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Or is it a myth ?

Did you ever dabble with any drugs and find that your compositions improved ?

I am including all legal and illegal, from caffeine upwards.

Does a cigarette help you to concentrate.

Did you write a great tune while stoned ?

And listen back to it the next day and decide it was garbage ?

Didn't the Beatles' music improve after they discovered weed (Rubber Soul) and LSD (Sgt Pepper etc) ?

Did composers of the classical period get high in German coffee parlours ?

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Thank you, Chase.

Meanwhile I found your web page and am listening to your flamenco guitar.

Mariza

The only way you could prove any of this is to conduct an experiment, in which two groups of composers (say from a relatively good music school, with roughly the same ability) were placed in a room for several hours, and told to compose something.

 

Group 1.  Takes no drugs.

 

Group 2. Takes whatever drugs are the subject of the test (Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin, LSD, etc.)

 

 

You would have to do this several times, until your total sample sizes for both groups one and two were about 1200 (for the test to have any real statistical validity).

 

At the end of the test all music produced is collected, and then evaluated.  The works would have to judged and evaluated by a panel of well qualified musical experts.

 

No one wants to perform this test, obviously.  It's easier to rely on anecdotal evidence and say, "Hey, I saw the universe inside out, and everything beside it, and now I know I can compose that."

I essentially agree with Peter:  "Music is a drug in itself! The best of all drugs! Why would anyone venture beyond? You can see God in music too!"

 

I am not knocking "all drug experiences."  But it's an experience, similar to some other experiences, and less valuable than many.  You might have learned something, you might not have.  In any case, why compose AND TAKE DRUGS at the same time?

You could have gained an insight from skydiving, but you wouldn't want to compose a symphony while you are doing that.  I think it's the same with drug experiences.  You don't want to climb a mountain and compose an "Alpine Symphony" at the same time.  I'm sure Richard Strauss didn't do that.  And I'm sure Wagner didn't compose the Ring Cycle while he was swimming up and down the Rhine River, looking for Rhine Maidens and Gold.

 The moral of this message:  Don't drink your coffee or your tea while composing.  Take a sip, then compose.  Take another sip, then compose some more.  But don't do both at the same time.  If the tea makes you "high," stop immediately and enjoy the high.  When you come back to reality, then finish your composition.

 

[The preceding advice comes from the Offices of the Greek Deity, Morpheus; and from the Offices of the Divinities of Music and Composition, and from Asclepius, the demigod of health.  In addition, be sure to check the labels on any drug you may use while attempting to compose,  and note such instructions as "Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery or to compose works for large orchestral ensembles, while using this product," or, "May cause drowsiness or excess exhilaration:  do not drive or write sonatas for flute and violin, while using this concoction."  Look on your cigarette pack labels for a message such as this: 

 

"Smoking blocks the arteries and causes heart attack or cerebral hemorrhage, even if  you are composing a seven act opera, with a cast of over 150 singers, including chorus"

 

and,

 

"Fumar es muy malo para la salud. Puede causar enfermedades del corazon, gangrena, cancer de pulmon, funcion pulmonar reducida, bronquitis cronica, accidente cerebrovascular, cancer de garganta, cancer de boca y enfisema, por los compositores tambien. Si todavia usted fuma, no diga que no le advertimos."

 

 

 

 

But that is not the essence of the question, as far as I understood it. :)

I understood it as a question each person should ask themselves. Besides, an experiment isn't going to prove anything except that some amount of people will not benefit from experimenting with drugs (they don't even have to be composing in that moment, since some drugs have long term effects), and some amount of people will benefit from it (both of which we already know is true). The overall percentage of who and who doesn't benefit from it is useless, since composing is solitary work; thus, all a person needs is a sample size of themselves, and conduct an experiment on themselves.

I am feeling an anti-drug presence from these replies so far though. The problem is, everyone's experience is different. For anyone to extend the idea "drugs are useless" or "drugs are useful" beyond themselves is pointless. I was making a statement about my own experiences, and I ask that you do the same.

What is universal and relevant is: if you are going to experiment with drugs, please respect them, and don't abuse them.

Olmnil said:

The only way you could prove any of this is to conduct an experiment, in which two groups of composers (say from a relatively good music school, with roughly the same ability) were placed in a room for several hours, and told to compose something.

.....

I am not knocking "all drug experiences."  But it's an experience, similar to some other experiences, and less valuable than many.  You might have learned something, you might not have.  In any case, why compose AND TAKE DRUGS at the same time?

 

"Can Drugs aid the process of composition ?"

You can't just ask individuals, "Do drugs aid the process of composition?"

People might lie.

That's why it needs to be done as a study.

For instance:

We broke arms, legs and fingers of one hundred composers.
To half we gave pain killers.
To the other half, we gave no pain killers.

Those who were given pain killers were aided in the process of composition.

Thus, on the whole, we may safely say,

Drugs aid the process of composition, in certain cases.

You say, "I think the question is too broad?"

I S                 T H I S  Q U E S T I O N                 T O O                    B R O A D ?

 

is this question to narrow?

Hi possible vision questers. 

Roland L. Fischer did controlled  experiments with the question "Was visual acuity  enhanced  or not , under the influence of psychedelics?" , -- which Did confirm a measurable enhancement  of the visual field  by those who were under the  influence of (a modest amount)  psychedelics .  He also did experiments on creativity, where, although confirming as enhancement there as well, could not be scientific measured other than by the feedback of the 'artists'' tested, who upon observing their creation, confirmed this. 

Curiouser and curiouser…..

gregorio

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