Can the music you love show if you’re smart or dumb?

Can the music you love show if you’re smart or dumb?


norman lebrecht

October 23, 2014

A scholar at Caltech was wondering if the music you listen to most says much about your intelligence.

So he collected the average SAT scores from ten colleges and correlated them against their ten most frequent “favorite music” page on Facebook.

The results? Click here.

Gospel and Beyoncé lovers had the lowest SAT scores.

Beethoven came way out top

Ludwig-van-Beethoven-006 or    Beyonce4PR600180511

h/t: Gideon Glass


  • Where do the lovers of Philip Glass fall on the spectrum?

    • Copernicus says:

      Probably reasonably high, in the same “almost smart” pseudointellectualism trap as philosophy majors, etc.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    The runaway winner is classed as Miscellaneous. I knew classical was no longer mainstream but I would have thought it qualifies for its own title, particularly considering some of the others on display.

    • Simon S. says:

      Seems the sample was to small to get valid data for other misc, err, classical composers, which is why I hereby introduce the hypothesis that the lovers of serial music are the smartest people. I’m sure John Borstlap will agree.

  • Milton Babbitt was the Mozart of our time.

  • Doug says:

    Um..look closely….”Classical” is near the bottom right beside JayZ.

    The whole thing is suspect. What a crock.

  • Abendroth says:

    What the graph seems to say is : if you’re smart, you don’t need anything besides Beethoven. That’s a strong assumption, but I’m not sure it’s entirely wrong.

  • David Pickett says:

    WOT? No votes for Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Mahler?

  • Halldor says:

    I’ve heard transcendent Wagner conducting from an artist who, left to his own devices, once tried to microwave an unopened can of soup. Plenty of superb musicians are as thick as mince when it comes to everyday life.

    • Dennis says:

      Beethoven himself is another example of a musical genius who was not good at handling the mundane tasks of everyday life. As is evident from records in his hand, he didn’t know how to multiply or divide.

  • Novagerio says:

    Personally, I love Gesualdo, Wagner, Frank Zappa and Miles Davis – in that order! How theoretically stupid is that according to the Caltech Inquisition? 😀