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amrouche

Do i need "Talent" to be a good composer?

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Well the key is seeing how you two were very similar at a young age. I'd say, if anything, that shows at least by this anecdote a good example of what upbringing/choices/etc cause. It's interesting also that you said you two became actually different and individual people when you had the ability to pursue different things.

That, I think says a lot. Though you say he was very good at writing for apparently no reason, do you really think there was nothing that could have helped him "train" that ability or have an affinity to it that isn't at first glance obvious? Like, say, someone who reads a lot is probably more likely to pick up writing better, even if they haven't themselves written much than someone who doesn't read as often.

Because there's no way that people are just different? It seems that this has become more of a Nature vs. Nurture ordeal, with SSC stating that EVERYTHING is Nurture, and nothing is ingrained in us at all. Whereas I feel that it is a mix of the two, and is different for every person.

Only time will tell if we can make blanket statements about the entire population or not.

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Because there's no way that people are just different? It seems that this has become more of a Nature vs. Nurture ordeal, with SSC stating that EVERYTHING is Nurture, and nothing is ingrained in us at all. Whereas I feel that it is a mix of the two, and is different for every person.

Only time will tell if we can make blanket statements about the entire population or not.

Wrong. I'm saying that IF there is such a thing as an ability it should be something that we can pick up on the genes. In which case, heredity plays big part. On the other hand, if heredity isn't the case, it must be something else that is giving the illusion of "talent."

I've said it before, there are a lot of explanations which would be reasonable, such as genetic advantage (inherited) or psychological/social/etc factors which can play a role. Some magical "inner ability" isn't what I would be looking for if I wanted to really understand why some people perform better/worse/etc than others.

Plus, like I've said, the illusion only happens in comparison to other people. That's why this all has to be tested under controlled conditions, etc etc, since personal anecdotes and experience are unverifiable and therefore unreliable.

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No such a thing as talent...
Wrong. I'm saying that IF there is such a thing as an ability it should be something that we can pick up on the genes.

Hm... A Shift in stance I see? :huh:

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Hm... A Shift in stance I see? :huh:

Nope. Your inability to read creeping up again, that's all.

As usual, troll harder.

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Okay... The Nuture vs. Nature thing is constantly looked at the wrong way.

First of all, the Nature part doesn't mean that someone is inherently good at music or mathematics etc

It just means that they come pre-wired with certain physical characteristics etc which may allow them to develop certain skills more easily.

Secondly, most recent studies regarding this have shown that the Nature aspect is really 99.9% related to the first 6 years of a child's life.

That is the point in time when there seems to be what is referred to as an 'elasticity' in the brain which allows for the necessary brain function to be developed and these developments are directly related to the DEMANDS the brain face.

Which means that we are back to nuture! If a child's brain needs to develop in a way which allows for enhanced musical awareness and expression, then it will.

But don't worry, because scientists are also realizing that we never actually loose that elasticity in our brain. We just tend to stop subjecting it to such comparatively difficult tasks.

ie. For a baby, saying the word 'MOM' is a very difficult thing. But once we get used to speaking English there is no effort at all.

If I were to go an subject myself to the same bombardment of information as a child goes through when they are learning their neccesary brain functions, my brain, too would adapt!

This is also shown with people who suffer brain damage. The brain actually REWIRES itself so that it may continue carrying out the necessary functions!

The healthy brain WILL adapt to whatever needs you place on it. Most of the time though, as adults we forget that skills take years to develop where as when you are a Kid, you had all the time in the world.

If you stop putting a deadline on everything and let yourself learn a skill at the rate that it wants to, you too can have whichever skill-set you choose.

I'm sure people will argue with what I have just said but if you REALLY read it and comprehend what I'm saying, then all of your objections will fit in someway or another.

This is the human body! Our genes are constantly adapting to our needs! Why would it be any different with music?

To propose it is is just stupid.

Chris

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Just a couple of quotes:

If you want to learn something, work hard. If you think you're good at it, work twice as hard.

Great standpoint!

But then... you're taking talent, ability, into consideration, I asume?

NOTHING transcends logic.

Well, frankly, that's YOUR belief, as -Gardener already pointed out- it's not something you can prove. Feel free to dismiss the concept of talent, for whatever reasons (and you really may have them), but don't try to demonstrate there's nothing of the sort.

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Well, frankly, that's YOUR belief, as -Gardener already pointed out- it's not something you can prove. Feel free to dismiss the concept of talent, for whatever reasons (and you really may have them), but don't try to demonstrate there's nothing of the sort.

Um. The point is that anything that is perceived as "talent" can be explained through other means, at least as far as I've been able to understand it from all the crap done on the topic.

So, really, it means only that "talent" is just a blanket word for stuff we are ignorant of in the development of the person/etc etc. That was my entire point. The word exists, sure, but what really goes on isn't explained by it at all and that's why I'm against it. Likewise for anyone who is untalented.

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I don't know if its treated as an absolute - most definitely relative - but I don't think that there's anyone who'd say that there is a clear scale, even on the personal scale, with x composer here and y composer there with reference to strictly talent. Sure, extreme cases could make ranking easier - someone setting the curve and someone who still fails miserably - but it'd be very difficult to show that talent in the average group is at all different.

Talent is also viewer-centric.

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See, maybe the reason I feel differently is that I don't feel like logic rules our world. I don't think that everything can be explained using science and neat diagrams. I feel like sometimes, things just HAPPEN. Logic is a factor, but so is chaos. Logic is useful, but it's not a cure-all. Additionally, nothing is absolute. With this viewpoint, it makes sense that I would disagree with SSC.

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So, really, it means only that "talent" is just a blanket word for stuff we are ignorant of in the development of the person/etc etc. That was my entire point. The word exists, sure, but what really goes on isn't explained by it at all and that's why I'm against it. Likewise for anyone who is untalented.

Quite ok, but a word can be perfectly used to refer to a hole in our knowledge, cos, even if I'm an ignorant, I perceive there's something and I have to name it. You'd rather research on the matter, ok, but I'm happy with my non-explanation. I accept the good will of science in bringing light to the hole, but don't despise as hilarious the non-need of science-verifying every damn thing.

See, maybe the reason I feel differently is that I don't feel like logic rules our world.

As simple as that. Things DO TRASCEND logic.

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I have no problem with people using the words 'talent' or 'genius' etc to refer to those who do posses great skill at something.

However, when you start implying that without talent, you cannot be great, then you are obviously a pessimist.

---

TELL ME: HOW DO YOU MEASURE TALENT?

Do you say - "Oh, well Timmy, you seem to be having a few problems with playing the problem. I don't think you have the talent"

How stupid.

Perhaps the problem is not a lack of talent but a lack of meaning in what they are currently doing?

And no wonder! It seems that musical education consist of forcing the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven etc down people's throats.

But what if this isn't a person's voice? What if what they really want to play is something that hasn't been written yet?

I think that talent is exactly that. Finding meaning or purpose in what you are doing. Someone doesn't get meaning from what they are currently being forced to do when what they really, at their core, want to be playing something completely different then anything currently in existence.

Besides, I think it makes FAR more sense and that you or your students will make far greater progress if you believe you can achieve something rather than just saying "Oh no, I couldn't possibly, I don't have the talent"

That is just B.S absolute bloody B.S (I'm showing a lot of restraint by not swearing here).

Talent is plain and simple a combination of the following:

1. LOVE LOVE LOVE

2. Understanding

3. Motivation (Comes from the love)

4. Curiosity

5. Self Trust

.... THE IS NOTHING MORE TO IT.

I so severely hate how people say that you must have some 'special' ability to create something wonderful. THIS IS B.S

WHY? Because when we talk about music, what exactly is WONDERFUL?

Every single person has their own style or their own voice. It is not a god-given gift - and if I were to believe in God, I'd like to think he wasn't such a cruel Bastard when it came to who gets the special powers - but it is not a gift. It is a facet of Human Nature!

I had an eppiphany today. The thing all humans strive for above all else is meaning. They want their life to have meaning. Whether this means they want their life to mean something when they're dead, or they want to find the meaning forFor some this means they look to a God or religion. Others want to help people by finding a cure to cancer or otherwise.

And others look for meaning through the arts. (There are obviously more but you get my point)

And I think no one can be truly happy until they find this meaning or purpose.

Let me quickly state that I don't think that we each have a predetermined purpose or meaning etc Simply that we find what means something to us.

Perhaps that, ironically, is the meaning of life... To find meaning! lol

Anyway, some people look to different places to find meaning but if a person does look to arts at any point then HOW DARE ANYONE say, oh no, you need talent to join our club. Sorry, go looking for your purpose else where.

I'm so GOD DAMN sick and tired of this attitude in music!

Music is NOT a hierarchical thing. It is something which everyone finds some form of meaning in. Why do you think that there is such a huge music industry? (Pop, rock etc)

Don't you DARE say that someone can't do it. Don't. Please. I beg you.

This is something I feel sooo sooo strongly about. That people be allowed to find meaning in music. To think that people are turning people away from music makes me so tragically sad and angry at the same time.

WE MUST MUST MUST help everyone who wants to, to find their musical voice/personality! Even if we don't understand that voice! IT IS THEIR RIGHT AND OUR DUTY as HUMAN BEINGS!

I'm really getting rather upset here by the stupid stupid attitude of people who think that you must be special. Well you do, but everyone is!

Everyone can play, write, invent etc beautiful music. Or at least music that is beautiful to that person. And we have NO RIGHT damn it to deny them that.

I mean, look at Schoenberg. His music still isn't really understood/appreciated, but think of the ripple effect it had on music and the meaning it brought to Schoenberg's life.

---

The problem is that you think "TALENT" means that what they create has to be something the you want to hear! Ridiculous. Selfish. Stupid. Egotistical.

Please. Truly, help people find their voice, don't turn them away based on some silly notion that you must be born with some special skill.

Please, I really do beg of you.

I don't know how else to convince you that you could truly be harming other people's lives and excluding some many people and so much wonderful music from the world.

Please.

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Quite ok, but a word can be perfectly used to refer to a hole in our knowledge, cos, even if I'm an ignorant, I perceive there's something and I have to name it. You'd rather research on the matter, ok, but I'm happy with my non-explanation. I accept the good will of science in bringing light to the hole, but don't despise as hilarious the non-need of science-verifying every damn thing.

As simple as that. Things DO TRASCEND logic.

... Eh. I for one want to find the truth behind stuff, and I much rather science to verify every damn thing there is under the sun and beyond. That's what it's for and doing so helps a whole deal understanding the universe.

And, well, I still argue that nothing transcends logic. It may only seem so when A: Information is missing, B: misunderstanding ensues, C: improper analysis method is performed.

As for the rant there by healey.cj, well. I agree.

The reason I really hate the whole "talent" thing is that something that is a blanket word for ignorance is used to make decisions or judge people. That is utterly idiotic.

Specially because the only real cure to the inability to do something is to work at developing the damn ability in the first place. Talent or no talent, it's completely irrelevant as all that is left is hard work all the same. For that matter, I'm against these types of pessimism OR optimism. It would be fine if talent as a blanket term was used only as a label, but considering people use it constantly to put people(or themselves) on pedestals, or push themselves down unreasonably, it's a stupid and dangerous assumption of the unknown.

Another bonus is that the scientific findings behind this will provide better methods to teach and better understanding of how everything works so as to enable helping EVERYONE display the things people perceive make someone "talented." :>

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Quick word for healey.cj - not everyone has the same ability for music, as well as for anything else. I have no intention to dismiss anyone, let people choose their own way. But that doesn't change the thing at all. Work hard and you'll get many many things. But not everyone can get everything out of hard work.

Quick word for SSC - great for science, to reject it would be just hypocrite. But I cannot help to laugh at the quasi-religious embracing the thing many people boast of. About the talent thing, I really think it can be helpful. Personally, I've been pointed out as talented on some things, and mediocre on others - I've truly thanked both kinds of judgement.

End of the thread for my part.

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Quick word for healey.cj - not everyone has the same ability for music, as well as for anything else. I have no intention to dismiss anyone, let people choose their own way. But that doesn't change the thing at all. Work hard and you'll get many many things. But not everyone can get everything out of hard work.

The problem that still bugs me is that there is no criteria to define talent.

What is talent?

Does it mean that you learn something quickly?

Does it mean you don't have to work?

etc

You can't define talent. It's just a blanket statement to say "They're better than I expected them to be."

Most of the time Talent does seem to be equated with rapid progress. However, if that is the basis for Talent, then 99% of people don't have talent. Because most have to work their tails off to get create good music.

I mean, Beethoven was reportedly forced to practice as many as 17 hours by his father!

When virtually your whole brain is being used for one single subject then amazing things will happen.

But I don't care what you choose to think so long as you don't ostracize people, young and old, from music.

Chris

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What I don't like about "talent" is that it is a self-feeding system.

Talent is often first labeled on someone at a very early age, and this is because they have either been groomed by their parents for that one "talent", or they showed an early interest in something and were in the right conditions for their skill and knowledge to flourish. (not that the second is a bad thing.) What happens though is this child then is given all the opportunities needed to succeed and thrive; it makes this very cliquish conglomerate of "talented" people that only genuinely care about the welfare of other "talented" people. They then search for the next "child prodigy" and the cycle continues.

But what happens to the kid who tried everything else before discovering his passion? He gets brushed aside, and denied many of those same opportunities, simply because he wasn't young enough when he started. The door into that group of talented people closed years ago, and now the only thing he can strive for is "decent" or "mentionable". Moreover, he has to work his tail off just to get to this perceived level. (Something that contrasts the often gift-like nature of the title "talented". I have heard far to often of "talented" people that say that they have never once had to dig their heels in and work for anything.)

This system gets so engrained into people’s heads that people who don't get it from the start often settle for "fair" or "above average". This is something detrimental to the person and everyone else because it supports what is the basis of the system.

However, if the word talent was simply used as a word to express noteworthy skill in something, then I would be fine with it, but it has become the mystical, magic word that blankets skill, and maybe hard work, as something beyond human conception. It makes it seems as if the person imbued with "talent" is more than just a man, a ridiculous notion.

(Anyway, I am sure that this was far from fluid, and that it has many holes in it, but whatever.... 'tis how I feel..)

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I obviously agree with the above poster, just thought I'd say that.

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But what happens to the kid who tried everything else before discovering his passion? He gets brushed aside, and denied many of those same opportunities, simply because he wasn't young enough when he started. The door into that group of talented people closed years ago, and now the only thing he can strive for is "decent" or "mentionable". Moreover, he has to work his tail off just to get to this perceived level. (Something that contrasts the often gift-like nature of the title "talented". I have heard far to often of "talented" people that say that they have never once had to dig their heels in and work for anything.)

I hope this doesn't end up being the story of my life.

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I hope this doesn't end up being the story of my life.

Or anyone's life, honestly.

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I think whether one "can compose" or not is entirely relative, as aesthetics are relative.

Furthermore, I think to put limits on other people - such as "You will never be able to compose like Richard Strauss" only shows the current constriction of that person's (who says such a comment) mindset by falsehoods, of which limitation is one based entirely on sensory precept, rather than intellectual concept.

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^^ Haha.. Anyway, I think that musical talent can be measured by how easily someone can understand music, and the rate at which they can progress their skills. Nobody is born knowing how to play the piano, it's not instinctive and cannot be evolved, but a persons understanding of pitch, and the detail in which one can recognise, and distinguish pitch can be evolved, and can in my mind therefore be hereditry. It is that ability to recognise and understand and distinguish pitch, that can aid one when progressing their skills in music. To say that one cannot do that because they were not born with musical talent is in the majority of cases not true, however, in some cases I would say that it is.. Some people are born, who cannot understand the difference between pitches, and cannot hear the difference between different notes. There is a name for this type of person, However, I do beleive that people can be born with different understandings and perceptions of pitch and tone, and therefore, some people are naturaly better at music that other.

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