Monday, July 14, 2014

Music Lessons

Poetics of Music in the Form of Six LessonsPoetics of Music 
in the Form of Six Lessons 
by Igor Stravinsky

"Art in the true sense is a way of fashioning works according to certain methods acquired either by apprenticeship or by inventiveness.  A methods are the straight and predetermined channels that insure the rightness of our operation." (p 25)

In his preface to this collection of lectures Darius Milhaud says, "Poetics of music is like a searchlight turned by Stravinsky on his own work on one hand, and on music in general on the other." This comment provides an excellent introduction to this short book. Given as part of the Charles Eliot Norton lectures, these compact essays provide an insight into the mind of one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.
Half the book is concerned with music in general,focusing on the phenomenon of music, its composition, the various types of music and aspects of musical style. His argument regarding critics who ignore his own music is interesting as he looks back at earlier composers like Bach and Beethoven who suffered from similar disregard before being crowned as great masters.
Further commentary includes a more specific look at Russian music in particular and a discussion of the interpretation of music. These lectures by a great Russian master whose own style evolved significantly over his lifetime make great reading for all who love music.

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Brian Joseph said...

Stravinsky was such an important and intriguing artist. You post had promoted me to listen to the "The Rite of Spring" which I am doing so right now!

These lectures must be fascinating.

James said...


I agree with you about Stravinsky's importance. His willingness to develop and try new styles and methods was an important part of that.