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Haleth's avatar

What are some modern examples of musical genius?

Asked by Haleth (19518points) March 3rd, 2010

We look back at classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven and remember them for their genius. What music from today, or maybe the last few decades, do you think will be remembered?

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40 Answers

njnyjobs's avatar

Michael Jackson

DeanV's avatar

Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

Not all geniuses in their own respect, but when you thrown them together…

babaji's avatar

Stevie Wonder

nope's avatar

Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin

njnyjobs's avatar

Quincy Jones, Jay-Z

filmfann's avatar

Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Roger Waters,

nope's avatar

Here’s another thought, John Williams, who has done movie scores for scores of movies over the past few decades. He’s pretty brilliant with that stuff, and has won Academy Awards for his efforts.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

If we’re talking composers Danny Elfman needs to be in the mix.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra.

jaytkay's avatar

Berry Gordy and his Motown performers
Duke Ellington

DeanV's avatar

Okay, you may not all agree with this, but Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age could be considered a musical genius. All of the music he touches seems to get some of his influence, like Arctic Monkey’s recent album Humbug and the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, plus all the stuff Queens of the Stone Age, Desert Sessions, and Eagles of Death Metal have put out.

simpleD's avatar

Brian Eno, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Brian Wilson. Donald Fagen, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Phillip Glass.

DeanV's avatar

Oh, David Byrne.

simpleD's avatar

And I just realied no one has mentioned any female geniuses.

Joni Mitchell, Janice Joplin, Alison Moyet, Billie Holiday.

john65pennington's avatar

All of the above artists mentioned are good.

There is only one group that tops them all and thats Chicago.

Each member has a degree in music and it shows in their songs and their music.

Listen to their music with a good set of headphones and see if you can detect any mistakes they make in their recordings. they are not existent.

jaytkay's avatar

@simpleD You are correct, more women.
Ella Fitzgerald
Nina Simone

shadling21's avatar

@dverhey I’m all for Josh Homme!

I’d also nominate Aphex Twin. Maybe Matthew Bellamy? Bjork!

jaytkay's avatar

@jjmah Thanks. I like that!

shadling21's avatar

Also, Bob Dylan.

DeanV's avatar

Tom Morello is pretty impressive on guitar as well. Maybe not a music genius, but if you’re going to mention Matthew Bellamy, you’ve got to mention Morello. Bellamy’s style definitely borrows from Morello’s bizarre solos and style.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Along with the previously mentioned artists, I would have to also add Eddie Vedder, for his solo work and his work with Pearl Jam.

Jude's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities I love his stuff on the “Into the Wild” soundtrack.

thriftymaid's avatar

Michael Jackson
Freddie Mercury

Rarebear's avatar

Arvo Part
Henryk Gorecki
Phillip Glass
Ennio Morricone
Toru Takemitsu
Steve Reich

Ria777's avatar

Kate Bush.

nope's avatar

@simpleD & @jaytkay I don’t think those are all good examples for the question…I’m pretty sure Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald & Nina Simone really didn’t write their own stuff. Granted, they were hugely talented performers who derserve all the respect in the world for that…but they will never be known for the songs they wrote. Am I wrong about that? Agreed though, that more women should, and can, be mentioned.

Ria777's avatar

crap, I forgot Stephin Merritt. he puts so much emotion into his vocals, too! also Yann Tiersen.

mattbrowne's avatar

Hans Zimmer
Karl Jenkins

simpleD's avatar

@nope: The question was, who will be remembered for their genius. Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald & Nina Simone were all geniuses in the way they interpreted lyrics, their phrasing and their vocal intonation. They will be remembered for setting the gold standard for female jazz vocalists.

davidbetterman's avatar

Keith Emerson: Emerson Lake and Palmer
Jimi Hendrix
Jimmy Page
Doc Watson
Rick Wakeman
Eric Clapton
Keith Moon
Buddy Rich
Ian Anderson

syzygy2600's avatar

Boards of Canada.

Unfortunately they won’t be remembered by most, the world has been too poisoned by crap like lady gaga to listen to good electronic music.

joehobbes's avatar

I’m gonna throw a more recent, more obscure one out there, but his stuff always amazes me:
Sufjan Stevens

nope's avatar

@simpleD That’s true, and your selection of female vocalists were definitely geniuses. The question seemed to be about composers of the classical era, and it’s easy to overlook that many of them were almost better geniuses as performers than as composers!

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iphigeneia's avatar

I’d like to put my hand up for a composer, Mr. Stephen Sondheim. I’m not sure how well his music will be remembered by future generations, musical theatre being a less popular genre these days, but the man is definitely a genius. Alas, fame is rarely proportional to genius.

myla's avatar

Alot of the above names were a result of influences by Bob Dylan.He created a golden link in the chain of american music and never seemed to be swayed by critics or fans. He is an original who followed his muse. He is multidementional. Songs have layered meanings. A genius of performed literature.

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