Musicians who are off the chart intelligent

Lazmo

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One of my mates, who I’ve played in many bands with, is an actual astrophysicist... and has pointed the big scopes and published research stuff. I’m a bit of a science techno geek and we’ve had some amazing after rehearsal or after gig discussions about the astro (and quantum) bizzo. He’s totally spun me out with multiple page PDE’s that have had me in awe. He can just write them out in front of you. I was pretty good at maths, particularly calculus and am struggling with the first line. He’s an incredible guitarist and can play inversions in any position. Yeah, he’s pretty intelligent.
 

wflkurt

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I think it can be hard to define intelligence sometimes. There are lots of people that are very smart that never went to college or barely finished high school. A lot of musicians opted to forgo schooling in an effort to achieve their musical dreams. I think most of the guys in Van Halen are pretty smart. They are typically remembered for the partying and drugs they took but if you have ever really read about them, they are all pretty smart. Alex has always been pretty well spoken in interviews after he got sober. DLR has spent a lifetime learning about other cultures and languages. He speaks at least English, Spanish and Japanese as he spent a good amount of time in countries that speak those languages. Eddie and Alex both speak Dutch as they were born there and Eddie has invented all kinds of things for the guitar that have changed the industry forever.

I think Sting was a college professor and Jim Morrison was off the charts smart.
 

bellbrass

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I think it can be hard to define intelligence sometimes. There are lots of people that are very smart that never went to college or barely finished high school. A lot of musicians opted to forgo schooling in an effort to achieve their musical dreams.
I think Sting was a college professor and Jim Morrison was off the charts smart.
This^^^
High intelligence, in Western society, and particularly the USA, is defined mostly in terms of math and problem-solving capabilities. So, those who are off the chart, grade-wise, in math, or who score highly on spatial or logic-based problem solving ("puzzle solution" type smarts), are the ones who are summarily thought to be genius-level. However, like wflkurt said above, there are many folks who are "off the charts" smart who can't do math problems. I think musical geniuses are on par with any academic genius - Beethoven, Mozart, Todd Rundgren, Stevie Wonder - all of those guys are brilliant. And there are many writers, movie directors, photographers, and painters whom I think are geniuses. I know one guy - he used to work as an account for the state government - he never graduated from college or got an accounting degree, but he was smart enough to discover enough accounting loopholes that one of them was even named after him. He became bored with that job (job boredom is frequent among geniuses, I'm told), and now sells motorcycle parts. He's never been happier.
Oh, and I think Sting was a high school level English teacher (or whatever the hell they call it in England). I think he had a teaching certificate, but not a Ph.D.
 
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WaggoRecords

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This^^^
High intelligence, in Western society, and particularly the USA, is defined mostly in terms of math and problem-solving capabilities. So, those who are off the chart, grade-wise, in math, or who score highly on spatial or logic-based problem solving ("puzzle solution" type smarts), are the ones who are summarily thought to be genius-level. However, like wflkurt said above, there are many folks who are "off the charts" smart who can't do math problems.
As a psychologist trained to administer and interpret psychological tests, this is not an accurate representation of the contemporary understanding of intelligence or how it’s measured.
 

bellbrass

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As a psychologist trained to administer and interpret psychological tests, this is not an accurate representation of the contemporary understanding of intelligence or how it’s measured.
OK - educate me. Am I wrong about the bias toward math and problem-solving abilities?
 

k_50

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As a psychologist trained to administer and interpret psychological tests, this is not an accurate representation of the contemporary understanding of intelligence or how it’s measured.
According to academics and people otherwise "in the know", yes. But the IQ test, which only covers the mathematical-logical-linguistic areas of intelligence, is still the standard for finding out where anyone is on a scale from village idiot to Stephen Hawking. I was subjected to one, when I was tested to see if I was fit for military duty (15 years ago, so still well after Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences had been widely accepted), in addition to a medical check. I passed the medical, and scored 138 on the IQ test - but if the intelligence test had included more parameters, I would probably have scored closer to average.
So I'd say bellbrass is pretty accurate as far as a general statement goes.
 

swarfrat

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I find the concept of measuring intelligence interesting. Not that some aren't smarter than others, I accept that. Though much of what passes for intelligence is in where and how it's applied. But by attempting to measure someone else's intelligence, you're necessarily assuming that you're smarter than they are.
 

bellbrass

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According to academics and people otherwise "in the know", yes. But the IQ test, which only covers the mathematical-logical-linguistic areas of intelligence, is still the standard for finding out where anyone is on a scale from village idiot to Stephen Hawking. I was subjected to one, when I was tested to see if I was fit for military duty (15 years ago, so still well after Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences had been widely accepted), in addition to a medical check. I passed the medical, and scored 138 on the IQ test - but if the intelligence test had included more parameters, I would probably have scored closer to average.
So I'd say bellbrass is pretty accurate as far as a general statement goes.
I too was given several standardized IQ tests when I was a child. The results were genius level, or sub-genius. It was a curse. I now know I have average intelligence. Nothing wrong with that!
And I suck at math.
 
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Old PIT Guy

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An early class (elective) at MIT explored the roles of left brain / right brain balancing and visualization concepts. By the time I graduated I concluded that emotional intelligence was far more important.
 

moodman

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I too was given several standardized IQ tests when I was a child. The results were genius level, or sub-genius. It was a curse. I now know I have average intelligence. Nothing wrong with that!
And I suck at math.
I maxed 3 of the 4 tests given when I joined the military, I had guessed the answers, of course, just got lucky.
 

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