Music and Rocket Science

Last night Michael and I were having one of those very important conversations – we spent a few minutes brainstorming about whether music or rocket science is harder.

Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Playing the violin is hard; interplanetary travel is also hard.
  • Getting a rocket into the sky is quite tricky and does not always go according to plan, but humans have only been trying for a hundred years or so.
  • Music has a great wealth of history on its side – long before Galileo then Newton did the math that would eventually make charting rocket trajectories possible, humans were making music. Most musicians now have the luxury of never having to worry about the math of their pursuit at all.
  • Rocket science is still considered a technological innovation that’s in the incubator. One day it will be like the printing press, and perhaps then music will be considered much harder than rocket science.
  • A great many people play music; very few, by comparison, do rocket science.
  • Most rocket science jobs require a PhD. Most music jobs do not.
  • Does the number of people proficient say something about difficulty of the pursuit?
  • Rocket science pays way better than music for most folks actually doing the work.
  • The megastars of music are much, much more wealthy than the megastars of rocket science.
  • Everyone alive and with the tiniest bit of mobility can afford to produce music of some type. Very few can afford to make a spaceship.
  • Can one even compare art and science?
  • Isn’t there an art to rocket science?
  • Isn’t there a science to music production?
  • Most people (probably all, except for rocket scientists) know more musicians than rocket scientists.

Feel free to add your own insights in the comments.  This is truly important stuff.

Thanks for reading.


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