January 27, 2006

Where'd all the geniuses go?

Vienna -- The teenage Beethoven traveled to Vienna to meet Mozart in 1787. When he returned to Vienna a few years later, he took lessons from Haydn.

In Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment, the ranking of Western composers in order of eminence according to standard reference books lists Mozart and Beethoven tied for #1, with Haydn #5 (in-between are Bach and Wagner). And that's hardly Eurocentric prejudice: the great Western composers might be more popular today in East Asia than in North America.

The world population was just under a billion in the late 18th century. Today, it is just under 6.5 billion. The population of Vienna then was about 225,000. Today, it is 1,600,000.

Where'd all the musical geniuses go?

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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