3/2/09

Thoughts on Music pt. 1 (Arnold Schönberg)

This is the first in a series of blogs where I will post...well...you guessed it; thoughts on music! And most of them (or maybe all of them) won't even be mine! Writing about music is a weird activity, but sometimes I stumble upon writing that seems to say something essential, provoking and/or witty about music. These blogs will contain stuff that I stumble upon on the internet, in magazines, books & study related material.

First up: Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951). According to Wikipedia: "He famously developed twelve-tone technique, a widely influential compositional method of manipulating an ordered series of all twelve notes in the chromatic scale. He also coined the term developing variation, and was the first modern composer to embrace ways of developing motives without resorting to the dominance of a centralized melodic idea".

To understand the very nature of creation one must acknowledge that there was no light before the Lord said; “Let there be light”. And since there was not yet light, the Lord’s omniscience embraced a vision of it which only His omnipotence could call forth.
We poor human beings, when we refer to one of the better minds among us as a creator, should never forget what a creator is in reality.

A creator has a vision of something which has not existed before this vision. And a creator has the power to bring his vision to life, the power to realize it.

In fact, the concept of creator and creation should be formed in harmony with the Divine Model; inspiration and perfection, wish and fullfilment, will and accomplishment coincide spontaneously and simultaneously. In Divine Creation there w
ere no details to be carried out later; “There was Light” at once and in its ultimate perfection.
Alas, human creators, if they be granted a vision, must travel the long path between vision and accomplishment; a hard road where, driven out of Paradise, even geniuses must reap their harvest in the sweat of their brows.

Alas, it is one thing to envision in a creative instant of inspiration and it is another thing to materialize one’s vision by painstakingly connecting details until they fuse into a kind of organism.

Alas, suppose it becomes an organism, a homunculus or a robot, and possesses some of the spontaneity of a vision; it remains yet another thing to organize this form so that it becomes a comprehensible message “to whom it may concern”.
"
-Arnold Schönberg, “Composition With Twelve Notes”, 1941

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