A vague piece of music 'research' has caused much amusement in the last few days. It's by a Californian student called Virgil Griffith, and is an interesting (albeit rather unscientific) study mapping music tastes with average SAT scores.
SAT scores, in both the US and UK, are often criticised for not accurately determining intelligence, but Griffith has used them anyway. According to a Wall Street Journal blog post, Griffith "used aggregated Facebook data about the favourite bands and books among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools, creating a tongue-in-cheek statistical look at taste and intelligence."
- The 'smartest' students' favourite musician is Beethoven (average SAT score of 1371).
- The 'less-smart' students' favourite artist is Lil Wayne (average SAT score of 889).
Other artists at the top of the scale are Counting Crows, Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens.
Artists alongside Lil Wayne at the bottom include Beyonce, TI and any soca musician.
"I mean, duh"
To be fair, Griffith admits this is no sort of definitive IQ-map: He tells The Wall Street Journal, "Their unity is hilarity incarnate. This is to inspire people to think creatively about the data sets that are on the Internet ... Of course there is the whole correlation is not causation thing, but, I mean, duh."
"Duh" indeed. Because it might be worth noting that Lil Wayne - Dwayne Michael Carter - was enrolled in the 'gifted program' of Lafayette Elementary School and wrote his first rap song at age eight. Beyonce Knowles, the other lowest-ranked individual artist, was already studying ballet and jazz before winning her first singing contest, aged seven.
Ludwig Van Beethoven, the 'smartest' choice, didn't even publish his first work until he was 13.
So that's "duh".
Here's Griffith's chart
All else we can learn is Led Zeppelin are 'cleverer' than Queen. Snow Patrol are a more 'intelligent' choice than Hendrix. Green Day might now be regretting calling their album American Idiot. Nickelback get slammed by Josh Groban.
Oh, and 'clever' people actually listen to Counting Crows?
Which doesn't sound that clever at all?
Griffith's favourite band, by the way, is Daft Punk.