The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134020   Message #3047672
Posted By: Gibb Sahib
06-Dec-10 - 04:09 PM
Thread Name: Are most composers smokers?
Subject: RE: Are most composers smokers?
If this is to be any sort of discussion, many more details are needed:

1. What appeared to be the intent of Rory's statement? Was it meant to be taken as a casual observation or as some sort of scientific (or quasiscientific) assertion to prove a "serious" point?
2. What do we mean by "composers"? Time period? Genre? Geography?
3. Is nicotine the focus, or the act of smoking?
4. Is the smoking part of a "lifestyle"? In whatever period/place we are talking about, what percentage of ALL people smoked? ("Most composers had two arms.")
5. Is alertness or creativity the focus? How do we judge levels of creativity?
6. How are we judging artistic worth?
7. Lots/loads more...

Since none of these are being addressed, I assume the statement is meant as just something conversational....something that asks us, in the context of a given "conversation," to indulge the speaker and accept his various assumptions and to be, above all, sympathetic. My instinct tells me that the appropriate response is, "Huh, that's interesting. Yeah, a lot of composers [white males of a leisure class of the 19th-20th centuries in Western countries who sit down and put dots on paper???] have been smokers. Maybe you're right!"