By Paul Hindemith

ISBN-10: 3795700248

ISBN-13: 9783795700249

The booklet goals to be a advisor in the course of the little universe that is the operating position of the guy who writes song. As such it talks predominantly to the layman,although the professional composer can also locate a few stimulation in it... From the middle of simple concept the dialogue will opened up into all of the geographical regions of adventure which border the technical features of composing, equivalent to aesthetics, sociology, philosophy, and so forth.

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Example text

As an illustration of this statement I like to mention the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, which I have found leads some people into a pseudo feeling of profound melancholy, while another group takes it for a kind of scurrilous scherzo, and a third for a subdued pastorale. Each group is justified in judging as it does. The difference in interpretation stems from the difference in memory-images the listeners provide, and the unconscious selection is made on the basis of the sentimental value or the degree of importance each image has: the listener chooses the one which is dearest and closest to his mental disposition, or which represents a most common, most easily accessible feeling.

To them the ideal composer is the simple-minded instrument of a superior will, a kind of mystic loudspeaker that proclaims messages the sense of which he himself does not understand. In times past he was a philosopher, a scientist, an educator. When he lost this extramusical esteem, he still was the great craftsman who in the public’s opinion ranked highest among the musicians. Nowadays it is the performer who has conquered this position, and the composer more or less dwells in one and the same class with the medicine man of a savage tribe, who exorcizes instead of reasoning, who emanates superstition instead of wisdom.

Paintings, poems, sculptures, works of architecture, after having impressed us consciously in the manner mentioned, do not — contrary to music — release images of feelings; instead they speak to the real, untransformed, and unmodified feelings. ) Gaiety released by examples of these arts is real gaiety, not a stored-away recollection of a formerly experienced gaiety; sadness is real sadness. This is proved by the fact that these real feelings lack entirely the range, variety, and speed of the images of feelings evoked by music, with their delirious, almost insane manner of appearance.

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A Composer's World: Horizons and Limitations (Schott) by Paul Hindemith

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