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Intellegence and Music - The Correlation

Updated on November 3, 2011

Is there a correlation between IQ and music?

Sure, everyone listens to music. Some listen to music more than others. But there are many different genres of music such as pop, country, techno, rock, r&b, classical and so on. But does the music you decide to listen to really affecting your brain and how it thinks? Here is an analysis from SirPianoPlaya written out, looking from different aspects of music:

1. Implications of the Music

  • Each song implies a certain mood. For example, pop is perceived as young, new, upbeat, while classical seems archaic and old-fashioned. Country is seen as music for people out of the city and Techno is for those really advanced and modern mates. Yes, the background and the origin of music and it's history do indeed affect a person's personal identity. Whether one wants to be seen as young and modern, or old-fashioned, taste in music affects how a person acts and perceived by others. But whether the young or the old is more intelligent is another debate.

2. Mood of Music

  • This one is pretty clear. The feelings and mood portrayed by a song could be happy, sad, angry, depressed, regretful, proud and so on. However, mood doesn't really play a part in one's intelligence.

3. Complexity of music

  • Here is one aspect of music that may distinguish intelligence because complexity is something that not everyone can understand. Similar to how one can understand and solve a math problem easily, there are others who have trouble understanding the same problem. This in itself is another issue: why some are just better than others at ____?
  • Also, complexity is an ambiguous and subjective word. What should complexity be defined by and how should it be evaluated? To me, complexity should be based on how difficult it is to reproduce the sound. By that standard, classical music is by far the hardest to reproduce. Pop music is relatively easy to make, just use FL studio to make a beat and then add different instruments and vocals. To many people who can play pop songs by ear, classical music is a whole other ballpark. Classical music is very hard to play by ear because it's not just chords and a melody. It's much more complicated. Thus, classical music requires a mind that can understands it's complexity.

4. Wait. Does listening to classical music make you smarter then?

  • The brain is very complex too. No one really knows how the brain functions in it's entirety. However, we know that the lack of exposure to stimulus will result in the loss of the brain cell connections of the stimulus. Therefore, lack of listening to classical music from a young age may lead to the inability to understand the complexities of classical music once the brain loses learning ability.
  • Shredding and rock music can often be complicated as well and very hard to reproduce. Piano is generally considered harder because it requires two hands and is dynamic sensitive.

At the end of the day, Intelligence is a relative and subjective term as well. Really, you should just live happily with the intelligence you have now. But if you are looking to improve your musical knowledge, feel free to check out: How to play piano by ear and Proper piano playing technique




What genre music do you enjoy most?

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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This is a very unique and insightful hub. I think you're right intelligence is just as subjective as someone's taste in music. I listen to all kinds of music, but I voted for pop because most of it is popular but I don't that interferes with my ability to understand the complexities and layers of other types of music. I look forward to reading your other hubs. Welcome to HubPages!