = 5 for large values of 2. grin
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:22 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C

(That would be me.)

My condolences.

Originally Posted by Horowitzian

That category paints musicians with a rather broad brush, don't you think? I don't know for sure, but that category seems like a composite of a lot of different disciplines that may be considered under the umbrella of "The Arts".

Agreed! But the overlap and quartile of the category is enough to extrapolate from (statistical hypothesis testing, etc)

Originally Posted by Horowitzian

Show us specific data relating to musicians vs. mathematicians/physicists/engineers

I don't need to because that is not my claim. My claim is fully supported by the single link above. This is how easy it is: look at the table, consider the quartiles and the standard deviation.

I think many of you just don't understand statistics enough to realize their strength. I'm not an expert, but I don't have to be. Even a single upper division stats course teaches enough to understand the data here (and the methods that can be used to extrapolate).
Posted By: Tararex

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:23 AM

The median hourly wage for musicians and singers was $23.50 in May 2012.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm

Does an intelligent person follow a career path that pays well or one that they love? The answer to this is likely the answer to whether professional pianists are highly intelligent.



Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:33 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian

Quote

Being a master pianist does not mean you are necessarily highly intelligent. However, the elite in things such as math, the sciences, and engineering can be considered to be "highly intelligent" (insofar as a composite IQ score).
The burden of proof is on you here. Show us specific data relating to musicians vs. mathematicians/physicists/engineers. The statistics quoted are far too broad and do not apply.


Absolutely !!

And not "musicians" in general but "master pianists."

grin

Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:34 AM

@carey
Yet another failure to understand what a standard deviation is, and how to understand statistical evidence.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:37 AM

I think I take back everything I ever said about re-upping old threads. ha
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:38 AM

Perfectly said, Horowitzian.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:40 AM

Originally Posted by Tararex
The median hourly wage for musicians and singers was $23.50 in May 2012.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm


As my 12th grade teacher noted when grading one of my less inspired English compositions, "happy generalizations!!" smile

Quote
Does an intelligent person follow a career path that pays well or one that they love?


That would depend on one's definition of "intelligence." Smart folks usually understand that there's more to life than $$$. grin
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:43 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@carey
Yet another failure to understand what a standard deviation is, and how to understand statistical evidence.

Ask me if I care. On second thought, never mind. ha
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:44 AM

Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Atrys
@carey
Yet another failure to understand what a standard deviation is, and how to understand statistical evidence.

Ask me if I care. On second thought, never mind. ha

You can worry about it even less. It was a blind person talking about what he sees. smile

IBTL. grin
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:54 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
I think I take back everything I ever said about re-upping old threads. ha


laugh laugh

Well, I'm done with this one. I'm pretty sure we all know which person in this discussion doesn't understand statistics. Especially if s/he thinks that those incredibly broad numbers grabbed from a website are useful in any way. Basically all they tell you is the standard deviation and that 95% of the population is within two standard deviations. Tell us something we don't know. There is a time and a place to expect a certain level of mathematical competence from the reader; a piano forum is not that place.

And data is in a form that is difficult to manipulate if one wanted to plug it into statistical software (R, Minitab, etc) to do their own analysis (descriptive statistics, distributions, etc).

Originally Posted by JoelW
Perfectly said, Horowitzian.


I do my best... smile
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:01 AM

@Horowitzian
Lol! I don't know where you took your stats courses, but you definitely are not interpreting the findings comprehensively laugh laugh
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:04 AM

(The only thing wrong with his post was that he meant 2 standard deviations.) grin
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:07 AM

@Mark_C
There are plenty of other things he is not accounting for. I'm loving this confirmation bias as a platform for argumentum ad ignorantiam cool
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:09 AM

Well, in this case you're talking to someone who knows quite a bit about the stuff and is quite proficient with it, and who's telling you that you're.....well, what I've already said. grin
Posted By: Tararex

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:12 AM

Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Tararex
The median hourly wage for musicians and singers was $23.50 in May 2012.
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm


As my 12th grade teacher noted when grading one of my less inspired English compositions, "happy generalizations!!" smile

Quote
Does an intelligent person follow a career path that pays well or one that they love?


That would depend on one's definition of "intelligence." Smart folks usually understand that there's more to life than $$$. grin


A .gov generalization, certainly - but when figures are pulled from Music school websites we find the majority of master pianists must be quite wealthy - and if not, refer to the .gov site because you're actually just a "musician" (Loser!). As a generalization, I submit that piano expertise as a sure path to "wealthy" seems the more specious one.

Are professional oboe players highly intelligent? How about pro drummers? Do I sense a superiority complex oozing out of the fabric here -- and if so, is it justified? (Piano players are awesome Wile E. Coyote super-geniuses who always smell delicious and pick the right wine to go with gnocchi. True fact. laugh )
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:14 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
you're talking to someone who knows quite a bit about the stuff

Is that because he used some words that you don't know the meaning of (serious question). He knows what a standard deviation is...that's great...but that doesn't mean he's interpreting the findings correctly.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:15 AM

(I meant me, my friend.) grin
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:20 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
I meant me

Well just means that you aren't interpreting the findings correctly.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:20 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
(The only thing wrong with his post was that he meant 2 standard deviations.) grin


Yeah, you are correct. That's what I get for posting when I should go to bed. laugh

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Horowitzian
Lol! I don't know where you took your stats courses, but you definitely are not interpreting the findings comprehensively laugh laugh


And where, praytell, are you interpreting them in anything other than the most general terms? It's pretty obvious you have nothing to say, and are covering it up by throwing around big words.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:29 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian

And where, praytell, are you interpreting them in anything other than the most general terms? It's pretty obvious you have nothing to say, and are covering it up by throwing around big words.

ha "Deviation" is a big word for you!?

How are you failing to realize:
- Categorical sampling (the categories are acute enough)
- Sample overlap (with pianist population)
- Hypothesis testing (the simple stuff: with z critical values and p value rejection)
- The quartiles (or even devaitions from the mean) of the categories in question
- And so forth

All of this material is covered in earlier-intermediate stats courses.

The only reason you think the link is not sufficient evidence is simply because you do not understand the evidence. It is therefore gibberish to you, and you then think it has no meaning here.

I love how no one can provide a single piece of evidence, and instead just try to "disprove" me with, again, no evidence.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:29 AM

Statistics show this thread needs a good locking.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:32 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
[...]
How are you failing to realize:
- Categorical sampling (the categories are acute enough)
- Sample overlap (with pianist population)
- Hypothesis testing (the simple stuff: with z critical values and p value rejection)
- The quartiles (or even devaitions from the mean) of the categories in question
- And so forth

[...]


None of which you've provided for us to back up your claims, so there's no reason to comment on it. The burden of proof is on you here. MarkC hinted at it above, but I'll just come right out and say it. You're full of it.

Originally Posted by JoelW
Statistics show this thread needs a good locking.


WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!!
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:35 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!!!

Yes, according to the statistics.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:35 AM

@Horowitzian
Are...are you serious? I don't need to "back up my claims" because those are not claims. Those are tools in statistics. They are things that are known and used in the discipline of statistics. I'm not trying to "prove" them. They just exist.

I'm saying that if you understand these things, then it's more obvious why the data that I linked is valid.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:37 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian
None of which you've provided for us to back up your claims, so there's no reason to comment on it. The burden of proof is on you here. MarkC hinted at it above, but I'll just come right out and say it. You're full of it.

That's because you just don't understand the evidence. [insert insulting remark with passive aggressive smiley face here]
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:50 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Horowitzian
Are...are you serious? I don't need to "back up my claims" because those are not claims. Those are tools in statistics. They are things that are known and used in the discipline of statistics. I'm not trying to "prove" them. They just exist.

I'm saying that if you understand these things, then it's more obvious why the data that I linked is valid.


You said initially:

Originally Posted by Atrys

Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.


Absolutely a claim. One that you have not satisfactorily demonstrated. Nothing you offer has any mathematical rigor at all. Let's see your descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing.
Posted By: Tararex

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:52 AM

Ooo...hypothetical stats fight!

How strong is the correlation between "silly questions we wish were true" being redrawn via "throwing statistics at it" as a way to legitimize the silly?

Fifteen years of my life were in R&D (research & development) side by side with rocket scientists, physicists, etc. More of them than would be expected did not understand subject/verb relationships. I did not find any of them dullards because of a tiny missing bit of knowledge.

Anyone who is a successful professional pianist must have considerable (metric ton level) working knowledge, perhaps some might even say high intelligence - at playing the piano. But in the real world genius often behaves like too much gut bacteria. Sometimes it's essential to digesting what's on the plate but most of the time it just makes gas.


Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:58 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian


Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.

Absolutely a claim. One that you have not satisfactorily demonstrated. Nothing you offer has any mathematical rigor at all. Let's see your descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing.

What are you going on about? That isn't a "claim"...that's the natural state of things. In a hypothesis test, consider this to be our null hypothesis (h not). Therefore our alternative hypothesis (h sub a) is that there is significant gain in a composite IQ.

Consider our statistic variable mu to be the sample mean. Comparing the sample mean to the population mean, it is not greater than 2 standard deviations from the population mean. Therefore we can accept the null hypothesis thereby discarding the alternative hypothesis.

But you don't even need an HT for this...the actual claim here is "piano skill = more intelligence". That is what needs to be proved because the null hypothesis is that nothing has changed.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:13 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Horowitzian


Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.

Absolutely a claim. One that you have not satisfactorily demonstrated. Nothing you offer has any mathematical rigor at all. Let's see your descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing.

What are you going on about? That isn't a "claim"...

It is a claim. How do you know being a master pianist does not correlate with high IQ? You have no clue.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:22 AM

@JoelW
It's not a claim because it is the null hypothesis...
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:36 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@JoelW
It's not a claim because it is the null hypothesis...

Do you even understand what you are spewing? Both the null and the alternative hypotheses are assumptions for the sake of experiment. If you are positively asserting the null hypothesis then you're making a claim, in which case you bear the burden of proof, as does anyone asserting that the is a correlation. All claims require evidence.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:51 AM

@JoelW
That is not how hypothesis testing works...the null hypothesis is assumed to be true from the beginning because it states no change in the system....therefore the null hypothesis does not need to be "proved". It's how things are by default.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:11 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@JoelW
That is not how hypothesis testing works...the null hypothesis is assumed to be true from the beginning because it states no change in the system....therefore the null hypothesis does not need to be "proved". It's how things are by default.

(sigh)

The null hypothesis isn't some "default" truth which must be proven false. Both hypotheses exist neutrally, until evidence supports one over the other. You must test before concluding, that's why they're hypotheses. If there is good reason to be believe that the alternative hypothesis is correct, you accept it, and vice verse with the null. You only accept the null hypothesis if the relationship between both phenomena is likely accidental.

I'd like to bring up a separate point in that I believe there is in fact good reason to accept the alternative hypothesis with regards to master musicians and intelligence. Every masterful musician I've ever met is quite intelligent, not to mention all of the masterful musicians whose personalities are captured in countless interviews and personal writings. Don't try to persuade me that there is no correlation. I don't buy it.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:12 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
....the null hypothesis is assumed to be true from the beginning because it states no change in the system....therefore the null hypothesis does not need to be "proved". It's how things are by default.

Then you're doing nothing more than playing games with words. (And believe me, when I say it's just playing games with words, it's playing games with words.) ha

Just to refresh memories, we're talking about:
"Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score."

It looks like you're saying that there isn't any significant gain (i.e. over the mean).

The alternative is that you're saying nothing there. I don't think you'd prefer that. grin

BTW, you haven't addressed the things I said in my detailed post, including especially about how "evidence" isn't proof, it's just a step toward it; and that the data you cited is only about college majors, not professional pianists.

But I see that your style isn't to address things, it's just to assert one invalid thing after another. smile
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:20 AM

@JoelW
Ummm, you really don't understand hypothesis testing. It works on the "failure to reject" mechanism. This is why the null hypothesis is axiomatically true. You do not have to "test both claims". Sorry, but your understanding of this is just not right.

Originally Posted by Mark_C

It looks like you're saying that there isn't any significant gain (i.e. over the mean).

Exactly.

Originally Posted by Mark_C

"evidence" isn't proof

...again failing to understand the sampling mechanism among other things. What I have presented is the only evidence in this entire argument. You have none. What makes this more hilarious, is that I do not "bear the burden" of proof because I am resting on the null hypothesis (which is true) that there exists no correlation.

Originally Posted by Mark_C

data you cited is only about college majors, not professional pianists.

...ugh...if you understood the stats concepts I mentioned earlier, you would realize that statement doesn't matter.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:22 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Mark_C

It looks like you're saying that there isn't any significant gain (i.e. over the mean).

Exactly.

Thank you for clarifying.

That means it's not the "null hypothesis." As Joel as been saying, it's a claim.

Now that you've more than self-destructed grin .....good bye.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:26 AM

@Mark_C
Lol, it's still not a claim, and it's still a null hypothesis because it is the current state of things (no change in the system). I know some kids in these courses struggle, but you really must have had a hard time.
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:28 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys


Also, not once have I tried to explain musical ideas to anyone here. I wouldn't even dare to. You know why? Because I have little knowledge about things like that, and I can provide little to no value in a discussion about melodic lines, etc.


So, you're saying that you're not intelligent enough to discuss things musical. Since musicians, according to you, aren't very intelligent I have to wonder where this leaves you.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:30 AM

@stores
Lol, pretty obvious pseudo-logic there bud laugh
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:34 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@stores
Lol, pretty obvious pseudo-logic there bud laugh


Whatever. YOU are the one that said you're not intelligent enough to add anything to a musical discussion... twasn't I.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:35 AM

@stores
You're a strange fellow mate laugh
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:35 AM

Arty's, the null hypothesis isn't some objective truth in the universe. It's simply an assumption for the sake of experiment, until evidence indicates otherwise. It is only useful during experimentation. How do you not get that? You asserted that there is no correlation between high intelligence and musical mastery. This is a claim.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:38 AM

@JoelW
That's just not correct. The null hypothesis is no change. No change means no correlation has been identified. No correlation is the current state of the system. You may have fallen victim to the infamous confusion people sometimes have between accepting the null hypothesis and failing to reject the null hypothesis.
Posted By: joe80

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:41 AM

Let's put it simply:

Professional pianists are generally intelligent - it takes a level of intelligence to learn, perform and memorize all that music for starters, and music is an intellectual as well as artistic endeavour. I don't think that musicians are more intelligent than other people just because we are musicians - or that we have gone into music because we are more intelligent. I know many intelligent people - from the highly intellectual to those that have been endowed with huge amounts of common sense and I would say that there are some musicians that exhibit above average intelligence and some below.

It's true that musicians are more likely to grasp foreign languages and have good arithmetic, and do intricate precise work under pressure, and meet hideous deadlines and perform some superhuman technical feats, but then I know quite a few people who are not musicians who have this level of intellect.

Sometimes it's a bit like this : learn Rach three in six weeks - no problem. Manage the household bills and grocery shopping - not a chance
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:41 AM

@JoelW
Were you born in 1995? No wonder you don't understand these things...you haven't taken the courses that teach them properly yet..
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:58 AM

BTW, maybe not a bad idea to remind ourselves that this is the guy who thought the article about supposedly giving people perfect pitch with a neurological/psychiatric medication was real good.

(Joel, you're doing good.) smile

Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 10:13 AM

Okay, I understand why saying "accepting the null hypothesis" is incorrect now. I'd like to flip this whole thing on its head and say that the null hypothesis is this:

Being a master pianist does imply a significant gain in a composite IQ score.

I make this assumption because I've never met a masterful musician that didn't exhibit an above-average intellect. The most pragmatic option is to assume that most masterful musicians have higher-level intellects. Until I meet a significant percentage of truly masterful musicians whose minds don't shine, my null hypothesis remains true. No?
Posted By: wuxia

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 12:04 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@JoelW
That's just not correct. The null hypothesis is no change. No change means no correlation has been identified. No correlation is the current state of the system. You may have fallen victim to the infamous confusion people sometimes have between accepting the null hypothesis and failing to reject the null hypothesis.


I'd like to shift this argument to a more philosophical ground. Basically you claim that we are extremely dogmatic(saying that there's a link between intelligence and musicianship) and that your dogma that IQ IS intelligence we should accept a priori. Hegel can be useful here namely that the universality/essence of 'intelligence' is never revealed and that there only partial semblances of it - IQ, driving a car, climbing a mountain, writing poetry, doing calculations). In it's core any human activity can be directly linked to intelligence - it being defined here by the activity of solving the problem of mapping written(musical) structure to cognition and so on. You prioritize one semblance over the others and claim it IS the universal. Hegel's deeper point is that you have to search for universality in negation namely - The thing that is NOT intelligence would define intelligence as such. In this line of thought the null hypothesis you parade around is inherently not neutral. It already presupposes some structure of reality.
Posted By: Pathbreaker

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 01:56 PM

wow
f

The entire premise of this "discussion" is rubbish. Are we really trying to say that an arts and/or music major and any other major can have their IQ scores compared in order to determine the link between high level pianists and IQ?

How many of the any other majors are highly skilled pianists? Does that not cause a problem here? The premise is flawed and it makes the undeniable evidence irrelevant.

I would make the claim that the difference between your average self-described professional pianist and a highly skilled amateur is not significant enough to conclude anything about IQ.

But if you really wanted to discuss only the most skilled and successful professional pianists, it would be foolish to claim anything other than they must be highly intelligent. If they were at the top of the food chain of plumbers they would also be highly intelligent in my book. This doesn't even begin to get into the problematic definition of intelligence. cool
Posted By: anrpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 02:15 PM

Atrys,

I have been impressed with your dogged explanation of your position. And I am ready to fully accept your position, however, there is just one point which I need to have clarified, if you will please help me understand.

The cited study included a group of arts students, those who wanted to be "master musicians", yet you are extrapolating this to a group which is not a group of arts students. How do you make that jump?

How do get from the results of the larger set defining what the results of a very small sub-set will be? If the larger set included anybody who might want to be a master musician, regardless of the potential to be, how is that this study measures the results and defines the parameters of the very small sub-set which actually accomplishes this goal? Explain this and I will buy your arguments.
Posted By: Goof

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 02:20 PM

It seems pragmatically obvious to me that the more "things" you can do well and understand the greater your intellignence.
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 02:51 PM

Originally Posted by joe80
Let's put it simply:

Professional pianists are generally intelligent - it takes a level of intelligence to learn, perform and memorize all that music for starters, and music is an intellectual as well as artistic endeavour. I don't think that musicians are more intelligent than other people just because we are musicians - or that we have gone into music because we are more intelligent. I know many intelligent people - from the highly intellectual to those that have been endowed with huge amounts of common sense and I would say that there are some musicians that exhibit above average intelligence and some below.

It's true that musicians are more likely to grasp foreign languages and have good arithmetic, and do intricate precise work under pressure, and meet hideous deadlines and perform some superhuman technical feats, but then I know quite a few people who are not musicians who have this level of intellect.

Sometimes it's a bit like this : learn Rach three in six weeks - no problem. Manage the household bills and grocery shopping - not a chance

thumb thumb thumb
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 02:58 PM

Originally Posted by anrpiano
Atrys,

I have been impressed with your dogged explanation of your position. And I am ready to fully accept your position, however, there is just one point which I need to have clarified, if you will please help me understand.

The cited study included a group of arts students, those who wanted to be "master musicians", yet you are extrapolating this to a group which is not a group of arts students. How do you make that jump?

How do get from the results of the larger set defining what the results of a very small sub-set will be? If the larger set included anybody who might want to be a master musician, regardless of the potential to be, how is that this study measures the results and defines the parameters of the very small sub-set which actually accomplishes this goal? Explain this and I will buy your arguments.

I'd like him to stop evading the question and explain this as well !! grin
Posted By: anrpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 04:35 PM

Aryts,

Please, I asked an honest question. If you want to use statistics to justify your position you have to be able to explain how the number were arrived at and all of their components. This is fundamental. And you need to answer the questions without becoming demeaning towards the questioner. If you cannot answer this question then it pretty much invalidates everything you have said so far.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:08 PM

Originally Posted by JoelW

Being a master pianist does imply a significant gain in a composite IQ score.

I make this assumption because I've never met a masterful musician that didn't exhibit an above-average intellect. The most pragmatic option is to assume that most masterful musicians have higher-level intellects. Until I meet a significant percentage of truly masterful musicians whose minds don't shine, my null hypothesis remains true. No?

The only problem here is that you don't actually know if the musicians you met had above average intellect. Us perceiving higher intellect doesn't work as data, we need numbers.

Originally Posted by Pathbreaker

it would be foolish to claim anything other than they must be highly intelligent

Once again, you have no evidence.

Originally Posted by anrpiano

The cited study included a group of arts students, those who wanted to be "master musicians", yet you are extrapolating this to a group which is not a group of arts students. How do you make that jump?

How do get from the results of the larger set defining what the results of a very small sub-set will be? If the larger set included anybody who might want to be a master musician, regardless of the potential to be, how is that this study measures the results and defines the parameters of the very small sub-set which actually accomplishes this goal? Explain this and I will buy your arguments.

First off: even if the data could not be used to make the extrapolation, it doesn't matter, because still no one has any evidence that master pianists are highly intelligent. Anyways, you can make the jump because these IQs are averages (or means) with acute categorical sampling. If you couple this with the standard deviation, the data is very finely organized. This means that the intersection of the set of majors we are looking at with a set of master pianists is not the null set. However, understand that this is said with only some level of confidence as a reasonable claim. For example, I am not saying that this data works as hard numbers for master pianists, I'm saying that it may be used to extrapolate from.

But again, none of that even matters! Why? Because still no one has any evidence that master pianists are highly intelligent, and that is the only claim that needs to be supported.

So far, to the best of our knowledge with the evidence we have, there is no reason to believe that master pianists are "highly intelligent".
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:10 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
BTW, maybe not a bad idea to remind ourselves that this is the guy who thought the article about supposedly giving people perfect pitch with a neurological/psychiatric medication was real good.

(Joel, you're doing good.) smile



That would explain a lot, actually. laugh laugh laugh
Posted By: BDB

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:17 PM

I have a friend who is developmentally disabled, both physically and mentally, but he is a fine professional musician.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:20 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
BTW, maybe not a bad idea to remind ourselves that this is the guy who thought the article about supposedly giving people perfect pitch with a neurological/psychiatric medication was real good.

Holy christ, you really don't have the capacity to carry on a constructive, evidence-based discussion do you? By the way, you never provided convincing evidence of your silly claims in that thread either. All you ever do is make a crazy claim, then whine like a baby when someone asks you to support it smile

Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:40 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Horowitzian


Being a master pianist does not imply any kind of significant gain in a composite IQ score.

Absolutely a claim. One that you have not satisfactorily demonstrated. Nothing you offer has any mathematical rigor at all. Let's see your descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing.

What are you going on about? That isn't a "claim"...that's the natural state of things. In a hypothesis test, consider this to be our null hypothesis (h not). Therefore our alternative hypothesis (h sub a) is that there is significant gain in a composite IQ.

Consider our statistic variable mu to be the sample mean. Comparing the sample mean to the population mean, it is not greater than 2 standard deviations from the population mean. Therefore we can accept the null hypothesis thereby discarding the alternative hypothesis.

But you don't even need an HT for this...the actual claim here is "piano skill = more intelligence". That is what needs to be proved because the null hypothesis is that nothing has changed.


I wasn't going to reply to this, but just to make sure nobody reading this thread is confused, this "hypothesis test" is utter BS. When comparing averages, one does not wave their hands and say "ooh look, the hypothesis I don't like isn't more than 2 standard deviations away; that must mean the one I like is true."

You formulate a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis such that they are mutually exclusive. Then using certain statistics from your data (sample mean, population mean, standard deviation for Z-tests; sample standard deviation for t-tests) you calculate a test statistic, look at the appropriate table (Z or t), and also decide on a significance level (below which one rejects the null hypothesis). Then the simplest thing to do is draw this data into a plot of your distribution. If the calculated test statistic falls below the significance level, then you may have grounds for rejecting it in favor of the alternative. Otherwise you do not have evidence to reject it. Period.

Also, one must consider what statistical assumptions are being made, e.g. if we are assuming that our random variables are independent, etc. Incorrect assumptions here will make any hypothesis test based on them invalid.

Not to mention the laundry list of logical fallacies being committed...he's consistently denying the antecedent, arguing from silence, fallacy of composition, false dilemma, fallacy of division, faulty generalizations, etc. Need I say more? This person cannot be taken seriously.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:46 PM

@Horowitzian
More claims and nonsense that are totally unsupported by any evidence. Nice job laugh

I encourage you (and everyone) to understand hypothesis testing more thoroughly, even though it is not needed to understand the data (it just helps).
Posted By: Pathbreaker

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:51 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
even if the data could not be used to make the extrapolation, it doesn't matter, because still no one has any evidence that master pianists are highly intelligent.


So it doesn't matter if your evidence is inadequate as long as we know that we haven't provided any evidence? You are the only one looking for hard evidence. Nobody else is looking for this. So your own evidence is no good and you want to require us to come up with evidence that satisfies you? You will be waiting for a very long time.

Quote
So far, to the best of our knowledge with the evidence we have, there is no reason to believe that master pianists are "highly intelligent".


And there's no reason to believe they are not. It's just a discussion. You've added your input, including your link to an unremarkable 'study'. There's no need to champion that study as if it's definitive. It says very little and it has been given more attention than it deserves. Common sense says that a master pianist is quite likely "highly intelligent." Most people would feel this way. It would take significant proof on YOUR part to show that this is NOT true.

You have failed to provide adequate proof for many reasons. I assure you that the main reason for your failure is not that everyone else is too dumb to get basic statistics. You are not the only one capable of understanding this. Don't you think that would be quite odd? Or do you think you are really that smart that only you get it?

Even if you were that smart, what value is that knowledge in a real world environment where you are utterly incapable of explaining it to anyone. I don't know why I made this post because you will just cherry-pick the quotes that suit your goal of winning for winning's sake. Put down the stats book and grab yourself a drink. smile
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:56 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Horowitzian
More claims and nonsense that are totally unsupported by any evidence. Nice job laugh

I encourage you (and everyone) to understand hypothesis testing more thoroughly, even though it is not needed to understand the data (it just helps).


Yet supported by one of those undergraduate statistics courses you were going on about earlier. I don't know where you studied this stuff (nor do I care), but it's obvious to me that you grossly misunderstood and twisted whatever you were taught. And if this is what you were taught, I seriously feel sorry for you.

As to the fallacies, all one needs to do is read through your posts starting with the first one.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:57 PM

Originally Posted by Pathbreaker

So it doesn't matter if your evidence is inadequate as long as we know that we haven't provided any evidence? You are the only one looking for hard evidence. Nobody else is looking for this. So your own evidence is no good and you want to require us to come up with evidence that satisfies you? You will be waiting for a very long time.

Sorry, I don't think I follow.

As for the rest of your post, you're not understanding how a proposition works. Only if there is evidence to support the claim can the claim be considered to have any truth. So far, there is no evidence to support the claim, therefore the claim cannot be considered to have any truth. The answer to the OP question is: "From what we know so far, there is no reason to believe so."
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 06:59 PM

@Horowitzian
If I "misunderstood" any of these stats concepts, I wouldn't have gotten the grades that I did...

Even if, for the sake of argument, I did not provide any evidence, there is still no evidence to support the original claim. Therefore the claim has no merit (yet).
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:04 PM

Oho, now we're appealing to a college transcript that none of us have knowledge of. Nice try.


"If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'"
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:06 PM

@Horowitzian
Yes...I am an engineering major and they hand out degrees to students who receive F marks on their upper division courses...lol? You still haven't produced any evidence laugh
Posted By: Pathbreaker

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:09 PM

This is what I'm saying. Evidence is not going to be produced. I don't know why you keep asking for it.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:12 PM

Originally Posted by Pathbreaker
Evidence is not going to be produced.

That's fine smile All that means is that there is no merit to the claim! So long as that is understood, we're all on the same page...
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:13 PM

Originally Posted by Pathbreaker
This is what I'm saying. Evidence is not going to be produced. I don't know why you keep asking for it.


Probably to bolster his inferiority complex since those darn physics and math students tend to have higher IQ scores than engineering students. laugh
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:14 PM

@Horowitzian
You seem upset. Sorry that your confirmation bias is getting in the way, but sniping like that is just hilarious when used as a defense mechanism laugh laugh
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:26 PM

Upset? I'm laughing my arse off. You come into this thread, claim that the original premise of the thread is false, and provide some half-baked numbers to "support" yourself. Then to distract us from the fact that there is no substance to your arguments, you commit onus probandi. Despite numerous people asking you to provide some meaningful proof of your position, you continue to demand evidence from us. The burden of proof is clearly on you; trying to shift it onto us isn't fooling anyone.
.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:30 PM

@Horowitzian
I'm not shifting anything. The evidence is there. Just look at it smile Also, I've already said that even if I did not provide any evidence at all, the original claim has no merit because it is not supported by anything. I'm willing to sacrifice my evidence for the sake of argument, but even then, the original claim is still not supported.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 07:33 PM

LOL.
Posted By: The Wind

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:00 PM

who cares if pianists are intelligent as long as they can play some fine music. There are quite a few pro musicians who I wouldn't trust to run a Starbucks!
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:15 PM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Horowitzian
I'm not shifting anything. The evidence is there. Just look at it smile Also, I've already said that even if I did not provide any evidence at all, the original claim has no merit because it is not supported by anything. I'm willing to sacrifice my evidence for the sake of argument, but even then, the original claim is still not supported.

So, in essence, this is a thread about nothing. cool
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:17 PM

Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by Atrys
@Horowitzian
I'm not shifting anything. The evidence is there. Just look at it smile Also, I've already said that even if I did not provide any evidence at all, the original claim has no merit because it is not supported by anything. I'm willing to sacrifice my evidence for the sake of argument, but even then, the original claim is still not supported.

So, in essence, this is a thread about nothing. cool

I think you might have hit on it.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:22 PM

This is probably the worst thread in a long line of recent bad threads.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:24 PM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:29 PM

Originally Posted by carey

So, in essence, this is a thread about nothing. cool

Agreed!
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 08:39 PM

Your attitude on this thread is a microcosm of your attitude to the site as a whole.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 09:58 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Your attitude on this thread is a microcosm of your attitude to the site as a whole.

QQ more. It's hilarious thumb
Posted By: slipperykeys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 10:08 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!


I saw this comment made on the Valentina Lisitsa thread and I disagreed with it there. It goes without saying that I disagree with it here so I won't say it.
Posted By: slipperykeys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/12/14 10:14 PM

Originally Posted by The Wind
who cares if pianists are intelligent as long as they can play some fine music. There are quite a few pro musicians who I wouldn't trust to run a Starbucks!


I think certain intellectual qualities should exist in the average professional pianist. For example, the ability to recognise a piano is handy, it saves time when the poor soul charged with playing it has eventually managed, with the help of several people who have brains, to reach the stage. This can shorten the unpleasant experience of an evening concert by several minutes.
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 01:49 AM

Originally Posted by Horowitzian
Originally Posted by Pathbreaker
This is what I'm saying. Evidence is not going to be produced. I don't know why you keep asking for it.


Probably to bolster his inferiority complex since those darn physics and math students tend to have higher IQ scores than engineering students. laugh


It isn't because of the physics and math students. He's admitted he'd have nothing of value to add to a musical discussion, so this is his way of validating himself.
Quite frankly, I've had it with the "science" kids who come along every six months or so and think they can explain everything.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:00 AM

Originally Posted by stores

Quite frankly, I've had it with the "science" kids who come along every six months or so and think they can explain everything.

"woe is me". Boo-hoo. No one is asking you to read my posts. Use the ignore feature and your life will be much better, seeing as how you're so frustrated with an online forum.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:00 AM

More irony...
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:01 AM

Is vote-banning a thing?
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:03 AM

In case you don't know how to ignore people: click on my username, click "View profile", and there is an ignore button.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:05 AM

I'd rather vote-ban you.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:07 AM

If you actually think about it, there must be a reason why you don't just ignore me.

You must be curious to see what I'm saying or something. Maybe you just want to see my posts so that you can snipe me? Either way, you're complaining about something that is easily solved...
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:08 AM

And I was just reading an article about how standard statistical hypothesis techniques may be less useful than we think they are...

http://www.nature.com/news/scientific-method-statistical-errors-1.14700


Originally Posted by JoelW
Is vote-banning a thing?


I don't know how comfortable I'd be with mob rule on a forum like this. laugh
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:11 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
If you actually think about it, there must be a reason why you don't just ignore me.

You must be curious to see what I'm saying or something. Maybe you just want to see my posts so that you can snipe me? Either way, you're complaining about something that is easily solved...

Actually, it isn't a matter of that. I don't like you polluting this forum with your rude, obnoxious behavior. I've witnessed countless insulting remarks towards many who I consider to be good people, and have respect for.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:15 AM

@JoelW
Oh puhhhleaase. Pompous, passive aggressive comments are constantly made all around this forums across countless threads by a select few members (Polyphonist included).

Get real. Protip: you can ignore certain users if you want, but since you don't want to ignore me, you must find some value in my posts, so thank you for that.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:17 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@JoelW
Oh puhhhleaase. Pompous, passive aggressive comments are constantly made all around this forums

There's a distinction.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:18 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Pompous, passive aggressive comments are constantly made all around this forums across countless threads by a select few members...

...and you leave them all in the dust.

Originally Posted by Atrys
...you can ignore certain users if you want...

The old broken record routine.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:23 AM

Oh look! You still find value in my posts! Thanks!
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:24 AM

Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by Horowitzian
WHAT AN AWESOME THREAD!!!!!


I saw this comment made on the Valentina Lisitsa thread and I disagreed with it there. It goes without saying that I disagree with it here so I won't say it.

I'm glad you didn't say it. grin
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:31 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Oh look! You still find value in my posts! Thanks!

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:04 AM

BTW, sort of off the subj (but I mean what difference does it make).... ha

I have a question. smile

Something that I don't think has been pointed out about the IQ data in Atrys' link (and let me emphasize, I don't intend this as having much to do with the subject of the thread; I'm not saying this is why those data don't prove anything, although let me say, it doesn't help).... grin

Those are some weird data.

I didn't notice this before because I hadn't looked in detail, besides looking just at the line for "Arts Performance" because as soon as I saw that, I realized it wasn't relevant to what we were talking about. I went back now just for fun, to see what they show for my major, and this immediately jumped out at me.

Anyone notice those mega-weird SPREADS between Verbal and Math?

Like, here's some of them:

Materials Engineering majors: V 494, M 727
Economics: V 503, M 706
Chem Engineering: V 493, M 714
Mechanical Engineering: V 469, M 724
Physical Sciences: V 486, M 697
Banking & Finance: V 467, M 711

And yeah, these are "cherry-picked"; there are lots of majors where the spread is smaller, but also lots of others where it isn't.

It makes me wonder altogether about the validity of these data. Maybe things have changed in the past 200 years since I took these tests grin ....or maybe the people I knew were unusually consistent between the verbal and math, but I can tell you that such spreads were very unusual even for any one person, and would have been unimaginable for any group of people that you might put together, even people in the same major. I had a spread of about 160 points and it was by far the largest of anyone in our crowd.

If such spreads really are unusual, then obviously there's just something wrong altogether with the data, over and above it not being relevant to this thread, which it isn't.

Most of you are closer to how it's been recently that I am. Are such spreads really that common? And in order for such spreads to be accurate as averages, even larger spreads would have to be pretty common for individuals -- and I wouldn't at all have thought this to be so.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:09 AM

I noticed that too, Mark, but I didn't bring it up. Also we literally know nothing about how this data was collected, especially sample sizes. The anomaly (I rather think it is one) you point out certainly makes me curious...
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:18 AM

@Mark_C
Yeah the differences in those scores are pretty large, but it's relatively large. It's not really anything special to see, it's just the upper end of the "difference" spectrum. Some (not all) of my friends from high school had large differences in their scores, and they were all science/engineer-type kids, so at least that part wasn't too surprising.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:28 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
....Some (not all) of my friends from high school had large differences in their scores, and they were all science/engineer-type kids, so at least that part wasn't too surprising.

Thanks for the answer, but that's not what I was asking, and it doesn't help answer the concern.

I'm not shocked that "some" science types might have such spreads. What I'm wondering is if it's really common, which it would have to be in order for those data to be valid. And BTW you didn't say whether even those "some" people had spreads THAT large. And in fact, for the data to be valid, you'd need "some" people (actually many -- like very nearly half) to have spreads larger.
Not just some people, but many.

I poked around online a little, and two sets of such data readily came up: The set that you posted, and:

THIS

....which shows much more normal and expectable spreads.

To me, that set of data is highly plausible. I'm in great doubt that the other set is.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:45 AM

@Mark_C
The link you provided is using data from the SAT. The link I provided is using data from the GRE, so it makes sense that the differences are there, because they are different tests.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:50 AM

Both links use SAT data.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:51 AM

@Horowitizian
Click on the link I provided. It's very clear that the data is from the GRE.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:53 AM

http://www.statisticbrain.com/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major/

That one? Read it more closely.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:54 AM

Horowitzian is right.

Originally Posted by Atrys
The link you provided is using data from the SAT. The link I provided is using data from the GRE....

Is that how closely you read things in general? grin

You're wrong. The link you provided gives SAT data, not GRE.
How could you possible mistake it? It SAYS, very boldly, "SAT."

Quote
....so it makes sense that the differences are there, because they are different tests.

Is that the extent of how well you know about these standardized tests? grin

It's funny....you were kicking people's butts (people who know A LOT about all these things), and posing as someone who was relatively an expert (compared to us), and yet you can say stuff like this.

Besides your being just wrong about what was given in the link that you posted, you're also completely wrong about what would be the story even if those were GRE data.

I doubt that such huge average spreads are any more common on the GRE than on the SAT. And with good reason, because the correlation between people's performance on the verbal and math of the SAT and on the verbal and math of the GRE is very, very high.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:55 AM

@Horowitzian
Yes, that one. At the heading of the table you'll find the text "Graduate Record Examination Scores"

Additionally, Verbal and Quantitative are GRE test sections, not SAT test sections. On top of that, if you look up the GRE and see people talk about it in forums, they report large score differences similar to what Mark_C has identified. This is GRE data.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:56 AM

@Mark_C
Those are GRE data, read my previous post and look up what the GRE sections are. It is GRE data.

Also look here: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/graduate-school/341535-gre-v-s-sat-difficulty.html

The users are posting differences in scores that reflect what you found. It is not SAT data.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:58 AM

Just going to throw this out there: how many joints have you smoked in the last 24 hours? laugh
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:00 AM

@Horowitzian
The heading of the table clearly states "Graduate Record Examination Scores". Also, if you look at the GRE test sections, they are Verbal and Quantitative, just as the table reflects. The SAT has different sections. Also, the spread in the GRE sections is much greater per the forum link I just provided.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:00 AM

Oy. ha

The columns are titled "SAT."

Nowhere on that page do I see "GRE" or "Graduate Record Exam," or anything resembling that.

But even if it were the GRE, the issues would be exactly the same, I'd have exactly the same question, and I'd invite anyone to say if they've ever known such spreads to be very common -- which they'd have to be, and which is very doubtful.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:03 AM

@Mark_C
It is right at the top of the table. It says "Graduate Record Examination Scores", which is the GRE. The "SAT" heading you're seeing is an error in the HTML markup that the developer made.

Also, if you look around, you'll see the large differences you identified are not uncommon at all for the GRE. I provided a forum link with some people showing the large differences in their GRE scores.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:03 AM

I found it. It is there, right above the standard deviation. But the columns are still entitled "SAT". More evidence that this source is potentially unreliable.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:04 AM

@Horowitzian
The "SAT" is a developer error, not an error in the data or research. The most obvious give away to that is because the SAT does not contain these sections, and the cumulative SAT score is 2400.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:12 AM

Atrys: I strongly disagree, on multiple counts.

First of all, if the site can make a mistake like that, it means they're just not very careful, which isn't a good commendation for the rest of their work.

Secondly, no way do you know that the GRE typically has much larger spreads than the SAT. You're pretending.
And don't worry -- I won't ask you for "evidence" grin -- because I know it's false.

The spreads on both are similar. They have to be, because....well, I said why up there, and it needn't be repeated. If one or the other has a larger spread, it's minimal.

Anyway, I didn't do this to argue. If you want to argue further, you're on your own.

I'm just asking if anyone has ever had any indication that such large spreads (on either SAT or GRE -- take your pick, doesn't matter) are VERY COMMON. I'd be very surprised if they are.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:17 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C

First of all, if the site can make a mistake like that, it means they're just not very careful

That is not true at all. Software engineers make minor mistakes that get through validation all the time. They're called "bugs".

Originally Posted by Mark_C

Secondly, no way do you know that the GRE typically has much larger spreads than the SAT.

I do know that the spreads are larger because I've checked around forums where people discuss the GRE and their scores. I even provided a link for you. Look at the spreads the users are reporting.

The data is from the GRE, it's pretty obvious once you acknowledge the minor developer mistake.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:18 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
[...]

First of all, if the site can make a mistake like that, it means they're just not very careful, which isn't a good commendation for the rest of their work.

[...]


This is the crux of the problem. It doesn't matter what the data actually is.

Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:21 AM

@Horowitzian
Again, minor developer mistakes, especially in the web space, are very common. It's actually a strange thing that so many make it through validation!
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:22 AM

Looks like you are determined to argue, even if it requires violating rules of statistics. grin

Against my better judgment about wasting time ha ....I looked at the link.

TWO PEOPLE report large spreads on the GRE (and larger than on their SAT's) -- count 'em, 2 people, that's it -- and even taking those 2 people, neither had as great a spread as the AVERAGE that is reported for many fields in that other link.

Again: I disagree with you. I say you are wrong. I know that you think the reverse. So forget it -- it's over.

I'm asking about something else. If you keep obstructing it, you're just.....obstructing it. smile
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:27 AM

@Mark_C
Yes, I only provided one forum link, but feel free to search for more. You'll find, just as I did, that people are reporting large spreads just as you see in the data.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:30 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
BTW, sort of off the subj (but I mean what difference does it make).... ha

I have a question. smile

Something that I don't think has been pointed out about the IQ data in Atrys' link (and let me emphasize, I don't intend this as having much to do with the subject of the thread; I'm not saying this is why those data don't prove anything, although let me say, it doesn't help).... grin

Those are some weird data.

I didn't notice this before because I hadn't looked in detail, besides looking just at the line for "Arts Performance" because as soon as I saw that, I realized it wasn't relevant to what we were talking about. I went back now just for fun, to see what they show for my major, and this immediately jumped out at me.

Anyone notice those mega-weird SPREADS between Verbal and Math?

Like, here's some of them:

Materials Engineering majors: V 494, M 727
Economics: V 503, M 706
Chem Engineering: V 493, M 714
Mechanical Engineering: V 469, M 724
Physical Sciences: V 486, M 697
Banking & Finance: V 467, M 711

And yeah, these are "cherry-picked"; there are lots of majors where the spread is smaller, but also lots of others where it isn't.

It makes me wonder altogether about the validity of these data. Maybe things have changed in the past 200 years since I took these tests grin ....or maybe the people I knew were unusually consistent between the verbal and math, but I can tell you that such spreads were very unusual even for any one person, and would have been unimaginable for any group of people that you might put together, even people in the same major. I had a spread of about 160 points and it was by far the largest of anyone in our crowd.

If such spreads really are unusual, then obviously there's just something wrong altogether with the data, over and above it not being relevant to this thread, which it isn't.

Most of you are closer to how it's been recently that I am. Are such spreads really that common? And in order for such spreads to be accurate as averages, even larger spreads would have to be pretty common for individuals -- and I wouldn't at all have thought this to be so.


I have an explanation. The math on the GRE is fairly basic for an engineering major. They have taken math so far beyond the level of the GRE, that most of them consider the math section to be like a free high-score. It's not hard. It's like if you were a senior in high school and had to do pre-algebra problems like "a+5=0". It's not a measure of intelligence, it's just that engineering students have worked to improve their skill at math far beyond that. I can write a lot about this topic, but essentially they've just practiced math more.

If you're looking for some data about musicians and intelligence, this and this look more promising, but they are just preliminary studies. There is still work to be done investigating this topic.

If anyone happens to care about my opinion, I would say that if you use your brain, you become smarter.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:34 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive

If anyone happens to care about my opinion, I would say that if you use your brain, you become smarter.

And how true this is! One might imagine a chicken-and-egg problem, but it's just synergy cool
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:36 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
....The math on the GRE is fairly basic for an engineering major. They have taken math so far beyond the level of the GRE, that most of them consider the math section to be like a free high-score. It's not hard....

Thanks for the good answer. Makes sense -- but I don't think it explains it, because that would mean that most of these very bright engineering types are barely in the average range on "verbal" and that many of them are well below average. Possible, sure; likely, I have doubt. Wouldn't you expect some of these brilliant people to have at least a 650 on verbal, and a fair number of them 700? In order for the averages to come out as indicated in Atrys' link, that would mean that a comparable number would have to be in the 300-400 range, with verbal-math spreads of 300 points and more. That's hard to get my head around.

What I'm still wanting to hear is if anyone actually KNOWS that such large spreads are very common, not just occasional. What you're saying is an explanation of how it could be so. I'm looking for whether people have been aware that it IS so.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm looking for "evidence." grin

P.S. I see that those 2 links you gave are about studies suggesting that musicians are smarter than non-musicians.
Sounds right to me. grin
Anyway, they're not shocking....
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:43 AM

I don't know about the spreads, but I do know a lot of engineers, and they tend to be articulate with good language skills. Maybe not English major skills, but certainly better than the average Joe on the street.

The original data set cited is almost certainly flawed, IMHO. 1) It contains somewhat misleading typos (what OTHER typos are present?) and 2) we are only told who provided it; no links to the original research are to be found. We know nothing about how it was collected, e.g. sample size.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:48 AM

@Mark_C
You can Google around and see that people are reporting the large spreads that we see in the GRE data that I linked. Many people are reporting these spreads.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:51 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
@Mark_C
You can Google around and see that people are reporting the large spreads that we see in the GRE data that I linked. Many people are reporting these spreads.


Why don't you link us to these? Unless they don't exist, in which case... laugh laugh laugh
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:55 AM

@Horowitzian
Because they are very accessible. I've provided just one example already. It takes just seconds to see some others. I'm not asking you to do it...I'm just saying that if you'd like to see what GRE spreads look like, you can find out pretty easily.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:59 AM

OK -- you made your point. You want us to google around. grin
Not too many of us will be interested to do that.

I asked some stuff. Please leave it alone and give other people a chance.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 07:04 AM

@Mark_C
I'm not impeding anyone. Every user has an equal opportunity to post. All they have to do is post! Also, I don't "want" you to Google around. You said to show you the evidence, and I'm simply saying that you can easily access it if you want. It is made readily available by the magical powers of Google search cool
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 07:16 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Wouldn't you expect some of these brilliant people to have at least a 650 on verbal, and a fair number of them 700? In order for the averages to come out as indicated in Atrys' link, that would mean that a comparable number would have to be in the 300-400 range, with verbal-math spreads of 300 points and more. That's hard to get my head around.

A 300 point spread is what I would expect based on my experience. Remember, they aren't geniuses, they just practiced math a lot.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 07:29 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
....Remember, they aren't geniuses, they just practiced math <i>a lot</i>.

I don't think you get 700 on the math GRE that way. (You don't have to be a "genius" but you do have to be very smart.)

BTW, the question I asked has sort of gotten put into 2 parts: Are such large spreads that common on any of these standardized verbal-and-math tests (I'm saying they probably aren't), and, do the average spreads increase from the SAT to the GRE?

For what it's worth, as I said before my SAT spread was 160 points and that was by far the largest of anyone in my crowd. I never took the GRE but I did take the MCAT, which has similar verbal and math sections, and my spread decreased, to 60 points.

Still mostly wondering if people know those very large spreads (like 250 points) to be very common. I'll settle for hearing about any instances where they happened. (Even Atrys' link on that last page didn't have spreads like that.)
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 07:59 AM

Originally Posted by Mark_C

Still mostly wondering if people know those very large spreads (like 250 points) to be very common.


I understand Google is hard for you, but can you at least read what I wrote? It was only two sentences!!!

Originally Posted by Mark_C

do the average spreads increase from the SAT to the GRE?

Good question, but I don't know; I only know about the GRE.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 08:01 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive

I understand Google is hard for you, but can you at least read what I wrote? It was only two sentences!!!

smile I understand the frustration.
Posted By: stores

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 09:02 AM

Hahaha. Go to bed you freaks.

At the end of the day, none of this proves anything about anything at all. The entire thing is laughable and become rather amusing.
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 09:18 AM

@stores
Yes, the original claim is laughable. Glad we can agree!
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 11:31 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
I understand Google is hard for you, but can you at least read what I wrote? It was only two sentences!!!...

grin

I don't know what made you think I didn't read it and take it into account.
(I did, and I did.)

I mean, look. smile
You said a 300-point spread is what you would have expected?

SO? ha

I had already indicated that I didn't expect anything like that (obviously having thought about it).

So, how was your thing supposed to affect that?
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 11:48 AM

Is that how 'intelligence' is defined in USA - based on exam scores in maths and verbal skills?

Not that I want to get involved in the "I'm right, therefore you're wrong" stuff that's been going on here wink , but in the UK, we don't correlate exam results with intelligence. Otherwise, someone who's been taught well in a private school (a.k.a. 'public school') will always be more 'intelligent' than someone who went to a school where expectations are low - especially in stuff like maths and vocabulary -, and we know that's not true.

I did an intelligence test when I was 16 (I was selected for it, but could have refused if I didn't want to, as it was just for someone's research, not school-related), and the questions bore absolutely no relation to anything I was studying at school - the maths involved was very basic, but it required logic and abstract and lateral thinking; the verbal skills section used very simple English, but again was logic-based (e.g. a cat is to a skunk as an astronaut is to a ..... wink ); there was a large section on spatial skills/orientation/shapes.

In other words, the tests made absolutely no demands on your maths or vocabulary, or your command of English - which means that anyone who can count to 100 and have rudimentary English can be tested on equal terms to a part-time brain surgeon and concert pianist who's also a CERN physicist grin.
Which seems to me to be a real test of intelligence.

BTW, I also did a MENSA test as an adult a few years later, just out of interest - and that test was very similar. And my score was almost identical, despite the fact that I was a much better pianist (and had started work in an science-related profession). As I consider myself a 'scientist' who happens to play the piano, I have absolutely no axes to grind, nor knives to sharpen, unlike some people here..... wink
Posted By: the nosy ape

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 02:37 PM

Well, they do have a column marked "IQ" which hopefully derives from some reasonable test like the ones you referred to. However, if there is a high correlation between the IQ scores and the other test scores then this brings the validity of the test into question. I do not care to study the table in that much depth so I do not know if this is the case.

It is hard enough to get a consensus on what intelligence is, let alone a way to measure it. The SAT and GRE exams are not intended as a measurement of IQ but as a measure of education and preparedness to enter either college or graduate school. The tests are heavily biased toward skills needed to enter American universities. As such they are probably not a good indicator of "intelligence". This could also help explain the unusual spread between verbal and math scores. If the sample population had a significant number of foreign students it would tend to skew the results in this way. Since there is no information on the population there is no way to know how biased the numbers might be.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 05:44 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by phantomFive
I understand Google is hard for you, but can you at least read what I wrote? It was only two sentences!!!...

grin

I don't know what made you think I didn't read it and take it into account.
(I did, and I did.)

I mean, look. smile
You said that a 300-point spread is what you would have expected?

SO? ha

I had already indicated that I didn't expect anything like that (obviously having thought about it).

So, how was your thing supposed to affect that?

The difference is you're thinking about the SAT, and I'm talking based on the GRE. For people who haven't taken much math, these results can be surprising.

Imagine, if you can, that you'd taken at least five math classes beyond calculus. Suddenly the simplistic math on the GRE isn't going to seem very hard. One of my professors told me, "don't worry about studying for the math GRE, it will be simple for you."

Then take into consideration that engineering majors don't do anything different in English. You would expect them, on average, to get the same score as every other major. Which is basically what happened (the average score is around 430-450).

Also, this is explains why the GRE is a lousy way to measure IQ, because not everyone goes into it with the same experience.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 06:23 PM

I was talking about both.
Posted By: joe80

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 08:01 PM

I think it's clear from this particular thread that professional pianists are the most intelligent humans on the planet, but not nearly as clever as some of the amateur ones...... ;-)

@Pianoloverus, I don't know of any studies that have been done to measure a musician's intelligence compared with that of the general public, but there have been studies via brain scans showing that in general the - oh now is it called the hypothalamus? - has been found to have been larger in the brains of musicians. Probably not in all musicians and I don't know what that has to do with intelligence.

Pianolover, you're a psychologist or a psychiatrist, right? What are the indexes by which you measure intelligence?
Posted By: pianoloverus

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 09:03 PM

Originally Posted by joe80
Pianolover, you're a psychologist or a psychiatrist, right?
No, but anyone reading this thread would probably need one.
Originally Posted by joe80
What are the indexes by which you measure intelligence?
I gave some of the criteria in the first post.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 09:08 PM

Fortunately, Mark is a psychiatrist. grin
Posted By: joe80

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 09:11 PM

I don't know why I thought you were a doctor I'm sorry! I see you're a retired math and tennis teacher. I'm terrible at both math and tennis. Well, I have quite good mental arithmetic and I can count! Actually Stephen Hough was named as one of twenty living polymaths by the Economist this year or last year. Just because the Economist names only 20 doesn't mean there are only 20 but it's high praise, right? Yeah I'd say Hough is pretty smart. I'd say Hamelin is pretty smart too. I mean it takes a certain kind of smarts to navigate the industry, because honestly it's a shark pit.
Posted By: Piano Doug

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 09:54 PM

Sorry to come late to this thread, but I've been poking around the internet and found the source for the IQ numbers by college major. Although the link to statisticbrain.com claims that the source is the Educational Testing Service (with a research date of 1.1.2014), I could find nothing of the sort at ETS. The source actually appears to be a blog posted here, which is dated August 29, 2007.

In it, the blogger discusses the source of the data:

"A reader sends along this table from the Graduate Record Exam from ETS giving average scores by intended field of study in grad school. He includes an estimate of IQ from one of the popular conversion tables, although he didn't tell me which one." (Emphasis added.)

The statisticbrain.com table has several questionable items, such as the discrepancy mentioned before around GRE/SAT. The column containing the sum of the verbal and quant scores is called "Average." In addition, at the top of the table is the notation "Standard Deviation +/- 0.80." Standard deviation of what? The standard deviations of the verbal, quantitative, total, and IQ scores are 41.0, 77.1, 95.6, and 7.7, respectively. A quick glance at the range of numbers in each column would immediately inform any engineer schooled in even elementary statistics that something was amiss.

In other words, a poster has repeatedly referred to a web site posting with several immediate discrepancies, without apparently bothering to check the source. What is supposed to be iron-clad evidence in support of the poster's point of view, and used as a hammer to pound anyone with an opposing view, is instead based on a 6 1/2 year old blog posting of undisclosed source or methodology!

Another blogger posted a similar chart (dated September 17, 2012) based on SAT scores, and based the IQ distribution on the average IQ of 103 for all takers of the SAT. Here is the link for that one. In both cases, these blog postings continue to be sourced as news and factual reality by other blogs and websites, long after their original posts.

Haven't we all learned to at least question the authority of anything casually posted to the internet?

By the way, the comments at the first link above delve into the question Mark C raised about the wide gap in the GRE data between verbal and quantitative scores.
Posted By: Pathbreaker

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 10:17 PM

Originally Posted by Piano Doug
Sorry to come late to this thread, but I've been poking around the internet and found the source for the IQ numbers by college major. Although the link to statisticbrain.com claims that the source is the Educational Testing Service (with a research date of 1.1.2014), I could find nothing of the sort at ETS. The source actually appears to be a blog posted here, which is dated August 29, 2007.


Haven't we all learned to at least question the authority of anything casually posted to the internet?


Thank you for making this post. I agree that statistical findings are usually taken at face value with some kind of concluding statement. I usually like to find the source so that I can see the actual methodology and gain some kind of context. In this case I did what you did and looked at the ETS website but failed to match anything. Google didn't turn anything up within the given date range so I gave up at this point.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 10:19 PM

Doug -- nice post.

I also would have commented on this:

Originally Posted by Piano Doug
....In addition, at the top of the table is the notation "Standard Deviation +/- 0.80." Standard deviation of what?

....except that because it's written so small and sort of hidden (together with the indication about it being the Grad Recs), I didn't see it. When I eventually did see it (with Horowitzian's help), I had no idea what it meant either, and I knew it wasn't my fault. ha
I tried at some length to make sense of it, and was at a total loss.

The whole thing has the look of something done by a student and which didn't get a real good grade, unless the teacher wasn't really paying attention. grin
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/13/14 11:16 PM

Great post, Doug. I don't think I'll be trusting anything found on statisticsbrain.com
Posted By: Eldridge

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 02:02 AM

Why hasn't anyone simply looked at the available data? First of all, the GRE is no longer scored in a way that yields numbers in those ranges. Secondly, if you look at the numbers the ETS puts out, gaps that large between verbal and math scores don't exist for ANY major.

People have been arguing about bogus numbers for ten pages!
Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 04:24 AM

Originally Posted by Eldridge
[...] People have been arguing about bogus numbers for ten pages!


Well, obviously, arguing is what it's all about. Facts and opinions are irrelevant. wink
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 04:28 AM

Perhaps people are trying to see how many posts they can get in before this thread is locked (frankly, I'm surprised it's stayed open this long).

Blame pianoloverus. He was the one who started it, three and a half long years ago. grin
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 05:18 AM

Intelligence is good. Most people are good-but they are not good all the time! Therefore, not all people are intelligent all the time.

On the other hand-maybe I need to think about this a little more. That might do me some good! Then I might be intelligent for at least a moment.

I don't know it all seems so confusing. Maybe I should quit this forum and study up for my IQ test.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 05:44 AM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Maybe I should study for my IQ test.

Wouldn't that be defeating the purpose? wink
Posted By: Carey

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 06:20 AM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Intelligence is good. Most people are good-but they are not good all the time! Therefore, not all people are intelligent all the time.

On the other hand-maybe I need to think about this a little more. That might do me some good! Then I might be intelligent for at least a moment.

I don't know it all seems so confusing. Maybe I should quit this forum and study up for my IQ test.

Or screw the IQ test and simply try to be a good human being all the time. Ultimately that's more important than one's IQ. grin
Posted By: Roland The Beagle

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 06:37 AM

Thought I'd chime in with a very simple observation - scientifically gathered empirical evidence is not the only valid form of evidence, especially in an informal discussion. Anecdotal evidence is valid, eyewitness testimony is valid, and arguments possessing internally consistent logic and reasoning gives them greater credence as being valid. One can suggest reasons and ideas about the intelligence of pianists and attempt to sway the other to their point of view, all without a shred of empirical evidence. And there's nothing wrong with this.

I never understood people that obsess over empirical evidence. They need to make philosophy, humanities, and even religious studies mandatory for everyone, ESPECIALLY science and engineering students. We treat eyewitnesses as telling the truth until proven otherwise, and use their claims to put people to death in this country. We might as well throw history books out of the window while were at it, because they speak on matters for which we have no hard empirical data prior to the Age of Enlightenment.

Sheesh.

Artys, I recommend you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. The guy who wrote it has an IQ of 190 and has something interesting to say about science. Ever thought about where your hypotheses come from?
Posted By: wr

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 06:48 AM

I am thinking, especially in light of this thread, that intelligence may be a myth.
Posted By: joe80

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 09:54 AM

Originally Posted by wr
I am thinking, especially in light of this thread, that intelligence may be a myth.


You're absolutely right
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 10:00 AM

Originally Posted by wr
I am thinking, especially in light of this thread, that intelligence may be a myth.

What an intelligent observation.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 10:06 AM

'Intelligence is Overrated' - Socrates (?)
Posted By: joe80

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 10:11 AM

"Knowledge puffs up, love builds up" - St Paul (one of the things attributed to him that I agree with)
Posted By: patH

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 11:33 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Is that how 'intelligence' is defined in USA - based on exam scores in maths and verbal skills?


That's the thing with an IQ test. It measures one thing and one thing only: The ability to solve IQ tests. Any well programmed and powerful computer could do it.

But would I rather listen to Watson or Deep Blue perform Beethoven sonatas than Christoph Eschenbach or Yuja Wang? I think not.
Posted By: maxmila

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 11:39 AM

Originally Posted by bennevis
'Intelligence is Overrated' - Socrates (?)


By the way a most intelligent footballer, wasn't he.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 01:09 PM

Originally Posted by maxmila
Originally Posted by bennevis
'Intelligence is Overrated' - Socrates (?)


By the way a most intelligent footballer, wasn't he.

Has Doctor Scrates's IQ been measured?

I believe the original Greek philosopher's IQ has been estimated at 199.9 wink .

Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 01:22 PM

Originally Posted by patH
Originally Posted by bennevis
Is that how 'intelligence' is defined in USA - based on exam scores in maths and verbal skills?


That's the thing with an IQ test. It measures one thing and one thing only: The ability to solve IQ tests. Any well programmed and powerful computer could do it.



Real IQ test results seem to be consistent throughout life, and mostly independent of schooling, academic attainment, life experiences, or even 'practicing' at sample IQ tests - unlike academic exams, like the SATS. The ones I did were basically tests of reasoning power, lateral thinking, visualisation and imagery, spatial awareness, deduction from given facts etc - and with time factor involved. They don't resemble Sudoku, or Scrabble, or any sort of academic tests.

Computers can easily beat the best chess players in the world, but I think some IQ test questions might well fox the silicon chip brain. (Like 'Why did the hen cross the road?' wink ).

Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 04:57 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis

Real IQ test results seem to be consistent throughout life, and mostly independent of schooling, academic attainment, life experiences, or even 'practicing' at sample IQ tests - unlike academic exams, like the SATS.

You are right that SAT and GRE are a lousy way to measure IQ (not even MENSA does that anymore). A good IQ test will take into consideration things like age, for example; BUT

IQ definitely changes. This study shows changes by as much as 20 points in teenagers, for example. For the chronically lazy, here is another useful link.
Posted By: maxmila

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/14/14 05:48 PM

Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by maxmila
Originally Posted by bennevis
'Intelligence is Overrated' - Socrates (?)


By the way a most intelligent footballer, wasn't he.

Has Doctor Scrates's IQ been measured?


I don't know. But I know that I don't know.

Actually, that Socrates of yours was not bad either:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur5fGSBsfq8&t=2m33s

Originally Posted by bennevis

I believe the original Greek philosopher's IQ has been estimated at 199.9 wink .


Probably another Plato's exaggeration.

Posted By: mabraman

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 12:11 AM

I recall having read that, during the IQ boom, some researchers went and test some australian aborigines.When researchers explained the natives that their purpose was to determine wether anybody is more clever than others, aborigines were astonished that someone had such a futile,rude and inconsiderate interest. They all knew which one was the most clever and who was the dumbest in their group, but to make it evident was undoubtedly not fair. Therefore, they refused to be tested, proving, in my oppinion, their superior intelligence. None of them were pianists, by the way (well, the easy joke)
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 12:30 AM

Originally Posted by mabraman
I recall having read that, during the IQ boom, some researchers went and test some australian aborigines.When researchers explained the natives that their purpose was to determine wether anybody is more clever than others, aborigines were astonished that someone had such a futile,rude and inconsiderate interest. They all knew which one was the most clever and who was the dumbest in their group, but to make it evident was undoubtedly not fair. Therefore, they refused to be tested, proving, in my oppinion, their superior intelligence. None of them were pianists, by the way (well, the easy joke)

Aboriginals have a special 'intelligence' which is apparently unique to them, the ability to orientate themselves within a bland landscape (desert), or 'visual spatial memory'.

Which goes to show that people adapt to the environment they live in, and that the Western method of measuring intelligence is somewhat limiting.....
Posted By: Roland The Beagle

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 03:08 AM

Intelligence is most definitely not fixed, and you can increase your intelligence. Music is a great way to do this.

Your brain is like a muscle - if you exercise it and keep it in shape, or even push it to get into better shape, them boom. Intelligence.

If you don't use it, you lose it.

I despise IQ tests. Young people get some number in their head that makes them think they are pre-ordained to be this, that or the other. 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.

I have to think that IQ tests have a distinctly upper-middle class bias, although I have no empirical proof to support this claim at the moment. The early years of life are critical to shaping the brain and I know that I was born into a loving family of educated professionals with only the usual minor hiccups in an otherwise comfortable life.

Of course I grew up to be well-spoken because my parents spoke this way around me my whole life. These language skills are learned and of course SAT verbal will be easier for me. Of course I'm 'intelligent', because my early brain got the best environment possible to develop in in those crucial years. I also find that, to my surprise, most people who lived in my conditions are all 'smart' people who do very well on standardized tests, go to good schools, etc. Go figure. Of course, these facts say nothing about their character.

Give everyone the same opportunities in life and I bet there would be a lot more 'geniuses' around.

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. Lebron James is a genius. Being able to coordinate your body in time and space to some ridiculous degree like that snowboarder in Sochi is genius, human poetry in motion.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 03:35 AM

Originally Posted by Roland The Beagle
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. Lebron James is a genius. Being able to coordinate your body in time and space to some ridiculous degree like that snowboarder in Sochi is genius, human poetry in motion.

A "genius" is defined as a person with extraordinary creative or intellectual ability.
Posted By: Ed McMorrow, RPT

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 03:44 AM

I have known some people who had very high IQ's but were mediocre at organizing novel solutions to real problems. Especially under time pressure.

I don't know of any system for measuring creative thinking other than life. I often marvel at how uncommon, (including myself) it is for people to excel at building a co- operative enterprise. It is probably the single most important intelligence skill. Some musicians are very good at this.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 03:47 AM

Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I don't know of any system for measuring creative thinking other than life.

+1

Creative people have to create. It's in their blood. Anyone who is creative will naturally have creative works, but judging them is merely opinion. I don't know for sure, but I suspect there isn't any way to get an objective measurement on someone's creativity. If there was I'd find it very interesting.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 04:50 AM

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.
Posted By: Roland The Beagle

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 06:35 AM

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.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 06:41 AM

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.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 06:47 AM

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...
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 08:36 AM

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.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 09:08 AM

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.
Posted By: patH

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 10:37 AM

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? Hndel? 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.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 02:21 PM

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? Hndel? Haydn?
They made great music as well.

None of them are as great as the composers Joel mentioned.
Posted By: Piano Doug

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 03:07 PM

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!
Posted By: anrpiano

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 03:14 PM

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!
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 07:36 PM

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.
Posted By: patH

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 07:51 PM

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

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

That's a matter of opinion.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 07:57 PM

I have to admit, I don't know what Polyphonist means when he says "great".
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 08:33 PM

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? Hndel? 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.
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 08:47 PM

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).
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 08:54 PM

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.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 09:26 PM

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? Hndel? 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.
Posted By: antony

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 09:45 PM

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
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 10:34 PM

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?
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 10:36 PM

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? Hndel? 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.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 10:43 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
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.

No, give us a break. ha

Besides that being a theory and guess (with which I don't totally disagree, BTW), we don't know what other great or greater music he might have written if his hearing hadn't gone.

I would agree that it almost certainly would have been different.
But less great? We can't say.

P.S. On the more general issue, I agree that hardship and distress can lead to greater depth and greater greatness.

I also agree that better circumstances during childhood (and beyond) usually give people a better chance to do well, including doing better on IQ tests and SAT's, and seeming more "intelligent."

Which gives a better chance for someone to be a "genius"?
Either and both. smile
You could argue either way.
Posted By: JoelW

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 10:46 PM

I don't see why his deafness would've made his orchestration any different. He still heard the music in his head.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 11:34 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
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.

No, give us a break. ha

Besides that being a theory and guess (with which I don't totally disagree, BTW), we don't know what other great or greater music he might have written if his hearing hadn't gone.

I would agree that it almost certainly would have been different.
But less great? We can't say.

That's why this is is a nothing argument. One can make a case for both sides and it's impossible to prove anything about what might have happened, because it didn't. grin
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 11:36 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive

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.

I'm interested whether you realize that what you said in no way contradicts what I said, nor does it involve given anyone a break.

Do you understand that Beethoven could have both chosen poor instrumentations as a result of his deafness, AND have written his greatest music as a result of his deafness? Does that make sense to you? Or is that level of reading comprehension above you?
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 11:38 PM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive

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.

I'm interested whether you realize that what you said in no way contradicts what I said...

I do, in case you're still interested. I disagreed with your post first, and then made a separate point.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 11:42 PM

Originally Posted by JoelW
I don't see why his deafness would've made his orchestration any different. He still heard the music in his head.

One thing good composers do is try instruments in different combinations, experiment with new sounds, things that have never been heard before. For example, you might have the idea that five clarinets combined with two violins playing the same part might have a mellow, romantic sound, but unless you can hear it, you won't be sure. There might be some kind of subtle interaction between the instruments that you never noticed before.

That kind of thing is harder when you are deaf. Beethoven's music is great, but his instrumentation is rather standard.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 11:43 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive

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.

I'm interested whether you realize that what you said in no way contradicts what I said...

I do, in case you're still interested. I disagreed with your post first, and then made a separate point.


Good, that's good you understood it. So you disagreed, didn't give any reason for your disagreement, then changed the topic. I'm going to say, you need to give us a break!
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/15/14 11:56 PM

See Joel's post above. I don't see a single weakness in scoring in any of Beethoven's later symphonies. Can you point out a passage which you think is badly written and how Beethoven could have "improved" it?
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 12:30 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
See Joel's post above. I don't see a single weakness in scoring in any of Beethoven's later symphonies. Can you point out a passage which you think is badly written and how Beethoven could have "improved" it?

I didn't say Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.

An example of creative instrumentation is Ravel's Bolero. It starts with a single flute playing the melody, with a drum playing percussion. Then the flute switches down to play percussion with the drum, while the clarinet picks up the melody. The whole song, the melody and harmony don't change much, it's an experiment in different instrumentations.

And since people here are allergic to Google (and won't even click on links to read them), the Ravel Bolero can be found below:

Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 12:44 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
I didn't say Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.

An example of creative instrumentation is Ravel's Bolero.

Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.

Originally Posted by phantomFive
The whole song...

smokin

Originally Posted by phantomFive
The whole song, the melody and harmony don't change much, it's an experiment in different instrumentations.

But Beethoven, unlike Ravel, wasn't trying to write an experiment in instrumentations. That wasn't the purpose of his symphonies. You can't accuse the symphonies of not being something they aren't meant to be.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 12:52 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive
The whole song...

smokin

Hey, maybe he just has a leg up on you on the evolution of vocabulary!

It's like NYC cell phone area codes. grin
It used to be that people with "917" were the elite. Anyone with anything else was a wannabe-come-lately.
But now, when someone has 917 (that includes me), he probably seems like a dinosaur, a relic. The cool people are the ones with 646 and 347!

You might wonder what that has to do with calling Bolero a song, and you wouldn't be entirely wrong. ha
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 01:15 AM

If he composes a piece he can call it whatever he wants. If he's referring to a piece by a master of the past, it's not appropriate to call it a "song."

PS - I have 646. grin
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 01:39 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
it's not appropriate to call it a "song."

Well, to be fair, if something fits the definition of a song, then it is okay to call it a song. See below for definition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song
Posted By: Roland The Beagle

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 01:44 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
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.


My original point is that IQ isn't something fixed to yourself, and can be improved with time through motivation and hard work, or you can get an IQ "boost" (at least initially) by growing up in the right circumstances. Rough circumstances can provide the motivation to excel. Comfortable circumstances can give your young brain a better start and therefore an initial advantage, may it may also mean you lose some of your initial advantage later if you don't push yourself.

Both points suggest that intelligence is not some fixed trait, but rather heavily dependent on environment and individual determination.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 01:52 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.


Why don't you understand that something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak?
Posted By: bennevis

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.


Why don't you understand that something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak?

I'd have thought that if you want Beethoven's orchestration to sound like Berlioz's, you'd be better off listening to Hector himself - plenty of dazzling colour and glitter in his Symphonie fantastique, for example.

Harps and percussion galore, even an ophicleide and a serpent - why didn't poor old deaf Ludwig thought of that? Surely the chorus in his 9th needs reinforcement. Not to mention the Storm in the Pastoral....... wink
Posted By: Eldridge

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 02:40 AM

Curie was born in 1867. IQ tests became "reliable" and gained currency around 1916. I very much doubt that Curie ever took an official intelligence test.
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 03:40 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
it's not appropriate to call it a "song."

Well, to be fair, if something fits the definition of a song, then it is okay to call it a song. See below for definition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song

Precisely. Ravel's Bolero does not fit into the category of "a composition for voice or voices."
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 03:40 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.


Why don't you understand that something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak?

Is anything ever at its full potential?
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 03:44 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Is anything ever at its full potential?

Restoring this thread to its better topic of baseball ha ....

Rocky Bridges, scrappy old ballplayer and then minor league manager, when asked if he felt he reached his full potential as a player: "I think I might have gone beyond it." grin
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 03:45 AM

I think we can start to make some inferences about the average intelligence of baseball players. grin
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 03:56 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
I think we can start to make some inferences about the average intelligence of baseball players. grin

OH YEAH? grin

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you.....MOE BERG.

"....catcher and coach in Major League Baseball who later served as a spy for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II.
A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg spoke several languages and regularly read 10 newspapers a day.
Berg received a B.A. [Princeton], magna cum laude in modern languages....Beginning in his sophomore year, he was the starting shortstop....Berg and Crossan Cooper, Princeton's second baseman, communicated plays in Latin when there was a man on second base...."


.....and of course I don't think anybody will doubt that he was a pretty typical baseball player. ha
Posted By: Atrys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 04:10 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Precisely. Ravel's Bolero does not fit into the category of "a composition for voice or voices."

Oops, I didn't mean to say that it is a song, I meant to say that it's okay to call something a song, so long as it actually is a song, even though it was written by a "master of the past" :P

Originally Posted by phantomFive

something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak

Ugh, my last teacher had this view that anything that wasn't played to her own standards (which were arbitrarily set by interpretations from Horowitz, Argerich, and some others) was "bad" and not worth listening to. Glad to say I'm no longer her student smile
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 04:27 AM

Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by Polyphonist

Precisely. Ravel's Bolero does not fit into the category of "a composition for voice or voices."

Oops, I didn't mean to say that it is a song, I meant to say that it's okay to call something a song, so long as it actually is a song, even though it was written by a "master of the past" :P

Yes, of course. If it actually is a song, or if the composer calls it a song, then it's fine.
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 06:19 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.


Why don't you understand that something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak?

Is anything ever at its full potential?


Incidentally, don't think that because it could be better, that I could make it better. I'm just a critic; I can see that it could be better, but couldn't make it better myself. Those who can, do; those who can't, criticize. smile
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 06:21 AM

Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.


Why don't you understand that something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak?

Is anything ever at its full potential?


Incidentally, don't think that because it could be better, that <i>I</i> could make it better. I'm just a critic; I can see that it could be better, but couldn't make it better myself. Those who can, do; those who can't, criticize. smile

Yes, but don't evade the question. Anything can be improved; do you disagree?
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 06:24 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Implying that Beethoven's isn't, so indeed you are saying Beethoven's instrumentation is weak.


Why don't you understand that something can be less than its full potential, but still not be weak?

Is anything ever at its full potential?


Incidentally, don't think that because it could be better, that <i>I</i> could make it better. I'm just a critic; I can see that it could be better, but couldn't make it better myself. Those who can, do; those who can't, criticize. smile

Yes, but don't evade the question. Anything can be improved; do you disagree?

Your purpose in asking the question was to evade the question! Stop it with your logical fallacies, failing to read links people post, and failing to even read posts people post!
Posted By: Polyphonist

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 06:45 AM

No, I wasn't evading the question, it was a roundabout way of answering it. Can something be less than its full potential and not be weak? Obviously, because if it couldn't then everything would be weak. Of course, that would really mean nothing is weak, but that's another story. grin
Posted By: phantomFive

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 07:47 AM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
No, I wasn't evading the question, it was a roundabout way of answering it. Can something be less than its full potential and not be weak? Obviously, because if it couldn't then everything would be weak. Of course, that would really mean nothing is weak, but that's another story. grin

Anyway, I've given my opinion, and explained why I hold that opinion. If you disagree, that's fine, I have nothing else to add.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 04:15 PM

If one stacked the scores of the concerti which a concert pianist has memorized, and compared it to the playbook from an NFL team, which would be higher?

Hut
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 07:52 PM

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If one stacked the scores of the concerti which a concert pianist has memorized, and compared it to the playbook from an NFL team, which would be higher?

Hut

I think that would depend on which position we were talking about, but really, I think the two are not comparable. Yes, in both there are other people interacting with you to affect the outcome, but in music, they are working with you, while in football, at least half of them are trying to stop you.. imagine if each section in the orchestra suddenly switched to a different concerto and the pianist had to keep up. That might be a little closer of a comparison.. grin
Posted By: slipperykeys

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 08:05 PM

Originally Posted by Polyphonist
I think we can start to make some inferences about the average intelligence of baseball players. grin

If I ever go to America I am going to want to go to a Baseball game, as a motor racing fan I would like to see a NASCAR race, the Sebring 12 hours and the Indy 500 too, but a baseball game is a definite and first on the list. I have watched it over here and I love the atmosphere and the noise, the history of it all and so on, however I am most unlikely to want to go to a piano recital.
Although I do wish Baseball players would stop spitting, revolting behaviour and a very poor example to the young.
I don't attend anything to marvel at the intelligence of the participants, I couldn't care less about that.
Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 08:14 PM

Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If one stacked the scores of the concerti which a concert pianist has memorized, and compared it to the playbook from an NFL team, which would be higher?

Hut

I think that would depend on which position we were talking about, but really, I think the two are not comparable. Yes, in both there are other people interacting with you to affect the outcome, but in music, they are working with you, while in football, at least half of them are trying to stop you.. imagine if each section in the orchestra suddenly switched to a different concerto and the pianist had to keep up. That might be a little closer of a comparison.. grin


This is always a fun one to dig out of the pile when football and classical music are mentioned in the same breath:

http://youtu.be/f0vHpeUO5mw?t=1m5s
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 08:18 PM

Originally Posted by slipperykeys
If I ever go to America I am going to want to go to a Baseball game, as a motor racing fan I would like to see a NASCAR race, the Sebring 12 hours and the Indy 500 too, but a baseball game is a definite and first on the list.

Music to my eyes. grin

I don't know if it's still true but for sure in the past, baseball was considered one of the most quintessentially "American" things, and it was a thing that many immigrants embraced as a big part of feeling like they were becoming "American."

Quote
I have watched it over here and I love the atmosphere and the noise, the history of it all....

Remarkable, I think, for someone overseas!

Quote
....Although I do wish Baseball players would stop spitting....

Me too. I try to understand almost anything, but I don't understand that. The excuse used to be that when you're chewing tobacco you have to spit (not that I understand why someone would chew tobacco either), but now, I think very few of them do that, but they still do the other.

BTW I don't think I've ever seen Derek Jeter spit. If anyone sees that he does it, please post. grin

Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If one stacked the scores of the concerti which a concert pianist has memorized, and compared it to the playbook from an NFL team, which would be higher?....
I think that would depend on which position we were talking about....

Not that this is necessarily related to remembering plays (I think it isn't), but....We actually have data on intelligence test performance of NFL players according to position. (Something called the "Wonderlic" test is given routinely to players when coming to the NFL from college, i.e. at the thing called "the combine.")

The results are a surprise. Quarterback only comes in 3rd. And in order to guess which position is #1, I think you'd have to be extremely....um.....intelligent. Or more likely, stupid and lucky. ha

Wiki link

Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
This is always a fun one to dig out of the pile when football and classical music are mentioned in the same breath....

BTW, did you know....PDQ Bach concerts are coming back. The website just sent out notices a couple of days ago that they'll be resuming next year.
And this 'piece' will be on the programs. smile
Posted By: Cinnamonbear

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 08:28 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
This is always a fun one to dig out of the pile when football and classical music are mentioned in the same breath....

BTW, did you know....PDQ Bach concerts are coming back. The website just sent out notices a couple of days ago that they'll be resuming next year.
And this 'piece' will be on the programs. smile


You mean, like this?

Posted By: Pathbreaker

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 08:32 PM

Originally Posted by Cinnamonbear
Originally Posted by Derulux
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
If one stacked the scores of the concerti which a concert pianist has memorized, and compared it to the playbook from an NFL team, which would be higher?

Hut

I think that would depend on which position we were talking about, but really, I think the two are not comparable. Yes, in both there are other people interacting with you to affect the outcome, but in music, they are working with you, while in football, at least half of them are trying to stop you.. imagine if each section in the orchestra suddenly switched to a different concerto and the pianist had to keep up. That might be a little closer of a comparison.. grin


This is always a fun one to dig out of the pile when football and classical music are mentioned in the same breath:

http://youtu.be/f0vHpeUO5mw?t=1m5s


ha that's awesome
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 09:09 PM

Nothing like a little PDQ Bach to extrapolate on the idea of sports in music! I have never been able to determine for myself whether I would enjoy an entire program performed like that, or if, after half an hour, it loses its appeal for me. But the shorter clips like these are great. grin

Originally Posted by Mark C
The results are a surprise. Quarterback only comes in 3rd. And in order to guess which position is #1, I think you'd have to be extremely....um.....intelligent. Or more likely, stupid and lucky.

Or the son of a football coach. wink I actually do know the answer to this, but it's different depending on the quarterback. For a right-handed quarterback, it's the left tackle. For a left-handed quarterback, the right tackle.

The first few minutes of the movie, "Blind Side", gives a pretty good explanation why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m21SyRj7B_8
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 09:32 PM

Originally Posted by Derulux
....it's different depending on the quarterback. For a right-handed quarterback, it's the left tackle. For a left-handed quarterback, the right tackle.....

Probably! Or at least that's how they should do it.

I first thought of this a few years ago when the NY Jets used their 1st draft pick on an offensive tackle (D'Brickashaw Ferguson) and the analysts were saying this-and-that about how big it was to get a great left offensive tackle. I wondered, why the emphasis on "left" -- and it wasn't hard to figure that it was about protecting the QB's blind side.

And as for why offensive tackle would tend to be a more 'intelligent' position than (say) offensive guard.....I DON'T KNOW. grin
I'd guess it's that they have more on-the-fly decisions to make, maybe because they're usually up against defensive ends rather than defensive tackles and the DE's are more athletic and have a broader "repertoire" than the DT's.
BTW, offensive center is a very close 2nd to offensive tackle.

P.S. I guess you really mean that you dad is/was a football coach!!
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 09:42 PM

How's this for one player "carrying the team".... ha



BTW, when Perlman talked about the supposed Russian virtuoso being a "once in a generation" talent, I was surprised at the cliche. But its reason soon emerged. grin
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/16/14 10:08 PM

Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Derulux
....it's different depending on the quarterback. For a right-handed quarterback, it's the left tackle. For a left-handed quarterback, the right tackle.....

Probably! Or at least that's how they should do it.

I first thought of this a few years ago when the NY Jets used their 1st draft pick on an offensive tackle (D'Brickashaw Ferguson) and the analysts were saying this-and-that about how big it was to get a great left offensive tackle. I wondered, why the emphasis on "left" -- and it wasn't hard to figure that it was about protecting the QB's blind side.

And as for why offensive tackle would tend to be a more 'intelligent' position than (say) offensive guard.....I DON'T KNOW. grin
I'd guess it's that they have more on-the-fly decisions to make, maybe because they're usually up against defensive ends rather than defensive tackles and the DE's are more athletic and have a broader "repertoire" than the DT's.
BTW, offensive center is a very close 2nd to offensive tackle.

P.S. I guess you really mean that you dad is/was a football coach!!

Yep, he was! smile He started out as an offensive line coach, then became offensive coordinator, then eventually head coach. High school and college level. Had a couple opportunities to go pro, but didn't want to take the time away from his kids. He retired from coaching around '90-92 (years, not age grin ).

Most of what happens on a football field happens at the line of scrimmage. Your offensive line is going to determine the success of your running/passing game well before your quarterback, running back, or receivers have the opportunity to make a play.


Great PDQ Bach performance.. as soon as it started, I saw John Williams and had to watch the rest. grin
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/17/14 06:38 PM

Actually, my reference to playbooks vs. concerto scores, was simply a comparison of the mental "power" needed to memorize and consistently perform either.
Posted By: Mark_C

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/17/14 07:17 PM

(What made it look like we didn't know that?) smile
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/17/14 08:45 PM

(The response from Derulux and the direction it took.)
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/17/14 09:43 PM

Yep, I didn't completely follow what you were saying. I still think it's a very difficult comparison, for many of the same reasons, but I better understand where you meant your original statement to go. Thanks for clarifying! smile

An intriguing continuance of the idea -- would we be able to say with any certainty that more "directions/instructions" are written into the concerti than into the playbooks? Obviously, there is an element in each where you reach a point at which you have to interpret what's written and make it usable in your medium. But if we could say that there are more instructions in the concerti, then we could consider the information denser. That would certainly affect the height of each pile.

Then, to push ahead again, we could talk about which type of intelligence is held in higher regard given the circumstances.

I'm not sure there's a satisfying answer to this, but it is intriguing -- at least to me, anyway. grin
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/17/14 10:30 PM

I have never met a dumb concert pianist.

I've also have met a number of pro football (non-soccer) players, and well, ...

Though, ...

Reflecting on the past pages, there seems to be an attempt to designate between intelligence, ability (talent), and street smarts in various applications. It is, indeed, intriguing.
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/17/14 11:07 PM

I think we would have to consider a definition of "dumb" or even "intelligence" in order to assess that one. I've been around football players my whole life, at all levels of play, and I haven't met any that I would consider "dumb". Many speak differently, and some are "thugged-out", but the way they choose to communicate is very different from an assessment of their level of intelligence.

Did you know, at most universities, football players rank among the highest academic performers? Most universities (and all conferences, as far as I know) require football players to maintain a 3.0 GPA.

OU's Gabe Ikard (offensive line) maintains a 4.0, prepping for medical school post-football: http://espn.go.com/colleges/oklahom...ahoma-sooners-gabe-ikard-puts-extra-work


Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 12:36 AM

Well, dumb = low IQ. Not to be confused with ignorant. Also, not to be confused with 'deaf and dumb.'

And, with this, the whole discussion/debate starts anew.
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 01:08 AM

Playing quality football (I'm referring to 'gridiron' football here) definitely requires smarts...however one could also wonder at the wisdom of smashing into one another as hard as possible...
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 02:44 AM

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Well, dumb = low IQ. Not to be confused with ignorant. Also, not to be confused with 'deaf and dumb.'

And, with this, the whole discussion/debate starts anew.

It certainly does! haha grin

I haven't found an "average IQ" for a football player, but the Wonderlics score is meant to indicate that a 20=100 IQ. So, let's assume each Wonderlics point = 5 IQ points to generate a rough estimate.

If we take the average of the players on a team, we arrive at an average IQ of 105-110. That certainly doesn't qualify as "dumb".


Another interesting caveat here: IQ measures what you've learned over time as an indication of what you could learn over time.. meaning it's a measurement of what you actually learned, not a "true" measurement of what you're capable of learning. When you remove the social caveat of anti-learning prevalent among certain groups, particularly the disadvantaged (excluding race), who knows what these people would be capable of... meaning, of course, that if they cared about learning in general, they might well score very high marks on any standardized test such as Wonderlics or IQ. wink

EDIT:
Quote
Playing quality football (I'm referring to 'gridiron' football here) definitely requires smarts...however one could also wonder at the wisdom of smashing into one another as hard as possible...

There is no wisdom to it, and I've told my dad that many times!!!! grin

Of course, I'm the idiot who was too afraid to get hit in football as a kid, so I chose martial arts instead. Put another way: I actively decided to take the pads off, and get punched and kicked at much higher velocities, and much more often, than at least provide myself with some sort of protection. (This has always been my dad's argument against me.. lol)
Posted By: Minnesota Marty

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 03:11 AM

Sports? Who Me?

I was the kid who practiced the piano and did his homework.

I guess I was smart enough to not destroy my body, and that's not dumb at all.

grin
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 03:46 AM

Originally Posted by Derulux
[...]

EDIT:
Quote
Playing quality football (I'm referring to 'gridiron' football here) definitely requires smarts...however one could also wonder at the wisdom of smashing into one another as hard as possible...

There is no wisdom to it, and I've told my dad that many times!!!! grin

Of course, I'm the idiot who was too afraid to get hit in football as a kid, so I chose martial arts instead. Put another way: I actively decided to take the pads off, and get punched and kicked at much higher velocities, and much more often, than at least provide myself with some sort of protection. (This has always been my dad's argument against me.. lol)


I think that martial arts (traditional ones; not that "mixed martial arts" stuff you see on TV) are not going to result in the same types of injuries that football players accrue over time. I remember seeing a study fairly recently that shows that football players suffer from similar traumatic brain injuries that soldiers who are in close proximity to explosions get.

Of course, if you go around trying to smash stacks of bricks... grin
Posted By: Derulux

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 04:48 AM

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Sports? Who Me?

I was the kid who practiced the piano and did his homework.

I guess I was smart enough to not destroy my body, and that's not dumb at all.

grin

I did both. I've competed at the world level in martial arts, and my body isn't much worse for the war. (I meant "wear". wink )

Originally Posted by Horowitzian
I think that martial arts (traditional ones; not that "mixed martial arts" stuff you see on TV) are not going to result in the same types of injuries that football players accrue over time. I remember seeing a study fairly recently that shows that football players suffer from similar traumatic brain injuries that soldiers who are in close proximity to explosions get.

Of course, if you go around trying to smash stacks of bricks...

A lot of this has to do with the goal of a martial arts school. Most schools are more interested in getting your dollars than preparing you for a world-class fight. Also, many insurance policies offer significant cost-savings for reduced/eliminated contact sparring. So, a lot of the times you get very watered-down martial arts, often coupled with very little contact (note: I separate the two as mutually exclusive), which leads to fewer traumatic injuries -- particularly of the concussive kind.

Aside from that, it's difficult to argue with a 245 pound linebacker coming at you with the instantaneous psi force of a tractor-trailer (around 150G).
Posted By: Horowitzian

Re: Are professional pianists highly intelligent? - 02/18/14 09:26 PM

Yeah, I agree that there is a large difference between the kind of stuff kids learn vs. fighting systems/martial arts that are intended for real life situations (e.g. Krav Maga).
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