#1
Hello.
So I'm sitting here pondering the definition of 'musical genius'. Unlike most academic fields, there isn't really a progressive line in which humans can go along and say that this particular music is superior than previous methods used. People still listen to songs from years, decades or even centuries ago with all sorts of methods and styles used.

If someone was to use scientific methods from hundreds of years ago to describe the phenomena of choice, there is a more clear line crossed in which we can say, "that method is outdated and no longer serves a purpose other than to teach upcoming people the progression of methods used. But such an outlook does not resonate as fully in the musical community excluding elitist personalities. Most people do not look back at old music and think it doesn't serve a purpose anymore. The point I'm trying to make here is that genius in most other academic fields are characterized by being able to progress into more accurate and 'correct' forms of understanding the given subject.

Now what constitutes a 'genius' musician? Most people you ask would probably give cliche answers such as bach, mozart and wager. Maybe even the likes of Hendrix and Vai, or Petrucci and Malmsteen. Various technical and writing styles/techniques used, all worthy of a sound argument.

(at this point I'd like to point out that I'm writing as I think because I wanted to share my thoughts and see what others had to say).

"A genius is a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of an unprecedented leap of insight. " Quoted

So how can you classify musicians this way? To me my absolute favourite musician is John Frusciante because of his style of playing, his introspective personality/lyrics and the emotions/feelings I get from listening to his music. Is he a genius? I would say so. Others might not. Perhaps they don't connect to him the way I do, perhaps they have not given him a fair chance at being enjoyed.

I can admire the technical skill someone like petrucci has but there is no feeling I get from watching to/listening to him other than, "wow he can shred".

Out of the classical composers, I do enjoy all 3 I have listed above but find most classical music crams too many notes in for me to fully enjoy it. Again, there is admiration for the understanding of theory and execution of musical relations, but not a connection which gives me an unspeakable bond with the music. An existential bond if you will.

After all, we are humans. We Think AND Feel...with emotion. We are not machines who simply take in data and process and classify it. Unfortunately many people think this way though, and reject the possibility of feeling something new that they preconceive to be unworthy or as some of my contemporaries classify as, "gay".

These are just my thoughts and I am not intentionally bashing anyone. Please share your thoughts as well.

I would also like to ask (because I am curious too) where is modern music in terms of pure academic progress. Who is leading the way?
#2
Quote by tyle12
Hello.
So I'm sitting here pondering the definition of 'musical genius'. Unlike most academic fields, there isn't really a progressive line in which humans can go along and say that this particular music is superior than previous methods used. People still listen to songs from years, decades or even centuries ago with all sorts of methods and styles used.

If someone was to use scientific methods from hundreds of years ago to describe the phenomena of choice, there is a more clear line crossed in which we can say, "that method is outdated and no longer serves a purpose other than to teach upcoming people the progression of methods used. But such an outlook does not resonate as fully in the musical community excluding elitist personalities. Most people do not look back at old music and think it doesn't serve a purpose anymore. The point I'm trying to make here is that genius in most other academic fields are characterized by being able to progress into more accurate and 'correct' forms of understanding the given subject.

Now what constitutes a 'genius' musician? Most people you ask would probably give cliche answers such as bach, mozart and wager. Maybe even the likes of Hendrix and Vai, or Petrucci and Malmsteen. Various technical and writing styles/techniques used, all worthy of a sound argument.

(at this point I'd like to point out that I'm writing as I think because I wanted to share my thoughts and see what others had to say).

"A genius is a person who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of an unprecedented leap of insight. " Quoted

So how can you classify musicians this way? To me my absolute favourite musician is John Frusciante because of his style of playing, his introspective personality/lyrics and the emotions/feelings I get from listening to his music. Is he a genius? I would say so. Others might not. Perhaps they don't connect to him the way I do, perhaps they have not given him a fair chance at being enjoyed.

I can admire the technical skill someone like petrucci has but there is no feeling I get from watching to/listening to him other than, "wow he can shred".

Out of the classical composers, I do enjoy all 3 I have listed above but find most classical music crams too many notes in for me to fully enjoy it. Again, there is admiration for the understanding of theory and execution of musical relations, but not a connection which gives me an unspeakable bond with the music. An existential bond if you will.

After all, we are humans. We Think AND Feel...with emotion. We are not machines who simply take in data and process and classify it. Unfortunately many people think this way though, and reject the possibility of feeling something new that they preconceive to be unworthy or as some of my contemporaries classify as, "gay".

These are just my thoughts and I am not intentionally bashing anyone. Please share your thoughts as well.

I would also like to ask (because I am curious too) where is modern music in terms of pure academic progress. Who is leading the way?



I don't need for someone to be considered a "genius" in order for me to enjoy their music.

I think alot people get into this "my favorite artist is better than yours" thing. Id rather say **** all that and just enjoy the music. Mozart, Coltrane, Hendrix, Fruciante….. whatever. If you like it, listen to it… enjoy it.
#3
Music is art and art is subjective. There are A LOT of musical geniuses that go unheard. I'm with you on the whole shredding thing, it seems too systematic for me. I can't relate creatively to it. I like people who experiment with the interaction between harmony, melody and rhythm(not that people who shred don't). I'm drawn to hearing unique ideas and wondering how in the world they came up with it. I'll take creative slop over systematic precision any day.

As far as academics go its hard to say. It seems like the majority of people set out to learn styles that have already been established. It's hard to say if we're actually making any progress towards something significantly unique. Maybe something is in the works or maybe we are just continuing to expand what has already been established.

I would like to know if there is anything(style or artist) that people think should be studied? And why? Similar to classical and jazz. (But not just your favorite band)
#4
When you look at science you see progression, one thing building on another and technological advances are made or further scientific discoveries are made that lead us to gain a better understanding.

We teach the old methods as a way of understanding the progression of human discovery and understanding.

However, like klintala said, music is an art not a science.

So instead of trying to draw comparisons to how science progresses you could draw comparisons to how art has progressed.

We can see how art evolves overtime and how this changing art reflects our changing social and cultural values. But people from today still love the art of Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Monet etc.

And how to do we determine genius in the field of art?

I think that generally speaking people just use it as a term to describe someone they think is really great.

When people are trying to be a bit more "objective" in their use of the term I think they use it to describe people that have made a significant cultural impact that influences the direction of music rather than just following along with the current trends. The more significant the cultural impact and resulting influence the higher degree of "genius" that is attributed to them.

Bob Dylan and the Beatles are two examples that are often described as genius' in the world of rock music.

On top of that I think there is a longevity factor. Someone whose work continues to have a significant cultural importance centuries after their work was first released tends to keep the genius title.
Si
#5
I'll take creative slop over systematic precision any day.


I lol'd...but only because I found this to be a brilliant point of view. I'm with ya on this one, klintala.
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#6
I personally wouldn't consider Frusciante to be a "genius", but definitely an exceptional guitarist. It's all about where you set that arbitrary bar.

I'd class Hendrix, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Julian Lage, and Guthrie Govan as geniuses, because their output is simply mind-blowing and difficult to comprehend. Hendrix has the variety, creativity, and technical mastery. Kurt Rosenwinkel is on his own planet, see the album "The Next Step" - good luck recreating that. Julian and Guthrie 's ability to improvise solos is really truly exceptional in comparison to most of their peers. There are many throughout history, Lenny Breau is another good example, along with Paco Delucia.

There's definitely no objective test to grade these people.