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what makes a musical genius

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posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 09:45 AM
this is a hard question to answer. in my opinion a musical genius is of course someome that writes their own lyrics and of course plays their own instrument. bonus points for them doing their own production, mixing, editing and whatnot in the studio.
we need more of these types of musicians these days

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 10:26 AM
Disclaimer: I'm a theist but not of the Abrahamic faiths. I have minor biblical scholar and scriptural skills. Also I am not a scientific/legal or medical expert in any field. Beware of my Contagious Memes! & watch out that you don't get cut on my Occams razor.All of this is my personal conjecture and should not be considered the absolute or most definitive state of things as they really are. Use this information at your own risk! I accept no liability if your ideology comes crashing down around you with accompanying consequences!

Explanation: Quickly moving beyond basic Biology 101 and procreational requirements, I would say an inbuilt genetic set of musical qualities (RAW Talent AND ability i.e. fingers so as to play guitar or piano ect) couched in a musically supportive Physical enviroment (Good instruments available at reasonable prices) and a musically proficient Cultural and/or Familial (social memetics) enviroments (Good music schools/teachers ect and multiple orchestras and bands performing multiple musical genres and taking on musically adept professionals in their stride). After that I would say it comes down to a personal passion or drive (lets call it an always on LOVE of music) supported by perceived gains in the incentives that such a musical career would bring AND an understanding of the musical tastes of the Music consuming public demographic of that time and what can actually achieved musically at that time to fulfill such tastes.
Finally put all the above together and run it through a real life tragedy or mental,physical or emotional hardship of somekind and the music that flows afterwards usually sounds like pure genius.

Personal Disclosure: Starred and Flagged Yes we do indeed need more musical polymaths (geniuses or not!) and we also need far less "milli-vanilli" musical industry and culture.

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 10:30 AM
Musical Genius =

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 11:47 AM
Yes Prince is one.

Here's an oldy but a good one that passed to soon.

I also think some just have that soul for it when they were born. Check out this young blues musigian and what his potential might be. Tallan seems to have a blues soul in him and it makes me wonder where it comes from?

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 12:42 PM
I've met a few musical genius in my day. Mostly it's almost like and idiot savant thing in a lot of them. complete musical genius, but no social skills. One guy I am friends with is the son of a well known musician. One whos stuff everybody at ATS has heard. the kid is unbelievably talented at song writing. sold songs even at the age of 20 or so to major artists. but due to the fact that he is sorta a savant (looks and acts like bevis from bevis and butthead) he can't get a record deal to save his life. THey'll buy his songs just as long as he's not the one on stage performing them. sucks. It's just that he's too difficult to work with, and he's always referencing really obscure musicians so it's sorta hard to follow him in a conversation. his charts are real hard to read too, but the music was really good.

Rushad Eggleston is a musical genius that breaks this general stereotype. I remember this guy when he went to berklee. he was an absolute musical genius but also completely normal and social. he had none of the drawbacks of being a musical genius.

He pretty much had free rides to every conservatory in the world that was worth anything. But rushad decided to come to berklee to learn how to play jazz on a cello. pretty bold. in fact everything he wrote could be considered bold for what it was. Rushad studied cello since he was three or something. He could play literally anything on it.

He could play any instrument too. he would just ask you how it was tuned pick it up and play that instrument better the first time than 99% of the pro's out there. I think he later went on to be nominated for a grammy for playing on the three fiddlers album or something a few years back. Complete genius. Youtube him. he plays a lot of weird improv bluegrass cello stuff and he comes across as a nut. but he's actually a total classical monster. the heads of the string dept. at berklee couldn't keep up with his classical chops.

But also, time and putting in work is critical to becoming a musical genius. nobody gets insanely good at their instrument without some hard hard woodshedding. even motzarts stuff wasn't considered more than average until he had put in several years into his art. he was a novelty as a kid who could play a piano well, but he's genius didn't come into it's own until the end of his life. He did have perfect recall though which is really rare. He would be able to go to some other guys concert. listen to the concert once and then go home and write the entire charts out for every instrument in the concert with almost 100% fidelity. his musical memory was that good. that he could remember everybodys parts from one pass and write them down.

Jaco Pastorius was another ground breaking musical genius for his instrument. He was the frank zappa of bass. Frank was a absolute genius on guitar. Jaco was sadly completey schitzoid. He was evicted for tearing off his apt front door and sleeping on it like a matress, and for once attempting to flood his apartment so that he could go swimming. But thats the way it is with a lot of musical genius. they are so great at music because just about everything else is lacking. the music takes up so much mental energy that their mind has no room to think about other stuff. like social skills.

One thing I gotta say that was really spooky was this one kid who's friends with my family. he gets his talent from his dad who is a respected session player on guitar. THis kid is a drummer. but whats weird is when he was real young like 4 or 5, and this is were it gets spooky, he was able to play jazz patterns and such before he was even tought them. when his drum instructors and parents friends family would ask were'd you learn to play this or that he would get real cryptic and start talking about how he was a jazz drummer and that he's always known how to play these patterns and beats (real complicated, upper level stuff you don't learn for decades of playing) and that his name was _______ and that he died doing something etc... the parent did some research into the name of the guy he claimed he was, and this is a 4 year old making these claims, and it turned out the guy was a real man who ahad died a few years before the kid was born and was indeed a very talented jazz drummer, obscure one but a very talented one. that episode really made us scratch our heads and go huhhh??? Still see the kid play in his band every now and then when his parent invite me to one of his shows. plays gigs on the sunset strip but he's like 15 now. Pretty good for a young tyke. But it does make me wonder. this kid knew details about this guys life, even exactly how he had died. weird

[edit on 5-1-2009 by BASSPLYR]

[edit on 5-1-2009 by BASSPLYR]

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 01:42 PM
In my opinion, there aren't many around; they just don't make 'em like this anymore....

Dylan was an excellent song-writer, in my opinion, and contributed some of the best songs ever written: Tangled Up in Blue, Positively 4th Street, & All along the Watchtower. Now, a lot of people back then thought that he was selling himself out (when he went Electric), and maybe he did.... But my opinion of him hasn't changed. I haven't heard a Dylan song that I didn't like.

Morrison was also a great Song-writer & poet, always testing the lines and pushing them as far as he could (The Miami Incident/Ed Sullivan Show) and I think thats what made him so appealing at his time. He didn't so much "play an instrument" as he did "toss around some marraca's" but his stage presence, contributed in making him a great musician. If you've heard the live version of "Break on Through" you can attest to Jim's wailing crys, which no doubt shows confidence on stage. Check out "An American Prayer" if you want some broody dark Morrison Poetry.

Shake Dreams from your hair my pretty child my sweet one,
choose the day, choose your sign of the day, the days divinity.
First Thing you See.

We Laugh like soft made children smug in the wolly cotten brains of infancy

.....For me, Morrison was a Musical Genious.

Hendrix was a phenomenal guitar player for his time, which in my opinion makes him a musical genious. During the late 60's (in my opinion) him and Carlos Santana were competing for the title - as they were both coming up in the music industry and rocking out hardcore with rifts that I still can't even wrap my head around. Hendrix's rendition of "All along the Watchtower" was great. I have to say though, I personally love, when he played the National Anthem at Woodstock.

Do I have to explain? Guitar. Politics. Peace. (Minus Yoko) One word: Imagine.

Chris Martin is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. Having watched the BBC Special of their new album Viva La Vida/Death and All his Friends - I am convinced this man has a ton of talent bottled up in there. Coldplay is easily on my list of favorite bands, and I personally liked their new Album. He plays Piano (OMG - Clocks - excellent song), Guitar, and he always sounds like he singing with emotion.... (The Scientist). Charisma+Excellent Song Writing = Musical Genious.

OKay, so in this particular picture I might not be too entirely fond of the pants, but Sinatra had a voice that could melt those off of any woman standing in the room. I don't even know how many people have recorded "The Way you Look Tonight" or "Baby its Cold Outside" but I don't think ANYONE can compare to either of those performances.

Being that I was a Classical Pianist for 15 years of my childhood life, I know my Mother and my Piano teacher would both smack me upside the head for NOT mentioning some Classical Musicians. Now, I've tried to write a few songs - classical pieces, and I've tried to name them "Aria's" or "Sonatta's" but the truth is, Beethovens first composition is better than my best. I can appreciate his ability to write such increddible pieces - without actually hearing them.... A man who can sit at a Piano, and imagine what the sounds will make together...I can't help but lable him a genious.

I had the pleasure of playing an Oscar Peterson piece for my RCM 8 Examination a couple of years ago. I've gotta tell you, no one can write and/or play jazz, as romantically and as well as Oscar could. It's such a shame that he passed a few years ago, I really wanted to see him perform... (The Gentle Waltz is a great listen).

Okay, so there are just a few that I think (Trust me, I have more, but I'll give everyone else a chance too).

Great Topic, PS.

- Carrot

posted on Jan, 5 2009 @ 06:14 PM
reply to post by thing fish

it is a hard question to answer -

it always makes me want to ask - how can someone who isn't a genius recognize genius?

it's more than just what you like - but how do you even define what it is?

posted on Jan, 6 2009 @ 03:25 AM
More than half of the time, the trm "music genius" is often used subjectively by an audience, and often used far too much.

Sometimes a music genius is born with an innate ability to play or compose many pieces of technical artistry with many chordial structures and stuff, or more than half of the time, they are usually made (by studying theory intensely for years).

Most of the time the people that are called music geniuses aren't really that at all. A lot have bee pioneers and innovators, no doubt, but never really a genius. You do have the odd exceptions like the many classical composers out there that are masterful with their use of theory, ability to sight read, complex melodies often with alternations of the standard 4/4 time signatures, and the ability to write these out - Even without having to hear the notes being played.

Or, I could be way off course. In fact, what I've said is probably somewhat subjective too. The above is what would defne a music genius for me. There's a vast difference between a music genius and a great musician. I guess in the end both compose brilliant pieces of music that, if they're lucky, will get remembered for generations. With a lot of the music these days, though, I really hope that isn't that case.

[edit on 6-1-2009 by Angry Potato]

posted on Jan, 7 2009 @ 11:16 AM
i think frank zappa was a musical genius. never afraid to take a risk was one of his biggest attributes imo. he composed an insane amount of material in all time signatures and generes.

honorable mention goes to stevie wonder imo

posted on Jan, 7 2009 @ 04:19 PM
Which reminds me:

This is incredible for a blind guy. Can drum better than a lot of people with sight.

[edit on 7-1-2009 by Angry Potato]

posted on Jan, 19 2011 @ 09:30 AM
reply to post by elevatedone

I second that opinion... here's a genius at work.
However, this doesn't anwser the question in the OP: what is it that turns the LittleBigOne into a genius?

While this questions deserves a more in-depth answer (as some of you indeed tried to formulate), I have to stick to this one:

"a genius is a person who manages to do stuff that makes others refer to him/her as "a genius"...",

which more or less is in sync with a nice quote by another musical genius and a personal source of inspiration - Frank Zappa, who stated that...

"the most important thing in art is the frame, because without the frame you don't know where the art stops and the wall starts."

(don't take this as a literal quote as I don't recall the exact phrazing nor the source. I managed to use this quote as a central part of the definition section of my dissertation so I guess it's more or less accurate.
That dissertation tried to explain why people feel the need to distinguish between different types of "trembling air" or "music" as most of us think of it. Conclusion was that this is a sociological thing that hasn't anything to do with intrinsic qualities of music, as it is the outcome of a tendency towards distinction, based on differences in aesthetical training and appreciation, which are of course class related things..)

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