SEATTLE, Washington - One of the reasons that I have a zillion times more respect for books/authors than music/musicians is that good writing requires intelligence. If you read a really well-done novel, you know without fail that it was written by an intelligent person. There's just no way around it. I'm an intelligent person and I appreciate accomplishments that require smarts.
There's no such requirement for being a skilled or successful musician - you can see from interviews that many accomplished musicians are manifest idiots.
(And don't come at me with the "there's different kinds of intelligence" crap.)
But we have a Highly Intelligent Musician sighting! The PhD thesis of longtime Queen guitarist Brian May has just been published. This is not a thesis in basket-weaving, but instead is in Astrophysics. May started the research in the 1970s, took about 30 years off to play the music, and presumably spent a bit of time as the Weird Old Guy Sitting In The Front Row Of Class before wrapping up the thesis in 2007.