My fault, I'd say.John Ruggero wrote:Sorry I misunderstood, Knut.
Great story!John Ruggero wrote:I think that composer is best concerned about "interesting" rather than "original", because worry about originality can lead to negative consequences like: the conviction that one's style must be totally different from anything ever heard before or that there is something terribly wrong with the unconscious borrowing that is a normal part of the creative process. An example:
A Sad but also Happy Story
A composer once wrote a piano piece that was such a huge hit among his friends that they constantly asked him to play it for them. Close to publishing the piece, he suddenly realized that he had subconsciously summarized the whole of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata in his own piece and had even "borrowed" a long melodic sequence note-for-note from the famous piece, which was, as often in such cases, in the exactly same keys as his own.
Convinced that the public would immediately notice the borrowing, he put the piece in a drawer where it remained until after his death, whereupon a friend and disciple published the work. Instantly, the piece became one of the most beloved and famous piano pieces ever written. For over one hundred years, people wondered why the composer would not have published such a great piece. Finally, a student of Heinich Schenker noticed the connection and published an article about it. Did this affect the popularity of the piece or the esteem in which it is held? Is it a less good a piece because it is a little "unoriginal". Suppose the composer had destroyed the work? Suppose the composer had stopped writing it because he had immediately noticed the connection?
The composer was Chopin; the piece was the "Fantasy"-Impromptu.
I totally agree. According to Ravel there are only two types of music: 'That which pleases and that which is boring', which I'd interpret as essentially the same thing. Ravel also made no attempt to hide his influences. He would say things like 'My music is, quite simple, nothing but Mozart', or, referring to a particular piece or passage, 'Here the harmony is pure Beethoven'. Even when the influences are easy to spot, the Ravelian treatment of the 'loot' is what makes it interesting.