The IQ And EQ In The Music
The IQ And EQ In The Music
Submitted by Peter Åstedt
Just to have a high IQ is not always a good thing. I was just watching a game show on TV and the contestant was in MENSA (a club for people with high IQ) and had a high IQ. Lost on the first question on how many legs a spider has. IQ shows how good you are on logical things. It doesn’t really say if you are smart or successful.
Also, this contestant, you really felt that she was not someone you really wanted to have a conversation with. What she was lacking was quite a lot is EQ. Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them, and how to work cooperatively with them. So, having one of these is good but you can perform badly on other things. Like you are super smart but friendly like a venomous snake. Or you get along with all people but not really see when people take advantage of you.
In music it is the same. Let’s compare the IQ with skills. You can play the guitar as fast as possible with great tunes. EQ is the ability to write songs and harmonies. In the first you have Yngwie Malmsteen, yes, he can play guitar fast as hell. But he can’t write a decent tune. Then you have Per Gessle from Roxette who is average on guitar but writes hit songs as easy as he makes a cup of tea.
The problem I have is that some genres only operate on the IQ part. And on top of that, they think since they are “smarter” they look down on the ones with EQ. On the other side, the EQ ones make all the money and have the loyal audience. IQ just survives on government funding.
This shows quite easily. Classical music has not had a hit in almost a hundred years. The last hit was Wagner. The style is popular among the audience, but not the new things, only the “back catalogue.” Why is it so impossible for classical artists to make something of quality today? My guess is that Wagner, Mozart, Vivaldi and the others were EQ people, but they had to enter the classical world. Today there are all sorts of other ways. And by that it is impossible to tell any classical schooled artists to write a good song. They really do not have the skills. They can only play advanced. But the advanced just sounds terrible. And most schools are just encouraging them to play right and copy the masters not create things that are new masterpieces.
Same with Jazz, okay there have been a few hits later, but hey when did a jazz song really hit the charts, especially the kind of improvisation Jazz? No, it’s fun to play, but listen to is as fun as a game of curling. Yes, there is a reason why curling is not a big seller on the TV menu.
From time to time I meet people from these sections coming and wanting a real career not just pennies from the government. I just tell them, write a hit, if you can’t buy one. And they don’t really understand. They would rather have me change the audience so they can understand the technical skills. And that will never happen. Also, these people tend to just be around each other and stay inside their circle. A bit like the mad scientists that only hang out together and tell algebra jokes.
So just because you can say the word ‘horse’ in nine languages when you should ride, you buy a cow. You really need to have skills on both sides to be successful.
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Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham.