War and Individual Creativity: Tentative Evidence in Relation to Composers
The relationship between conflict and individual artistic output is ambiguous, both a priori and in terms of the evidence. To address this question in relation to composers, we employ a sample of 115 prominent classical composers born after 1800 and attempt to link their annual productivity with the incidence of wars. While the sample is small and the measure of creative productivity limited, we find evidence that the impact of wars on individual creative production is significant and negative, in keeping with the evidence on the impact of wars on overall societal creative output.
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