Could you be a musical genius? Take the quiz!


Could you be the next Beethoven or Mozart? Are you a musical genius just wasting your natural talent? If you always thought you had a knack for music, take this quiz to find out if there's a musical genius hiding inside you!

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Question 1 of 20

Like Mozart, many musical geniuses can do this:

create perfect first drafts of their compositions
play several instruments
learn music by ear, even without formal training
all of the above

... Mozart never edited his work. His compositions were perfectly clean from the first draft. Like Mozart, many musical geniuses compose nearly perfect first drafts "in their minds." They also play multiple instruments and learn or repeat music by ear.


Question 2 of 20

Many exceptional composers are surprisingly good at ________ .

other artistic endeavors, such as painting or writing

... You might not think math and music go together, but in fact music depends on the counting of beats, patterns of harmony and rhythms.


Question 3 of 20

People with innate musical talent often exhibit this classical sign during very early childhood.

the ability to remember song lyrics easily
good rhythm and balance in physical activities
an acute sense of pitch 

... An acute sense of pitch means a child can repeat tones and pitches accurately, even after hearing them only once. Many children with innate musical genius exhibit an acute sense of pitch.


Question 4 of 20

Savantism is a condition that causes some people with a disability to also have incredible abilities in a specific area, such as music. Fifty percent of the people who are savants are also ________ .

geniuses, according to their IQ tests
mentally disabled

... About 50 percent of those with savantism have a form of autism and the other 50 percent often have some sort of mental or psychological disorder.


Question 5 of 20

Matt Savage is an American savant musician (born in 1992) who taught himself to play piano at ________ .

10 years old
8 years old
6 years old

... Savage could read by the time he turned 18 months old and taught himself piano at age 6. He also has perfect pitch.


Question 6 of 20

Is the Mozart effect -- that claims babies can get smarter by listening to classical music -- real?

Yes, but the effect is very small.
Perhaps, but scientists need to conduct more studies.
probably not

... An early study showed that very young children who listened to classical music performed better in logical tests than those who listened to a different type of music. The effect only lasted for about 15 minutes after listening to the music, however. After that, it leveled out, so the effect is probably not real.


Question 7 of 20

How much of your musical ability is genetic?

20 percent or less
about 50 percent
70 percent or more

... The fact that about 50 percent of musical ability is genetic explains why people who come from "musical families" seem to learn and understand music more easily, even without any formal training.


Question 8 of 20

What about for savants? Is musical ability also 50 percent genetics and 50 percent instruction and environment?

No, it's mostly genetics.
No, it's mostly environment.
Yes, it's still 50/50.

... Music savants clearly have a genetic predisposition for music. In some cases, they might have severe autism or mental disabilities, but are still able to understand, create or reproduce music expertly.


Question 9 of 20

A study from the St. Thomas' Hospital Twin Unit in London found that one in four adults have difficulty with this musical skill.

pitch recognition
musical memory

... When exposed to distorted tunes of famous songs, one in four people couldn't identify the basic tones of a melody. The researchers believe the ability to recognize pitch is genetic, so people who don't have it might never succeed in musical endeavors, even if they study music for long periods of time.


Question 10 of 20

The gene that controls musical ability is linked to ________ .

language development
overall intelligence

... It seems there is some truth to the theory that people who are very musical also are better at learning languages.


Question 11 of 20

Is there a link between bipolar disorder and creative genius?

definitely yes
No; it's only a myth based on creative genius personality types.

... Numerous studies have looked at the relationship between bipolar disorder and creative genius. One of the reasons a link is possible is because during manic episodes, people often find themselves becoming highly productive. Also, scientists believe manic people are more likely to think in rhyme or alliteration, which could make music composition easier. So for now, it's still a maybe ...


Question 12 of 20

Up to what age is musical ability mostly genetic?

7 years old
14 years old
throughout one's life

... Children who are genetically predisposed to being musical will show very early ability for it. After the age of seven, methodical training and deliberate practice are needed to continue developing musical skills.


Question 13 of 20

What is musical intelligence?

one of eight types of intelligence
the ability to learn music without instruction
another name for musical genius

... American developmental psychologist Howard Gardner says intelligence cannot be assessed with IQ tests, because not everyone has the same type of intelligence, so he breaks it down into eight types. Aside from musical, the other types of intelligence are bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, logical/mathematical, naturalistic and spatial.


Question 14 of 20

What is perfect pitch?

the ability to recognize the pitch of everyday sounds
the ability to sing on key every time
the ability to reproduce an exact musical note without external reference

... Most musicians need a tonal reference to reproduce a note. For example, a singer might play the A note on a piano if he needs to sing in A key. Musicians with perfect pitch can reproduce an exact note without a tonal reference.


Question 15 of 20

Speakers of which languages are more likely to develop perfect musical pitch?

Latin American languages
Indo-European languages
tonal languages (Thai, Mandarin)

... Tonal languages rely on the use of different tones and accents to differentiate words. For example, the same word can have three or four different meanings, depending on how you pronounce it. People who speak in tonal languages are more likely to have perfect musical pitch because they can imitate tonal changes more easily.


Question 16 of 20

This famous musician recorded several "genius" titled albums, including "Genius Loves Company."

Frank Sinatra
Ray Charles
Perry Como

... Dubbed by Frank Sinatra as "the only true genius in show business," Ray Charles' first genius album was 1959's "The Genius of Ray Charles." More than 50 of Charles' singles hit Billboard's top 50 chart over his decades-long career. His duet album "Genius Loves Company" was released two months after he died in 2004.


Question 17 of 20

Mozart, considered the greatest musical genius in history, was a master piano player, but he also played the ________ .


... Mozart played piano and violin. Mozart's father was a musician, composer and piano player as well. Mozart started composing his own music by the time he was 5 years old.


Question 18 of 20

Right-handed people who play music show ________ .

left-hemisphere brain dominance
better language ability
stronger math ability

... Right-handed people who have no musical training have a more dominant left side in their brains.


Question 19 of 20

Is there any truth to the popular saying that musical geniuses often lack social skills?

No, it's never been proven.
yes, of course

... Many musical geniuses might be savants, in which case there's a chance they're also autistic. This means they could have trouble with social skills and human interaction. Other musical geniuses might simply shun human company because they prefer spending long hours composing or practicing.


Question 20 of 20

Music training is better than computer instruction when it comes to enhancing ________ skills.

abstract reasoning
coordination and balance

... A group of researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin found that preschool-age children who learned to play keyboard improved their spatial-temporal reasoning much more than children who received computer lessons.


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