which came first …?



“… in much commentary, there is a tendency to look at every work in a given form, such as sonata form, as just one more example of that form, perhaps with a few quirks. From a composer’s perspective, that is a backward view of the matter. For a composer of Beethoven’s era, the idea of a work comes first, and then it is mapped into a familiar form that has to be cut and measured to fit the idea. The ‘quirks’ in a given piece are clues to the distinctive nature of that piece. Sometimes for the composer the fundamental idea is such that a new, ad hoc form has to be invented.”



— Jan Swafford, Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph; A Biography




This is a brilliant comment. It applies to all the arts (including, say, writing and poetry).



— Roger W. Smith

    October 2017

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
This entry was posted in creativity; thought, musings (random daily thoughts), writing (the craft of writing; good vs. bad writing; my training, experience, and lessons re same) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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