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STYLE and, IDEA

by
ARNOLD SCHOENBERG

I'HILOSOPHICAL LIBRARY
New York

i"
) :.t' I

'f -'r/-
'' l'

ditor's Joreword

CoeYnrcNT, 1950, Bv
Anxoro ScrrorNsrnc, as an author, has his own
PHILoSoPHICAL LTBRARY, INC' personality and ideas, not only in German but also
15 Eest40ts Srntr't, Nrw Yonr, N' Y' in English. Several of the essays now composing
Style and ldea were originally written in German.
In translating these, I have, at the author's wish,
adhered as literally to the original style as Engtish
usage allows. Thus there should be a certain con-
sistency of expression between these and the later
essays which were written in English but which still
bear the earmarks of Schoenberg's individual Ger-
man sfle.
Schoenberg himself has elucidated his attitude
towards his own manner of writing in English as
follows:
". . . I do not plan to hide the fact that I am not
born in this language and I do not want to parade
adorned by stylistic merits of another person.n Obe-
dience to this viewpoint has governed editorial ac-
tivities throughout.
It may also be stated that, of set purpose, no at-
tempt has been made to eliminate any possible in-
c_on-sistencies in the points of view expressed in the
different essays. It should be remembered that they
represent the product of neady forty years of
Schoenberg's intellectual activity, and hence reflect
the growth and development of his ideas during
that time. \7hat they do not present is a fixed dog-
Printed in the United States ol America
ma and no such thing should be sought for in them.
Dlra NrwrrN
Tabh of Contents

I. Tnn RerarroNsHrp to tnn Trxt L

II. Gusrav Mannn 7


III. Nnw Muslc, Outi'looro Musrc, Sryra a,No
Inre 37
ry. Bnarrus tnn PnocRESSrvE 52
V. CouposrtroN \rrrH TwErvp ToNps 1.02

u. A DaNcnnous GauE M4
VII. EaRtnalNrNG THRoucH Colrposlr.tc M6
VIII. Hranr /,No BRAIN rN Musrc r53
IX. Czutnnla FoR THE EvaruauoN on Muslc 180
x. Forrtonlstrc Svttl pltoNrns 196
XI. Huuax Rlcsrs 204
XII. ON RavlnNr Tou.;ouns 2rl
XIII. Tur BmssrNG oF nrr DnEssrNc 214
XIV. Tnls Is My Faurr 2Lg
XV. To rus \Tuanrs 221.

INorx 222

911
Ibe Relationsbtp n $e TexLl
TnEnp anr relatively few people who are capable of under-
lpding, purely in terms of music, what mrlsic has to say.
The assumption that a piece of music must summon up im-
ages of one sort or another, and that if these are absent the
piece of music has not been understood or is worthless, is as
widespread as only the false and banal can be. Nobody ex-
pects such a thing from any other art, but rather contents
himself with the effects of its material, although in the other
arts the material-subject, the represented object, automatically
presents itself to the limited power of comprehension of thl
intellectually mediocre. Since music as such- lacks a material.
subject, some look beyond its effects for purely formal beau-
ty, others for poetic procedures. Even Schopenhauer, who at
first says something really exhaustive about the essence of
music in his wonderful thought, "The composer reveals the
inmost essence of the world and utters the most profound
wisdom in a language which his reason does not unierstand
just as a magnetiZ s#rnambulist gives dlsclos"res
"il; ffi;J
which she has no idea of when awake"-even he loses him-
self later when he tries to translate details of this language
ubich tbe reason does not understand into our terms. It*mult,
however, be clear to him that in this translation into the
terms of human language, which is abstraction, reduction to
the recognizable, the essential, the language of the world,
which gggh! perhaps to remain incompreliensible and only
perceptible, is lost. But even so he is jristified in this proce-
dure, since af.ter all it is his aim as a pirilosopher to repiesent
the essence of the world, its unsurveyable wealth, in terms of
concepts whose poverty is all too easily seen through. And
1 Der Blarle Reiter, l)12.
Ill
STYLE AND IDEA THE RELATIONSHIP TO TI{E TEXT
Sfasner too, when he wanted to give the average man an scarcely any musicians with whom one can talk about music.
i"Ji?..t notion of what he as a rnusician had looked upon But \Wagner, whom they like so much to cite as an example,
aii..tiy, did right to attach Progralns to Beethoven's sympho- u'rote a tremendous amount about purely musical matters;
nies. and I am sure that he would unconditionally repudiate these
Such a procedure becomes disastrous when it becomes gen- consequences of his misunderstood efforts.
.r"t its meaning becomes.P.t*,:tttd.to th:.-of:
r',rugJ. Then Therefore, it is nothing but a comfortable way out of this
posite; Jne tries to recognize events and feelings in-musrc as dilemma when a music critic writes of an author that his
iiifr"y tnust be there. Oi the contrary,.in the case of fvaglgJ composition does not do justice to the words of the poet.
it i, * follows: the impression of the "essence of the world" The "scope of this newspaper," which is always most limited
i=..it.a through musii becomes productive in him and stim- in space just when necessary evidence should be brought in,
ulates him to I poetic transformition in the material of an- is always most willing to help out the lack of ideas, and the
other art. But the events and feelings which aPPear in this artist is really pronounced guilty because of "lack of evi-
transformation were not contained in the music, but are mere- dence." But the evidence for such assertions, when it is once
lv the material which the poet uses only because so direct' brought out, is rather evidence for the contrary, since it mere-
Jnpolluted and pure a mode of expression is denied to poetry' ly shows how somebody would make music who does not
*-T;;
an art still bound to subject-matter' know how to-how accordingly music ought in no case to
.ufu.ity of pure perception is-extremely rare.and only look if it has been composed by an artist. This is even true
to be mei wiih in-men'of high calibre' This explairy--yhl in the case of a composer's writing criticisms. Even if he is a
pro?.ttio""l arbiters become Jmbarrassed,by,certain difficul- good composer. For in the moment when he writes criticisms
iies, That our scores become harder and harder to read' that he is not a composer, not masically inspired.. If he were in-
in. t.futi".ly few performances Pass by so quickly, that often spired he would not describe how the piece ought to be com-
eue., the most seniitive, purest m"n catt receive only
fleeting posed, but would compose it himself. This is quicker and
impressions-all this -uk.r it impossible for the critic, who even easier for one who can do it, and is more convincing.
mr.ist report and judge, but who iJ usually incapable of
imag- In reality, such judgments come from the most banal notion
i"i"g al^ir" u -uii.^i scorc, to do his duty even with.that de- possible, from a conventional scheme according to which a
sree" of honesty upon which he might perhaps decide if it certain dynamic level and speed in the music must correspond
?ould do him ,,o L^t*. Absolutely helpless he stands the to certain occurrences in the poem and must run exactly paral-
-in
f.ace of purety musical effect, and therefore he prefers to lel to them. Quite aside from the fact that this parallelism,
w-rite about music which is somehow connected with a text: or one even more profound, can also be present when exter-
about program music, songs'- oPeras' -etc' One could almost nally the opposite seems to be presented-that, for example,
.*.or. iiri for it when onJ observes that operatic conductors, a tender thought can be expressed by a quick and violent
from whom one would like to find out something about the theme because the following violence will develop from it
music of a new opera, prattle almost exclusively about the more organically-quite aside from this, such a scheme is al-
libretto, the theatrical efiectiveness, and the per-formers' -In- ready to be rejected because it is conventional; because it
deed, since musicians have acquired culture and think they would lead to making music into a language which "com-
have to demonstrate this by avoiding shop-talk, there are poses and thinks" for every man. And its use by critics leads

[2] [3]
THE RELATIONSHIP TO THE TEXT
STYLE AND IDEA
completely understood the Schubert songs, together with their
to manifestations like an article which I once read some-
poems, from the music alone, and the poems of Stefan George
where, "Faults of Declamation in \(agner," in which sm9-
from their sound alone, with a perfection that by analysis and
one showed how he would have compoied certain passages if
\Wagner had not beaten him to it. synthesis could hardly have been attained, but certainly not
surpassed. However, such impressions usually address them-
,f f.* years ago I was deeply ashamed when I discovered selves to the intellect later on, and demand that it prepare
in several Schubelt songs, weli-known to me, that I !{- a!so- them for general applicability, that it dissect and sort them,
lutely no idea what wai going on in the Poems on which they that it measure and test them, and resolve into details what we
*"re bas"d. But when I"hairead the poems it became clear possess as a whole. And even artistic creation often goes this
to me that I had gained absolutely nothing for -the under- roundabout way before it arrives at the real conception. When
standing of the sorigs thereby, since the poems did. not make Karl Kraus calls language the mother of thought, and $Vas-
it ,r...iury for me"to change my conception of the musical sily Kandinsky and Oskar Kokoschka paint pictures the ob-
interpretation in the slightest degree. On the contrary, rt ap- jeciive theme of which is hardly more than an excuse to im-
p""rJa that, without kiowing tf,e poem, I had -grasP.ed .the provise in colors and forms and to express themselves as only
iontent, the real content, perhaps even more profoundly than the musician expressed himself until now, these are symptoms
if I frua clung to the surface o? the mere thoughts expressed of a gradually expanding knowledge of the true nature of
in words. Fo*r me, even more decisive than this experience art. And with great joy I rcad Kandinsky's book On tbe Spir-
was the f.act that, inspired by the sound of the first words of
itual in Art, in which the road for painting is pointed out and
the text, I had composed many of my songs straight -through
the hope is aroused that those who ask about the text, about
to the end without iroubling myself in the slightest about the the subject-matter, will soon ask no more.
continuation of the Poetic e-u"nis, without even grasp-ing them
Then there will become clear what was already made clear
in the ecstasy of composing, and that only days later I thought
in another instance. No one doubts that a poet who works
of looking"Itback to'see jusiwhat was the real poetic content of with historical material may move with the greatest free-
my song. then turne[ out, to my greatest astonishment, that
'had "n"u., done greater justice to the dom, and that a painter, if he still wanted to paint historical
I Poet -tha-n -when,
pictures today, would not have to compete with a history
guided by first lirect contact with the sound of the be-
"I -y had to follow professor. One has to hold to what a work of art intends to
iinning, divined everything- that obviosuly offer, and not to what is merely its intrinsic cause. Further-
tfris fiist sound with inevitability.
more, in all music composed to poetry, the exactitude of the
Thence it became clear to me that the work of art is like
reproduction of the events is as irrelevant to the artistic value
everv other complete organism. It is so homogeneous in its
as is the resemblance of a portrait to its model; after all, no
comiosition that in everf little detail it reveals its truest, in- one can check on this resemblance any longer after a hundred
lil7hen one cuts into any part of the human
-ori .rr.rr... years, while the artistic effect still remains. And it does not
body, the same thing always comes- out-blood' \7hen one remain because, as the Impressionists perhaps believe, a real
h.-i u verse of u poJ-, a measure of a composition, one is in man (that is, the one who is apparently represented) speaks
a position to comprehend the whole. Even so, a word, a to us, but because the artist does so-he who has expressed
!Uln.., a gesture, the gait, even the color of the hair, are suf-
himself here, he whom the portrait must resemble in a higher
Ticient to
"reveal
the p-ersonality of a human being' So I had
I4l trl
STYLE AND IDEA
reality. $Zhen one has perceived this, it is also easy to under-
stand that the outwarh .orr.rpondence between music and
text, as exhibited in declamation, tempo and dynam'rs, has but
little to do with the inward corresp-ondence, and belongs. to Qustav e%tabler
the same stage of primitive imitation of nature as the copying IwsrEao oF usrNc many words, perhaps I should do best
of a model. Lppaient superficial divergences can be necessary simply to say: I believe firmly and steadfastly that Gustav
judg-
because of p"*it"tis- ott a higher level. Therefore, the Mahler was one of the greatest men and artists. For there are
judg-
ment on the basis of the text is just as reliable as the only two possibilities of convincing someone of an artist's
ment of albumen according to the characteristics of carbon. greatness: the first and better way is to perform his work;
the second, which I am forced to use, is to transmit my belief
in this work to others.
Man is petty! Truly, we should have faith that our belief
will transmit itself directly. Our passion for the object of our
veneration must so inflame us that everyone who comes near
us must burn with us, must be consumed by the same ardor
and worship the same fire which is also sacred to us. This
fire should burn so brightly in us that we become transparent,
so that its light shines forth and illuminates even the one
who, until now, walked in darkness. An apostle who does
not glow preaches heresy. He to whom the halo of sanctity
is denied does not carry the image of a god within himself.
Iror the apostle does not shine by himself, but by a light
which uses his body merely N a shell; the light pierces the
shell, but it graciously grants the glowing one the appearance
of shining by himself. \7e, who are inspired, must have faith;
men will sympathize with this ardor, men will see our light
shining. Men will honor the one whom we worshi5even
without our doing anything about it.
Man is petty. \7e do not believe enough in the whole thing,
in the great thing, but demand irrefutable details. SZe depend
too little upon that capacity which gives us an impression of
the object as a totality containing within itself all details in
their corresponding relationships. \fle believe that we under-
stand what is natural; but the miracle is extremely natural,
and the natural is extremely miraculous.
L7)
t6l
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
everyone. And it forgets that such realistic means will never
The more exactly we observe, the more enigmatic does the
be employed in music, and especially not in the symphony,
simplest matter become to us. Ve analy-ze because we are
not
function of a because music is always unreal. In music, no one is ever really
satiified with comprehending nature, eifect and
whln we are not able to put together killed or tortured unjustly; here, there is never any event
toiality as a totality and,'h^u.
taken apart, 1e ,begin :: d"- lI which could awaken sympathy in itself , for only musical mat-
again'exactly whai *" ters appear. And only when these events have power to speak
iristice to that capacity which gave us the whole together.wth for themselves---only when this alternation of high and low
il$;rii *.'lose faitt, in-our finest ability-the ability to
"r,J tones, fast and slow rhythms, loud and soft sounds, tells of
receive a total imPression.
the most unreal things that exist----only then are we moved to
I shalL give an ixample which will seem familiar to anyone utmost sympathy. He who has once felt the impact of this
who obseives himself iarefully enough' I remember distinctly
purity remains immune to all other impressions! It is entirely
that the first time I heard Mahler's Second Symphony I
was
with an out of the question that musical sentiment can be traced to
seized, especially in certain passages, exciternent
impure sources, for the means of music are unreal, and only
;i;h' ."p'r.rr.d'itself even physically, in the violent throb-
heart. Nevertheleis,'whenI left the concert I did
reality is impure!
li.j A man who has been overwhelmed and knows that his ar-
"f-riy
not"fail to test what I had heard according to those require- tistic and ethical culture is on a high level, and thus has con-
ments which were known to me as a musician, and with
fidence in himself and believes in his culture, need not con-
which, as is generally believed, a work of art must uncondi-
cern himself with the question of whether the means were
tionaliy .o^i'ly. Thus I forgot the most important .circum- artistic. And he who is not overu,helmed is concerned even
stance-that ihe work had, alter all, made an unheard-of im-
less. It is enough for him that he was neither overwhelmed-
pression on me, inasmuch as it had enchanted me into an in-
nor repelled! \7hy, then all the bombastic words? For this
voluntary sympathy. Indeed, a work of art can produce no
reason: we like to make our judgments agree with those of
greater Lffl.t'than when it transmits the emotions which
others at any price, and when this does not work, we strive
izged in the creator to the listener, in such a wly that they
to achieve the advanta ge of. a well-founded and well-fortified
alio ,age and storm in him. And I was overwhelmed; com- position of our own. Differences of understanding are only
oletelv overwhelmed.
' Th; intellect is skeptical; it does not trust the sensual, and partly causes of splitting into parties; far more is due to the
justifications. They make the disagreement endless. It is not
it trusts the supersensual even less. If one is overwhelmed, certain that what I call red is really the same in the eye of
the intellect ,rruirrt"int that there are many means which might
another as it is in mine. And nevertheless agreement is
bring forth such an overwhelming,ernotion. It reminds us that
easily reached here, so that there is no doubt about what is
no one can vtew a ttagic event in life without being most
red and what is green. But the moment one tried to explain
deeply moved; it reminds us of the melodramatic horror-play,
wby this is red, that green, dissension would certainly set in.
*h6se effect none can escape; it reminds us that there are
The simple experience of the senses: "I see what is called
higher and lower means, artfutic and inartistic. It tells us that
red" or "I feel that I am overwhelmed" can be easily stated
rel1stic, violent incide.ts-as, for example, the _torture scene
in Tosia-which are unfailingly effective should not be used by anyone who is intelligent enough. And he should have the
courage to consider the fact that he is not overwhelmed as
by * artist, because they aie too cheap, too accessible to
I8l tel
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
something self-evident but completely unimportant to the ob- down the line. In every case where human understanding
ject, just as one who is deaf may not disown sounds, or one tries to abstract from divine works the laws according to which
who is color-blind, colors. they are constructed, it turns out that we find only laws
The work of. aft exists even if no one is overwhelmed by which charactefize our cognition through thinking and our
it, and the attempt to rationalize one's feelings about it is su- power of imagination. \We are moving in a circle. $/e always
perfluous, because this attempt always exhibits the character- see and recognize only ourselves, only, at most, our own
istics of the subject and never those of the object: the onlook- beinu, as oflen as we think we are describing the essence of
er is color-blind, the listener deaf; the art-lover was in the a thing outside ourselves. And these laws, which are, at best,
wrong mood, was unfitted (perhaps only at the moment, those of our intellectual capacity, we apply as a yardstick
perhaps permanently) to receive an artistic impression. to the work of the creator! On the basis of such laws, we
' Bui how does it'iome about that someone who has tried
ludge the work of the great artist!
with the best will in the world to understand arrives at such Perhaps it has never been harder to give an artist his
perverted judgments, in spite of having received an impres- proper due than today. Overvaluation and undervaluation
sion ? Here and there one has come across a Passage which have probably hardly ever before been such inevitable results
one does not like; a melody which one finds banal, which of the business of art. And it has never been more difficult
seems to be unoriginal; a continuation which one does not for the public to tell who is really great and who is just a
understand, for which one thinks to find a better substitute; big name of the day. Countless men are producing. They can-
a voice-leading which seems to scorn all the requirements here- not all be geniuses. A few set the pace, the others merely
tofore set up for good voice-leading. One is a musician, be- irritate. But if the many imitators want to stay in the race,
longs to the guild, is capable of doing something oneself (or they must quickly find out what is the latest brand good in
perhaps not!) and always knows exactly how the thing should the market. The publishers, the press and publicity take care
te done, if indeed it should be done at all. It is pardonable of this, and achieve the result that one who is creating some-
that such a one feels justified in cavilling at details. For we thing new is not left alone for long. Bee-like industry, which
all cavil over the works of the greatest masters. There is today in all fields achieves the success which only talent should
scarcely anyone who, if he received an order to create the have, asserts itself here too, and brings it about that the
world better than the Lord God Almighty had done it, would epoch is expressed not by the solitary great man, but by a
not undertake the task without further ado' Everything which throng of little men. The truly great have always had to flee
we do not understand we take for an error; everything which from the present into the future, but the present has never
makes us uncomfortable we take for a mistake of its creator. belonged so completely to the mediocre as it does today.
And we do not stop to think that, since we do not under- And no matter how great the gap, they will try to bridge it-
stand the meaning, silence, respectful silence, would be the they even stake out their claims on the future. No one wants
only fitting response. And admiration, boundless admiration. to write just for today, even if he can hardly be believed in
But, as has been said, we are petty; simply because we can- for as long as one day. There are only geniuses, and to them
not survey the great thing in its entirety, we concern ourselves belongs even the future. How can we find the right way
v'ith its details-and, as punishment for our presumptuous here ? How can we tell who is really great, when the high
behavior, we fail even there. \7e are wrong all the. way ,rverage is so widely distributed that we forget height in favor
[10] [11]
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
of breadth ? \7e really talk far too much about the Alps and something exceptionally high and great strives for expression.
too little about Mont Blanc. What worn-out commonplace would come more readily to a
It is almost excusable that the public fails here, for there broad-minded man than this: he strives for the highest but
are always many who provide what is suitable to the needs cloes not possess the strength to perform what he desires?
of our tlme in- u *o.h more accessible form than can be And who iays it ? Those critics who have accommodated their
offered by someone who already belongs to the future' One very broad-mindedness to the common interest. Those who
can be *od.tt today without aiming fbr the best' One has are less good, as well as the very bad ones-for it is a point
so wide a selection u-o'g the modeins that the spirit of the of honor with them to agree on basic things. This sentence
time is accessible "to thJmost refined taste and also to\Who the is, therefore, one of those thoughtless clich6s which must be
less well-to-do, in all shades and in all price-brackets"' hated above all because they are almost without exception ap-
will strain himself under these circumstances ? One is modern plied to those men to whom they are least approptlalg. T jttle
is enough. Eventually, one is even ultramodern-that men come out of it very well. But as soon as it is said of
-that
makes one intJresting. One has a program, principles, taste' someone that he strives for the highest, etc., I know at once
One knows what it ls atl about. One-knowi all the critical that he has either not striven for it or has not reached it!
clich6s. One knows exactly what are the current trends in 'fhat is, after alI, something to be depended upon. By which
art. Yes, one could almost establish in advance the very measurement is that greatness established for which Mahler
problemi and methods with which the art of the immediate is supposed to have striven in vain ? In the dimensions of the
'future
will have to concern itself, and I am only surprised workj and in a circumstance which seems to me immaterial
that no one has yet hit upon the idea of combinin-g all these in relation to the real aspiraiions of the artist: in the subject-
possibilities and'concocting a guide-book to the future' matter and texts on which several movements of his sympho-
' This is the unexpectef, reiult which \7ag-ner attained nies are based. Mahler has spoken of death, of resurrection, of
when he created Beckmesser as a warning for too-hasty fate; he has composed Faust. And these are suPPosed to be
critics. Everyone considers himself a connoisseur of new art, the greatest things. But nearly every musician in earlier times
and the Beikmessers of today affkm that they have become composed church music and concerned himself with God-that
more "broad-mindecl." But this is obviously false, for the is, with something still higher; and he could strive uncon-
good is and remains good and must therefore be- persecuted, cernedly for the highest, without anyone's measuring his work
ind the bad is and remains bad and must therefore be pro- with that yardstick. On the contrary, if it is really great to
moted. Thus the praised broadening of the mind appears to be stand in the shadow of the greatest themes, one ought
rather softening bf tlt" brain. For these men have lost every actually to require this of an artist. In reality, there is only one
standpoint anJall limitations, since they do not notice.that greatesi goal iowards which the artist strives: to express bitn-
they are even more narrow-minded than those who at least .relf . lf. thal succeeds, then the artist has achieved the greatest
praised what "ran according to their rules." possible success; next to that, everything else is unimportant,
Otherwise, the same old catchwords could not always be for everything else is included in it: death, resurtection, Faust,
dragged in every time tl'rat a really great man was under con- fate-but also the lesser and yet not less important moments,
sidJr"ation. For example: Mahler has written unusually exten- the emotions of the soul and spirit which make a man creative.
sive works. Everyone feels, or thinks he knorvs, that in them Mahler, too, tried only to exPress himself. And that he suc'
[12] [13]
GUSTAV MAHLER
STYLE AND IDEA
in the slightest degree cisely this man was supposed to be unable to write unbanal
ceeded can be doubted by no one who is themes, or at least to alter them until they no longer appeared
remain-
capable of comprehending how isolated this music has banal!
;:;il;gn in'. i-i,utor! ur. so busy trying to catch lP:l'h
Ihat I think he simply did not notice it, and for one reason alone:
everything"that has a chance of capturing the.market' his thernes are actually not banal.
there are"no imitations of these symphonies which resemble Here I must confess that I, too, at first considered Mahler's
their model in the slightest degree, that this music seems in- themes banal. I consider it important to admit that I was Saul
imitable (like everything that J.,. -* alone can achieve)- before I became Paul, since it may thence be deduced that
all this plou"t thai Mahler was capable of the greatest pos- those "fine discriminations" of which certain opponents are
sible achievement ol an artist: self'-expression! He expressed so proud were not foreign to. mg. But tbey arc foreign t9
onlv himsetf. ancl not death, fate and Faust' For that could t2o1!, evet since my increasingly intense perception of the
ryt
;i;J il;'"posecl by others. He expressed only .lhat yt-rich' him- beauty and magnificence of Mahler's work has brought me
independent of style and flourish, portrays himself and to the point of admitting that it is not fine discrimination, but,
'alone, inaccessible to
self and witich therefore would remain on the contrary, the most blatant lack of the power of discrim-
anvone else who tried to achieve it merely by imitating
the
ination, which produces such judgments. I had found Mahler's
riir". gt, ihis style itself seems, in an enigmatic tl,l,^h:lt3- themes banal, although the whole work had always made a
fJre unfamiliar way, to exclude imitation' Perhaps thrs $ be- profound impression on me. Today, with the worst will in
.u,rr. t.r., for the iirst time, a mode of expression is so,in- the world, I could not react this way. Consider this: if they
separably boo.td up with the subject to which it applies
that
of tle outwald were really banal I should find them far more banal today
*irat osoaliy appears merely as a symptom
than formerly. For banal means rustic, and describes some-
foim is t siirlltaneously, material'an-d construction as wel1. thing which belongs to a low grade of culture, to no culture
"re,
I wish to concern mysetf with several things which were seid at all.In lower grades of culture there is found, not what is
against Mahler's *oti.. N.*t come two accusations:
agatnst
of his absolutely false or bad, but what used to be right, what is ob-
h?s s.ntim.ntality and against the banality .themes' solete, what has been outlived, what is no longer true. The
Mahler suffered much fiom these accusations' Against the peasant does not behave badly, but archaically, just as those of
latter, one is almost defenseless; against the former' com- higher rank behaved before they knew better. Therefore, the
pt."tt so. Think of it: an artist, in alt. good ,f?':h,"feelings llites banal represents a backward state of ethics and state of mind,
io*rr'u theme just as his need for expression and his which was once the state of mind of the higher ranks; it was
dictate it to him, without changing i note' If he wanted to not banal from the beginning, but became banal only when it
tune-
escape banality, it would be easy for him' The meanest
than into himself is was pushed aside by new and better customs. But it cannot rise
,-itit, who.,making"
looks harder at his notes
with a few up again-once it is banal, it must stay banal. And if I now
."p;ai. ol a banal theme .interesting
maintain that I can no longer find these themes banal, they can
strtkes of his pen."And most interesting themes originate. in never have been so; for a banal idea, an idea which aPPears
this way-just as every painter can avoid trashy detailed paint-
obsolete and worn-out to me, can only aPPear more banal on
ing by paintl"g just as^trashily with broad strokes' And now
closer acquaintance-but in no case noble. But if now I discover
iniagi'nJthis: ttii most sensitive, spiritually most elevated man,
that the oftener I look at these ideas the more nev/ beauties
frori whom we have heard the most profound words-pre-
1147 [1r]
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
and noble traits are added to them, doubt is no longer Pos- humor or superficiality, heroic greatness and Greek serenity,
sible: the idea is the opposite of banal. It is not something is sentimenttl. It is very fortunate that the ethics of Red
which we wete long ago done with and cannot misunderstand, Indian stories have not yet become the model for our attitudes
but something the deepest meaning of which is as yet far from towards art. Otherwise, estheticians would consider only
completely revealed, something so profound that we have not Indian lack of sensitivity to pain, in addition to Greek
become aware of more than its superficial appearance. And, serenity, as unsentimental.
in fact, this has happened not only to Mahler, but also to \7hat is true feeling? But that is a question of feeling!
nearly all other great composers, who had to submit to the ac- That can only be answered by feeling! \7hose feelings are
cusation of banality. I call to mind only \Wagner and Brahms. right? Those of the man who disputes the true feelings of
I think that the change in my feeling provides a better yard- another, or those of the man who gladly grants another his
stick than the judgment on first hearing which everyone is true feelings, so long as he says just what he has to say?
very quick to come out with as soon as he runs into a situa- Schopenhauer explains the difference between sentimentality
tion which he really does not understand. and true sorrow. He chooses as an example Petrarch, whom
The artist is even more defenseless against the accusation of the painters of broad strokes would surely call sentimental,
sentimentality than against that of banality. Mahler, halfway and shows that the difference consists in this: true sorow
giving in to the latter because his self-confidence had been elevates itself to resignation, while sentimentality is incapable
undeimined, could defend himself by saying that one ought of that, but always grieves and mourns, so that one has finally
not to look at the theme, but at what comes out of it. He lost "earth and heaven together." To elevate oneself to resign-
need not have done this. But the criticism was so general that
ation: how can one speak of a sentimental theme, when this
he was forced to believe himself in the wrong-after all, the
complaining, sorrowing theme may, in the course of events,
best musicians and all the other worst people were saying so !
elevate itself to resignation ? That is as wrong as when one
But there is no defense against the other accusation, that of speaks of a "witty phrase." The whole man is witty-full of
sentimentality. That hits home as hard as calling something
trash. Everyone who really likes nothing but trash is in a
wit-but not the single phrase. The whole work can be senti-
mental, but not the single Passage. For its relationship to the
position to give a stab in the back to the most honorable and
whole is decisive: what it becomes, what importance it is
important man, to the one who turns most violently away
granted in the whole. And how Mahler's music elevates it-
from the merely pleasing (which after all, is really what trash
amounts to), and thus to degrade him and also to rob him of
ielf to resignation ! Are "heaven and earth together" lost
inner security. The way of attacking significant works of art here, or is there not rather portrayed here, for the first time,
is different now from what it used to be. Formerly, an artist an earth on which life is worth living, and is there not then
was reproached if he did not know enough; now it is a praised a heaven which is more than worth living for? Think
cause for criticisrn if he knows too much. Smoothness, which of the Sixth Symphony-of the frightful struggle in the first
was formerly a quality to be sought, is today an error, for movement. But then, its sorrow-torn uPheaval automatically
it is trashy. Yes, one paints with broad strokes today! Every- generates its opposite, the unearthly passage with the cowbells,
one paints with broad strokes, and he who does not paint whose cool, icy comfort is bestowed from a height which is
with broad strokes is trashy. And he who does not Possess reached only by one who soars to resignation; only he can hear

[16] [17]
GUSTAV MAHLER
STYLE AND IDEA
And this must also be possible in music; with the most
itwho understands what heavenly voices whisper without ordinary successions of tones one ought to be able to say
animal warmth. the most extraordinary things. Mahler does not need that as
Then, the Andante movement. How pure is its tone to one irn excuse. Although he strove for the most far-reaching
who knows today that it was not banality which kept it from sirnplicity and naturalness, his themes ha,ve a structure all their
pleasing, but the strangeness of the ernotions of a thoroughly
,,*ri-tr.re, not in the sense in which many writers play
otrntr.rul personality *ttl.n kept it from being un-derstood!
ru:ound with words. For an example, I wish to cite one writer
Or the pbst-horn iolo in the Third Symphony,- at first with who always left out the reflexive Pronoun in order to achieve
the divided high violins, then, even more beautiful if possible,
rr personal note. But Mahler's themes are original in the
with the horni. This is a mood of nature, of "Greek serenity," lrighest sense, when one observes with what fantasy and art,
if it must be so-or, more simply, of the rnost rnarvelous *ith what wealth of variation there comes out of a few
beauty, for one who does not neid such slogans! Or the.last such tones an endless melody, which is often difficult to
movement of the Third! The entire Fourth, but especially irnalyze even for someone skilled in that Process-when one
its fourth movement! And its third! And its second and first takes note of the thoroughly original musical phenomena
movements too! Yes, all of them! Naturally, all of them;
trrived at by each of his themes in the most natural way Pos--
for there are no beautiful Passages by great masters, but onlv sible. From the fact that this way is so completely original
entire beautiful works. one can recognize which elements are to be ascribed to the
Incredibly irresponsible is another accusation made against lrrain and w[ich to the heart. That is: the way, the goal,
Mahler: that his- themes are unoriginal. In the first place, lhc whole development of everything at once, the whole move-
art does not depend upon the singie component part-alone; rncnt; naturally, ihe theme as well-but not the first few re-
therefore, musii does not depend upon the theme. For the
lttively unimportant notes!
work of art, like every living lhing, ii conceived as a whole-
One must !o .u"tt further: it is not at all necessary 9
just like a child, whoie arm or leg is not conceived separately. -fot-
1,icce of -otlc to have an original theme'
Oiherwise, Bach's
The inspiration is not the theme,-but the whole work. And it
ilrorale preludes would not be works of. afi. But they certainly
is not the one who writes a good theme who is inventive, but
irlc works of art!
the one to whom a whole symphony occurs at once. But in the
So it always goes with very great men' At each are fired
second place, these themes are original. Naturally, he who
rrll those of which the opposite is true. Yes, all,
looks aC only the first four notes will find reminiscences. But "ccos^iiotts
rrncl with such accuracy that one musl be taken aback by it'
he behaves is foolishly as one who looks for original words
l'or this shows, contraiy to one's expectations, that the qual-
in an original poem; for the theme consists not of a few notes, itics of an author arc ieally noticed abeady at the first hear'
but of the musical destinies of these notes. The small form \i7henever the most
irrg, but are merely wrongly interpreted.
which we call a theme ought never to be the only yardstick
for the large form, of which it is relatively the smallest com- 1,.:isonal of the composei's peculiarities ^PP9?r,.the-listener
is struck. But insteai of relognizing immediately that this
ponent p"tt. B,:t the observation of nothing but the smallest
is a special feature, he interpretrthe blow as a blow of offense.
parts of the theme must lead to those abuses against which
Schopenhauer turned when he demanded that one must use
llc believes that there is i mistake, a fault here, and fails
l{) see that it is a merit.
the most ordinary words to say the most extraordinary things.
[18] [le]
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
One should really have been able to recognize- Mahler's able for his purposes. It is incredible how long these melodies
high artistry on o.te's first glance at his scores. Toda-y I gan; can become, although certain chords have to be repeated in
noi understand at all how this escaped me. The unheard-of the process. And in spite of this no monotony sets in. On
simplicity, clarity, and beauty of arrangement immediately the contrary, the longer the theme lasts, the greater is its
-of final impetus; the force which drives its development in-
struck -. itt these scores. It rlmined me the aspect of the
greatest masterworks. But I did not- yet know then what I creases with uniformly accelenting motion. No matter how
fnow today: that it is entirely out of the question for some- hot the theme may have been in statu nascend.i, after a while
cne to accomplish something masterly in any respect who rs it is not burnt out, but burns even brighter, and whereas in
someone else's music it would long since have exhausted itself
not a master in every respect. Therefore, anyone who can
write such scores has one of those minds in which perfection and vanished, here it only now rises to the highest pitch
automatically originates. And the concept of perfectiott c.oT-
of excitement. If that is not capability, it is at least potency.
Something similar appears in the first movement of the
pletely excludes lhe concept of imperfection; therefore, it is
irot pbssible to give a representation- of. an imperfect thing Eighth Symphony. How often does this movement come to
whicir produces the impression of perfection.-From the aspect E flat, for instance on a four-six chord! I would cut that out
-musician in any student's work, and advise him to seek out another
of the'score alone a wlo has a feeling for form
must recognize that this music can only be by master' tonality. And, incredibly, here it is right! Here it fits! Here
-a it could not even be otherwise. \fhat do the rules say about
And Gristav Mahler had to endure being told that he knew
nothing. As a matte r of fact, opinion was divided. Some as- it ? Then the rules must be changed.
tihat
serted he could do everything in a very refined manner' One should observe the curious structure of many themes,
and, in particular, orchestrated very effectively, but thal he even of shorter ones. The first theme of the Andante of the
had no inventiveness and that his music was empty. These Sixth Symphony, for example, is ten measures long. In con-
were the more comPlicated blockheads. The simplet ones stitution it is a period, which would normally be eight meas-
part-leading, and therefore scorned instrument- ures long. But in the fourth measure,
"and at
were good
ation eveiything elJe which could be accomplished by
another and not by them. They knew very well that one
ought not to comPose in this manner. These are the same
pe6ple who have always known how- masters ought not to
io-pos., if they want to remain such bunglers-as these ama-
teuri. They have always set up the standards for Beethoven,
\flagner, ilogo Wolf, and Bruckner, and in every- .period
-known
*oJd have exactly what the only right thing is'
Nothing has survived of this omniscience but its ridicule-
but that permeates the entire history of music.
The ariistry of melodic construction is especially striking
in Mahler, who wrote entirely tonally, and to whom, there- Exaupm L
fore, many harmonic means of contrast were not as yet avail-
[20] [2LJ
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
where the caesura would come in a period, the note G&, which
can be a dotted quarter-note, as in Example 2,

Exaupm 4
But it is not absolutely necessary for this melody to become
ten measures long. Example 3 shows that in spite of the exten-
sion in the seventh measure an ending on the first beat of
the ninth measure is possible. This indicates that in measures
8 and 9 there follows a further aftif.iciaL extension, although
cadential contraction aheady set in here.
It is amazing how these deviations from the conventional
balance each other, even postulate each other. This demon-
strates a highly developed feeling for form, such as one finds
only in great masterpieces. This is not the tour de force of. a
"technician"-a master would not bring it off, if he made up
his mind to it in advance. These are inspirations which escape
the control of consciousness, inspirations which come only to
Exauprr 2 the genius, who receives them unconsciously and formulates
is extended to three quarters; this shifts the eighth-note figure solutions without noticing that a problem has confronted him.
l-c i i.tto the fifth measure. Thus the antecedent of the period A well-known writer on music called Mahler's symphonies
b..o*., four-and-a-half measures long. In a symmetrical "gigantic symphonic potpourris." The term "potpourris"
period the consequ.lt il. equally long; this wo9ld pro!3c.e naturally applies to the banality of invention and'not to the
nlne measures rn all. The consequent begins in the fifth I'orm, for "gigantically conceived" is supposed to apply to
measure, and if a new extension, corresponding to the pre- lhe form. Now, in the first place, there-ire also polpourris
vious one, did not take place in the seventh measure, the of classical music, from operas of Mozart, \7agner, etl. I do
period would end, as in Example 3, in the ninth measure. not know whether such a thing exists, but in any case it is
Woald 4@ go (o 9 frcaaurc. casily conceivable that a potpourri could also consist of
nothing but the most beautiful themes of Bach or Beethoven,
without being anything but potpourri f.or all that. Therefore,
lhe banality of the themes is not a significant feature of the
Potpourri. But in the second place, the characteristic of the pot-
pourri is the unpretentiousness of the formal connectives. The
Exauprp 3 individual sections are simply juxtaposed, without always
122) 1231
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
being connected and without their relationships (which may who praise Mahler's orchestration just what they mean,
also be entirely absent) being more than mere accidents in they will name something that he would have disliked. There
the form. But this is contradicted by the term "symphonic," is even proof of this; nearly everyone who orchestrates today
which means the opposite. It means that the individual sections orchestrates well-if you read the critics. And there is cer-
are organic components of a living being, born of a creative tainly a difference belween this good orchestration and
impulse and conceived as a whole. But this phrase, which Mahler's thinking for orchestra!
really has no meaning in itself, which falls apart because it \fhat first strikes one about Mahler's instrumentation is
is thrice contradictory-this phrase became all the rage in the almost unexampled objectivity with which he writes down
Germany. In Vienna, where the worst evils are always possible only what is absolutely necessary. His sound never comes from
in the press, someone even found it necessary to cite it in ornamental additions, from accessories that are related not at
Mahler's obituary. all or only distantly to the important material, and that are
I find that quite fair. For the great artist must somehow put down only as decorations. But where it soughs, it is the
be punished in his lifetime for the honor which he will enjoy theme which soughs; the themes have such a form and so
later. many notes that it immediately becomes clear that the sough-
And the esteemed music critic must somehow be compen- ing is not the aim of this passage, but its form and its con-
sated in his lifetime for the contempt with which later times tent. Where it grunts and groans, the themes and harmonies
will treat him. grunt and groan; but where it crashes, gigantic structures
The only thing which everyone admitted to be valid in clash against one another; the architecture crumbles; the
Mahler was his orchestration. That sounds suspicious, and architectonic relationships of tension and pressure are in re-
one might almost believe that this praise, because it is so volt. But among the most beautiful sounds are the delicate,
unanimous, is just as unfair as the abovementioned un- fragrnt ones. Here, too, he brings unheard-of novelty, as,
animities. And, in fact, Mahler never altered anything in the for example, in the middle movements of the Seventh Sym-
form of his compositions, but he was always changing the phony, with their sonorities of guitar, harp, and solo instru-
instrumentation. He seems to have felt that this was imper- ments. This guitar in the Seventh is not introduced for a
fect. It is certainly not, it is certainly of the highest perfection, single effect, but the whole movement is based on this so-
and only the anxiety of the rran who, as a conductor, had to nority. It belongs to it from the very beginning, it is a
strive for a clarity which he, as a composer, certainly did not living organ of the composition: not the heart, but perhaps
find so necessary-since music assures the divine prerogative the eyes, whose glance is so characteristic of its aspect. This
of anonymity of feelings, of obscurity for the uninitiated- instance is very close-in a more modern way, naturally-
only this anxiety drove him ever to seek, as a substitute for to the method of the classical composers, who built whole
the perfect, the more perfect. But that does not exist. In any rnovements or pieces on the sonority of a specific instru-
case, it is indicative tliat he was rather mistrustful of this rnental group.
universal praise. And it is a wonderful characteristic of great Probably we shall soon find out in detail that (and how)
men that they view praise as fitting to them, but endure it Mahler, in such ways, is much closer to classical music than
even less patiently than they endure blame. But there is he appears to be. Today it is not always easy to recognize
something more. I am firmly convinced that if one asks those this, and naturally it is not always true. On the contrary,

I24) 125 7
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
uD to a certair- degreehe must depart from it, because he of style, the precision of his performances as well as their
he goes Gyond it not so much in tonal beauty and clarity. But, for example, among other things
;i";;J"; b.yo"a i"t.andButextent, which are only the outer con- I heard one of his "colleagues" say that there is no special
?orfir, propoitions,
,.q.r".r.'., of tn. inner happenings, as in content' This does trick to bringing off good performances when one has so
many rehearsals. Certainly there is no trick to it, for the
,roi -.* that the content ii greater, more significant or more
tor oftener one piays a thing through, the better it goes, and
earth-shaking than in the works of other great masters'
wish to cven the poorest conductors profit from this. But there is a
there is o.tl} on" content, which all great men ex-
press, the lbnging of mankind for iti future form, for an trick to feeling the need for a tenth rehearsal during the
longing rrinth rehearsal because one still hears many things that can
i-,,'ortuf soul,"foi dissolution into the universe-the
of this soul for its God. This alone, though reached by lrccome better, because one still knows something to say in
tbe tenth rehearsal. This is exactly the difference: a Poor
many different roads and detours and exp'essed by . many
conductor often does not know what to do after the third
different means, is the content of the works bf ttre great; and
lchearsal, he has nothing more to say, he is more easily
with all their strength, with all their will they yearn,for it
sttisfied, because he does not have the capacity for further
so long and desire-it so intensely. until it is accomPltshed'
,liscrimination, and because nothing in him imposes higher
ana tfii, longing is transmitted with its full intensity from rcquirements. And this is the cause: the productive man con-
the predecertS, Io the successor, and the successor continues
t cives within himself a complete image of what he wishes
not'only the content but also the intensity, adding pro- Io reproduce; the performance, like everything else that he
portionaily to his herilage-. This heritage carries :::P:1-
lrrings forth, must not be less perfect than the image. Such
iibitity, but it is imposed only upon one who can assume th$
rc-creation is only slightly different from creation; virtually,
responsibility.
ouly the approach is different. Only when one has clarified
I't s"e-s to ,rr. almost petty that I should speak of the 31t-
tlris point to oneself does one comprehend how much is
ductor Mahler in the same breath as the comPoser' Not
o"iy *ut he always appreciated as a conductor even ly 9' rrrcant by the modest words with which Mahler himself char-
,rcterized his highest aim as a conductor: "I consider it my
molt strpid opponents, but one ry:glt also consider that the
purely rlprodoctiue aitivity wot'ldl be of merely secondary lircatest service that I force the musicians to play exactly what
rs in the notes." That sounds almost too simple, too slight,
imoortance in comparison with the creative activity' But there
Io us; and in f.act it is so, for we might ascribe the effects
;;.'il; reasons *ii.tr induce me to take up thisIs discussion. which we knew to far more profound causes. But if one
In the first place, nothing about a great man secondary' rrnagines how precise must be the image engendered by the
Actually, .u.iy on" of his"acts is somehow Pto-d:tjiut',In this
rrotes in one who is creative, and what sensitivity is necessary
,..rr", l'sltorrld even have liked to observe how Mahler knotted
rrr order to distinguish whether the reality and the image cor-
h;r-ft, and should have found that more interesting. and in- rt'spond to one another; if one thinks of what is necessary in
structive than learning how one of our musical bigwigs com-
-subject." But, in the second place, it ,,r'tler to express these fine distinctions so understandably
poses on a "sacred
i..-t to me as if even this activity has not yet been completely tlrat the performing musician, while merely playing the right
n{}tcs, now suddenly participates in the spirit of the music as
comprehended in its most important asPect' Certainly, many
have extolled his demonic personality, his unheard-ot sense
126) 1271
STYLE AND IDEA
well-then one understancis that with these modest words tied down, became ffiJl;,IlTH-tor a dead certainty.
everything has been said. Ilut he also had the courage to endure, to be patient. He was
tiris rioaesty was so characteristic of Mahler' Never a innocently involved in an atfair, in spite of-which he took
movement whiih was not exactly consistent with its cause! the assaults of the press without batting an eyelash, because
It was just as large as it had to be; it was executed with in order to answer them he would have had to sacrifice a
temperament, with-life, energetically, powerfully, for temper- younger friend, and he did not want to do that. Smiling, he
ament is the executive of conviction, ind it will never be in- took the whole thing as a matter of course, and never briath-
active. But there were no outbreaks without cause--none of cd a word of it later.
that false temperament which today brings such great,success In Vienna, as director of the Imperial Opera, he did not
to those who imitate Mahler's ea4ier mannef of conducting. serve as a musician alone. He not only demanded from musi-
\flhen he conducted thus, turning with violent rnovements cians and singers an approach to perfection and selfless de-
to individual instrumental groups,-really acting out for them votion to the will of the masterworks, but he was also their
the power and force whiJh t6ey were to express, he had interpreter in the explanation of the poetic content. How
arriued at the boundary of maniy maturity which- still -per- cleeply his thinking penetrated into the intent of the masters
mits that sort of thing. \?'hen he had crossed the boundary, rnay be illustrated by the following example.
the change set in, *-d h. conducted the orchestra with un- In a conversation about \X/agner's poems I observed that
example{ comPosure. All exertion took place in the re- I was unable to decipher the dLeper meaning of the text of
hearsils, the violent gestures disappeared' gver gr-elter Lohengrin. The mere tale, with iti romantic wonders, curses,
clarity of the Pov/er of virbal expression replaced them' Here bcwitchments, magic potions, and metamorphoses, did not
yoong rnutt'h"d passed into haturity, and did not strive scem to correspond to deeper human feelings. In spite of
^to'retai"r, the gestures of youth, because he never deceived, the great impression made by the summons to patriotiim and
but always di[ what was fitting to his situation. But he by the consecration of the Grad, it was hard to blame Elsa
would nlver have conducted quietly while he v/as young; lor wanting to know Lohengrin's origin, even if Ortrud had
the rubato corresponded to his youth, the steadiness to his trot aroused her suspicion.
mut"tity. And lei it be said to those ygutg:r. conductors "It is the difference between man and woman," explained
who toiay imitate Mahlerian comPosure that this is not in Mahler. "EIsa is the skeptical woman. She is incapible of
his spirit.'His *ut a diffetent concept. To emulate him means lraving the same degree of confidence in the man that he
al*ays to be as one's own feelings dictate. The other thing is showed when he fought for her, believing in her without
mere'aping. For him there were no other rules than these' tluestioning her guilt or innocence. The capacity for trust is
and no niodett for him to imitate. One has to live up to ruasculine, suspicion is feminine." Certainly, suspicion origin-
one's rnodels. But that takes courage. This Mahler possessed :rtcs in the fear of the one who needs protection, while trust
in the highest degree. Nothing could-keep. him from ta!]:g r csults from the sense of power of her protector, the protector

the utm# risks Tor what he deemed to be necessary' This ol' Brabant. This interpretation reveals the deeply human
was shown by his direction of the Vienna OPjla, and by,the b;rckground of the rather theatrical "Nie sollsl du mich
enemies whom he won for himself because of it. He unified l,cfragen."
all the worst people in vienna; the most unreliable ones were Mahler, a man racked with passion, who had gone through
[28] l2e )
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
all the storms of life, who had been hounded by friends, who- he replied with impressive calm that he knew such states
had himself exalted and overthrown gods, at the climax of of mind, he too had passed through such stages of develop-
his life possessed that comPosure, that moderation, that -per' ment. This would be nothing lasting; for one always .o*is
spective,'which he obtained by purification of the mind from b.ac]<
Sgaig and again to the truly grlat ones. They stand un-
d'rott. 'iftis enabled him always to see the most profound shakably in their places and it ii commendable never to rose
aspect of the works of the gieat; upon this was based an our respect for them.
unswerving respect, which wJ yorlnger men were on the way This reprimand was of great consequence to me ever after-
to losing. wards, for it became cleai to me thai only he is capable of
MahlEr was no friend of program music. Though h-P respect who deserves respect himself, and that this ientence
autocrat-did not Iike to dis&ss-such things, he did not like could even be inverted: he who cannot respect another is
it any better when people, flatterinS, would say-what they himself unworthy of respect. And this realization is especially
assumed he would titce.- a younger conductor had to e-xPe-r- important today, when social climbers belittle gti^t
ience this when, in addition, he-made one more mistake in in order to seem greater themselves. ^ ^u,
attacking \Wagner. "The words of \Tagner that y:" I have tried to define the difference between genius and
-qyoi'
are entiiely cliar to me," he wrote; "that our music reflects talent as follows:
the purely human (and everything that goes with it, including
the'inteliectual) in one *ay oi another cannot be denied. . Talent is lh-e capacity to learn, genius the capacity to
develop oneself. Talent grows by acqoiring capacities which
As in all art, i[ is a matter of appropriate means of exP-res- already existed outside of itself; it-assiriilates these, and
sion! But what one puts into muiii is-always the ubole, feel'
finally even possesses them. Genius already possesses all its
ing, thinking, breathing, suffering m1n." Ageinst this, he luture faculties from the very beginning.-Ii only develops
coitinued, tliere need be no objection if a musician exPresses
them; it merely unwinds, unrolls, unfolds them. \7hile talent,
himself therein-but not a poet, a philosopher, a painter!-
which has to master a limited material (namely, what is
Such wisdom protected him from exaggeration' Apostles 'and
already given) very soon reaches its apex then usually
are often more papistical than the Popef because they lack
subsides, the development of the genius, which seeks new
the proper modeiuiion. He knew that one thing is not abso-
pathways into the boundless, extends throughout a lifetime.
tutelv fitse in itself any more than its opposite is absolutely
And therefore it comes about that no one single moment in
true'in itself. Therefore, his deeply rooted cognition of real lhis development is like another. Each stage isiimultaneously
values would not Permit fitting respect to be denied to one
a preparation for the next stage. It is an eternal metamorphoi-
of the truly great. berhaps thisleaction originated in his code
of honor,'jrist as eu.ty officer will immediate|y, under all it, "1 uninterrupted growth of new shoots from a single
circumstances, revenge an insult to another officer'
licrnel. It is then clear why two widely separated pointsln
this development are so strangely different-from eich other
This happened to me. In my development there wT.a phase
that at first one does not recognize how much they belong
during wiich I took a negative, euen an inimical stand Iosether. Only on closer study does one perceive in the
againit \7agner, whom I had previously honored *it!.1h'
hlghest. It iems that I expressed mysglf about it to Mahler l'otentialities of the earlier period the certainties of the later
)lle.
*fih uiol.rrt and arcogant-words. Although visibly shocked,
(

[30] [31]
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
remain, but goes away. But what is inborn goes from one
The pictures of Mahler furnish me with remarkable proof
climax to the next, develops itself to ever higher forms of
of this statement. expression. It- makes leaps which become mori enigmatic to
Here is one which shows him at the age of about eighteen'
the observer the more urgently he desires to understird them.
Everything is still unrevealed. This is a yo-ufh who still does
Mahler's development is one of the most overwhelming ones.
not foresEe what will take place within him' He does not Actually, everything which will characterize him is lheady
look like those young artistJ to whom it is more important present in the First Symphony; here already his life-melody
to look great than io be great. He looks like one who is begins, and he merely develops it, unfolds'it to the utmosl
waiting f"or something whic-h is about to happen, lut wli:h
extent. Here are his devotion to nature and his thoughts of
he dols not yet kn& about. A second p.icture.shows him death. He is still struggling with fate here, but in tti Si*tf,
about twentyjfiu. yeats old. Here something has , already he acknowledges it, and this acknowledgment is resignation.
taken place.'Curiously, the forehead has become higher;-the Ilut even resignation becomes productive, and rises, in the
Ur^i" 6luiously takes uP more room' And the features! For- Eigtrth, to the glorification of the highest joys, to a glorifi
*.rlu, in spite of all their striking seriousness, they were almost cation only possible to one who already knows thai these
those of one who wants to gither a little more strength joys are no longer for him; who has aheady resigned him-
before he sets to work; now:they are tense' They betray self; who already feels that they are mereiy an allegory f.or
Itrut ft" abeady knows the good and'evil of the world, but they
"witt ever higher joys, a glorification of the most supreme bliss,
are almost airogant; tte soon make all of them look
as he also expresses it verbally in the letter to hiJwife where
small. But now we skip to the head of the fifty-year-old he explains the final scenes of. Faust:
;;;. This development seems miraculous' It shows almost
no resemblance to the youthful pictures' The development "All tbat is passing (what I performed for you on those
two evenings) is but a liheness; naturally, inadequate in its
from within has given it a form which, I miglt 1ay, has carthly appearance-but there, freed from the corporeality of
swallowed up all"the previous pha.se.s' Certainly. they too carthly insufficiency, it will become real, and then we need
are contained in the finai form. Certainly anyone who can see
,t9 more paraphrases, no more comparisons-likenesses-
has already detected the whole man in the youth{ul pictures.
there has already been done what I tiied to describe here,
But, *hen one looks backwards at the earlier stages- which is simply ind.escribable. And what is it? Again, I can
,*"gn they themselves are cettainly expressive' -il-m tt,.-^ tell you only through a comparison:
diffi;lt to discover the expression of the mature man a.them
as id is to see the beams of a lesser light next to
very The Eternal Feminine has drawn us upward-we are there
'-we are at rest-we possess what we on earth couid only
bright one. One must avert one's eyes from the certarntres long for, strive for
of "th. older face for a long time before one can again
see
in the youiger one' Here the thouglls.and That is one way to reach the goal! Not just with the
it .-pot."tiulities tunderstanding, but with the feeling that one already lives
feelings that moved thii man have created a form' This
is
who look their best Lhere oneself. He who looks on the earth thus no' longer
not w"hat happens to the young geniuses
lives upon it. He has already been drawn upwards.
when they yoottg, u"a *tto turn into Philistines' even
^i.
outwardly and visibf, when they grow older' One cannot
In musical matters, Mahler's development exhibits an unin-
tcrrupted ascent. Certainly, the first symphonies already dis-
learn one's upprurun r. And whai one has learned does not
132) [33)
STYLE AND IDEA GUSTAV MAHLER
play $e^t formal perfection' But when one thinks of the denied us to see this light as long as it remains with us. \7e
iuoin.-tt and compactness of the form of the Sixth, where are to remain blind until we have acquired eyes. Eyes that
there is no superfluous note, where even the most far-reaching see the future. Eyes that penetrate more than the sensual,
extension is in essential part of the whole and is fitted in rvhich is only a likeness; that penetrate the supersensual. Our
organically; wl-ren one tries to comprehend that the two move- soul shall be the eye. \We have a duty: to win for ourselves
'the an immortal soul. It is promised to us. \7e aheady possess
mJnts of Eighth are nothing else than a single idea o{
unhearcl-of leng'lh and breadth, a single idea conceived, it in the future; we must bring it about that this future
surveyed and mastered in the same moment-then one won- becomes our present. That we live in this future alone, and
ders at the power of a mind which could already -trust. it- not in a present which is only a likeness, and which, as every
self for unbelievable feats in its young years bui which has likeness, is inadequate.
made real the most imProbable' And this is the essence of genius-that it is the future.
And then in Das Liei aon aler Erde he is suddenly capable This is why the genius is nothing to the present. Because
of producing the briefest and most delicate forms. This is present and genius have nothing to do with one another. The
most exiraoriinary, but understandable: infinity in the Eighth, genius is our future. So shall we too be one day, when we
the finite nature of earthly things in this work. have fought our way through. The genius lights the way, and
His Ninth is most strairge. In it, the authot hardly speaks rve strive to follow. \Where he is, the light is aheady bright;
as an individual any longer. It almost seems as though this but we cannot endure this brightness. \7e are blinded, and
work must have a concealed author who used Mahler merely sce only a reality which is as yet no reality, which is only the
as his spokesman, as his mouthpiece. This symphony is no present. But a higher reality is lasting, and the present
longer c-ouched in the personal tone. It consists,, so to speak, passes away. The future is eternal, and therefore the higher
of objective, almost passionless statements of a beauty which reality, the reality of our immortal soul, exists only in the
becomes perceptible only to one who can dispense with animal future.
warmth and ieels at home in spiritual coolness. \7e shall The genius lights the way, and we strive to follow. Do we
know as little about what his Tenth (for which, as also in really strive enough ? Are we not bound too much to the
the case of Beethoven, sketches exist) would have said as we present ?

know about Beethoven's or Bruckner's. It seems that the !7e shall follow, for we must. \Whether we want to or
Ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass rrot. It draws us upward.
away. It seems as if sornething might be imparted to us in \7e must follow.
the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are This, it seems to me, is what Gustav Mahler's work, like the
not yet ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too near work of every great man, was allowed to tell us. It has been
to the hereafter. Perhaps the riddles of this world would be told us often, and will have to be told us much oftener still
solved, if one of those who knew them were to write a Tenth. bcfore we grasp it cornpletely. It always becomes very quiet
And that probably is not to take place. after one of these great men has spoken. We listen. But ioon
We are still to rernaiu in a darkness which will be illumin- life overwhelms us again with its noise.
ated only fitfully by the light of genius. \7e are to continue Mahler was allowed to reveal just so much of this future;
to baitle and struggle, to yearn and desire. And it is to be rvhen he wanted to say more, he was called away. For it is

134) [35]
STYLE AND IDEA
not to become entirely quiet yet; there is to be still more
battle and noise.
And we are still to glow with the reflection of a light which
would blind us if we saw it.
I have fought here for Mahler and his work. But I IVe,z!) cfrtusic, Outmoded &tusic, Style, and ldea-
have indulged in polemics, I have spoken hard and sharp
words against his opponents. I know that if he were listen- Tsr rnst three ofthese four concepts have been widely
ing he would smile and wave it away. For he is where used in the last twenty-five years, w6ile not so much ado
retaliation is no longer practised. has been made about the f.oarth, idea.
But we must fight on, since the Tenth has not yet been Unfortunately, methods in music teaching, instead of mak-
revealed to us. ing students thoroughly acquainted with the music itself,
furnish a conglomerate of more or less true historical facts,
sugarcoated with a great number of more or less false
anecdotes about the composer, his performers, his audiences,
and his critics, plus a strong dose- of popularized esthetics.
Thus I once read in an examination pJper of a sophomore,
who had studied only a little harmony and muih music
appreciation, but who had certainly not heard much "live"
music, that "Schumann's orchestration is gloomy and unclear."
This wisdorn was derived directly and verbally from the
textbook used in class. Some experts on orchestration might
agree upon the condemnation of Schumann as an orchestrator,
perhaps even without an argument. However, there might
be other experts who would agree that not all of Schumann's
orchestration is poor-that there are gloomy spots as well as
brilliant or at least good ones; they would also know that
this accusation stems from the fight between the \Tagnerian
"New-German" School and the Schumann-Brahmsian-Acad-
emic-Classicist School, and that the critics had in mind such
brilliant parts of S7agner's music as the "Magic Fire," the
Meistersinger Overture, the Venasberg music and others. Such
brilliancy can but seldom be found in Schumann's music. But
some experts also know that there are very few compositions
whose orchestration is perfectly flawless. More than two
decades after Wagner's death, for instance, his orchestral
accompaniment covered the singers' voices so as to make
l36J 137 )
T-
STYLE AND IDEA NE$T MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIC, STYLE AND IDEA

them inaudible. I know that Gustav Mahler had to change.his surprise of one ancient Greek orator who, when he was
orchestration very much for the sake of transparenq' ltnd suddenly interrupted by applause and cheers, cried out: "Have
Strauss himself iho*e,l me several cases where he had
to I said some nonsense 2" The popularity acquired by this slogan,
"New Music," immediately arouses suspicion and forces one
make adjustment.
Thus, there is not the same degree of unanimity among to question its meaning.
exDerts of orchestration as there ii berween the sophomore lYbat is New Music?
giit- u"a hcr tcxtbook. But irreparable damage has been Evidently it must be music which, though it is still music,
Eone; this girl, ancl probably all'her classmates, will never differs in all essentials from previously composed music.
listen to thc orchcstr" of Scit,-tmann naively, sensitively, and Ilvidently it must express something which has not yet been
open-mindedly. At thc end of the term she will have acqutred cxpressed in music. Evidently, in higher art, only that is
a'knowleclge of music histor|, esthetic-s' and criticism, plus a worth being presented which has never before been presented.
number of-amusing anecdotes; but unfortunately $9 pay not I'here is no great work of art which does not convey a new
remember otle of those gloomily orchestrated Schumann message to humanity; there is no great artist who fails in
"u"n this respect. This is the code of honor of all the great in art,
themes. In a few years she oiill tuk. her master's degree.in
music, or will have become a teacher, or both, and will dis- and consequently in all great works of the great we will find
seminate what she has been taught: ready-made .judgments'
that newness which never perishes, whether it be of Josquin
superficial ideas ab"out music, musicians' and des Pr6s, of Bach or Haydn, or of any other great master.
*to"g
""a
esthetics.
Because: Art means New Art.
The idea that this slogan "New Music" might change the
In this manner there are educated a great number of pseudo- course of musical production was probably based on the be-
historians who believe themselves to 6e experts and, as such' lief that "history repeats itself." As everybody knows, while
entitled not only to criticize music and musicians, but even to llach still was living a new musical style came into being out
usurp the role of leaders, to gain influence in the development of which there later grew the style of the Viennese Classicists,
of the art of music and to organize it in advance' the style of homophonic-melodic composition, or, as I call it,
A few years after the firsl World \Var, such pseudo-his-
\il7estern Europe' the style of Developing Variation. If, then, history really re-
torians acquired a dominant voice, throughout
peated itself, the assumption that one need only demand the
in predictlng the future of music. In all music-p-roducing creation of new music would also suffice in our time, and
.oor,tri.r, i; France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, at once the ready-made product would be served.
Czechoslovakia ancl Poland, there suddenly arose the slogan:
..NE\T MUSIC'' This is mistaking symptoms for causes. The real causes of
changes in the style of musical composition are others. If in
This battle-cry had evidently been created because one of a period of homophonic composition musicians had acquired
these pseudo-hiitoria's had remembered that several times great skill in creating melodies-that is, main voices which
in the past the same battle-cry, or- others like it, had furthered reduced accompanying voices to almost meaningless inferior-
a new direction in the arts. A battle-cry must, perhaps, be ity in order to concentrate all possible contents in them-
superficial and at least partially wrong if it is to gain P9P."- selves-other composers may well have been annoyed by
laiity. Thus we muy ..nderstand Schopenhauer's story of the such a skill, which seemed aheady to degenerate into a
[38] [3e]
NEl$r MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIq STYI,E AND IDEA
STYLE AND IDEA
even more technique of filling one direction with content to the utmost
schematic mechanism. They may then have been
capacity, they must do the same in the next direction, ancl
;il;ilt-il,. inr.tiotity of the accompaniment than bv what
finally in all the directions in which music expands. Such
seemed to them the sweetness of the melody' {hile i" 'T: progress can occur only step-wise. The necessity of compromis-
onlv one direction of the musical sPace' the honzontar
"L.ioa bf tnt next period
ffi, ;rJ^i"I.-a"""r"ped' the comPosersdemanded ing with comprehensibility forbids jumping into a style which
the vitaliz- is overcrowded with content, a style in which facts are too
;;'#;"; t.qP""aJio u tt"d"nty that
is' following.the often juxtaposed without connectives, and which leaps to
ins of the accompanying voices also-that
"-uri.al space. such tendencies might conclusions before proper maturation.
.,"?rL^r;;,i"" ;i ii.,. If music abandoned its former direction and turned towards
t u* pnouoked that richer elaboration of the it:1T!?t:::'
new goals in this manner, I doubt that the men who produced
,aa.r,'fo, instance, in Beethoven as compared wlth Hayon' this change needed the exhortation of pseudo-historians. \7e
Brahms as comPareJ with Mozaft, o' \U^ugtttt. as
comp"ar;d
with Schumann. Though in all these cases, the- richness
ot the know that they-the Telemanns, the Couperins, the Rameaus,
the Keysers, the Ph. E. Bachs and others-created something
melody has not sufferJd in the least, the role of the
accompanr-
enhancing its contribution to the new which led only later to the period of the Viennese Classi-
ment has been intensified,
a Brahm.s, cists. Yes, a new style in music was created, but did this have
lo*o. effect. No historian need tefi a Beethoven)
with vitamins' At the consequence of making the music of the preceding period
;Val; to enrich his accompaniment
least these three men, stubborn as they were' would have outmoded?
Curiously, it happened at the beginning of this period that
shown him the door!
And vice-versa: J. S. Bach's music was called outmoded. And, mosl curiously,
one of those who said this was J. S. Bach's owrr son, ph. Emanuil
If, in a given period, each participating voice had been and Bach, whose greatness one might question if one did not know
elaborated, with resfect io its content,'its formal balance
its relation to othei voices, as Part of a contrapuntal com- that Mozart and Beethoven viewed him with great admiration.
less than if To them, he still seemed a leader, even after they themselves
bination, its share of m"todic eloqttence would be
it were the main voice. Again, there might thencomPlex- arise in had added to the first rather negative principles of the New
Music such positive principles as that of developing variation,
younger comPosers a longing to get rid of all these
iti.r."T.r,.y then might ,ir.ri. to"deal with combinations and
in addition to many hitherto unknown structuril devices such
to elaborate as those of transition, liquidation, dramatic recapitulation,
e-laboratio'ns of subolclinate voices. Thus the desire
t"ice and reduce the accompaniment to that minimum manifold elaboration, derivation of subordinate themes, highly
"t.
t.qi,ii.a by comprehensibility *oold again be
""fy the ruling differentiated dynamics-crescend.o, decrescendo, sfotzato,
fashion.
piano subito, ntArcato, etc.- and particularly the new tech-
Such are the causes which procluce changes in methods
of nique of legato and staccato passages, accelerando and itar-
composition. In a manifold iense, rnusic uses time' It dando, and the establishment of tempo and character by spe-
uses

.rry ii-., it uses your time, it uses its own time'


It would cific bywords.
lf it aia not aim to say. the most,imp.ortant Beethoven's words: "Das ist nicht ein Bach, das ist ein
bJ most annoying
things in the'rno-rt .on."ntratecl manner in every fractiorr
of Meer" (This is not a brook, this is an ocean) constitute the
have acquired the correct order. He did not say this about Philipp Emanuel but
this"time. This is why, when comPosers

[40] [41]
STYLE AND IDEA NEIT MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIC, STYLE AND IDEA
about Johann Sebastian. Should he not have added: \7ho is the Also in other respects Bach's art is higher than Handel's.
brook ? As a composer for the theatre Handel always had the Power
In any case: of beginning with a chancteristic and often excellent theme.
\fhile until 1750 J. S. Bach was writing countless works But, thereafter, with the exception of the rePetitions of the
whose oririr-rality sccms the more astonishing to us the rnore theme, there follows a decline, bringing only what the editor
we study his music; while he not only developed but really of Groae's Dictionary would call "trash"-emPty, meaning-
created a ncw style of music which was without precedent; less, etude-like broken chord figures. In conttast, even Bach's
while the very nature of this newness still escapes the observa- transitional and subordinate sections are always full of char-
tion of thc experts- acter, inventiveness, imagination and expression. Though his
No, excuse me: I feel obliged to prove what I say, and subordinate voices never degenerate into inferiority, he is
hate to say it as lightly and superficially as if I were to say: able to write fluent and well balanced melodies of more
New Music! beauty, richness and expressiveness than can be found in the
The newness of Bach's art can only be understood by com- music of all those Keysers, Telemanns, and Philipp Emanuel
paring it with the style of the Netherlands School on the one Bachs who called him outmoded. They, of course, were not
hand and with Handel's art on the other. capable of seeing that he was also the first to introduce iust
The secrets of the Netherlanders, strictly denied to the that technique so necessary for the Progress of their New
uninitiated, were based on a complete recognition of the pos- Music: the technique of "developing variation," which made
sible contrapuntal relations between the seven tones of the possible the style of the great Viennese Classicists.
diatonic scale. This enabled the initiated to produce combi- \7hile Bach thus-as beforementioned-produced work
nations which admitted many types of vertical and horizontal after work in a new style, his contemporaries knew no better
shifts, and other similar changes. But the remaining five than to ignore him. It can be said that not much of their
tones were not included in these rules, and, if they appeared New Music remained alive, though one must not deny that
at all, did so apart from the contrapuntal combination and it was the beginning of a new art. But there are two points
as occasional substitutes. in which they were \,vrong. First, it was not musical ideas
In contrast, Bach, who knew more secrets than the Nether- rvhich their New Music wanted to establish, but only a new
landers ever possessed, enlarged these rules to such an extent style for the presentation of musical ideas, whether old or
that they comprised all the twelve tones of the chromatic scale. new; it was a new wave in the progress of music, one which,
Bach sometimes operated with the twelve tones in such a as described before, tried to develop the other direction of
manner that one would be inclined to call him the first musical space, the horizontal line. Second, they were wrong
twelve-tone composef. when they called Bach's music outmoded. At least it was not
If , after observing that the contrapuntal flexibility of Bach's outmoded forever, as history shows; today their New Music
themes is based in all probability on his instinctive thinking is outmoded while Bach's has become eternal.
in terms of multiple counterpoint which gives scope to ad- But now one should also examine the concept "outmoded."
ditional voices, one compares his counterpoint with Handel's, One can find illustrations of this concept in our daily life
the latter's seems bare and simple, and his subordinate voices rather than in the intellectual sphere. Long hair, for instance,
are really inferior. was considered an important contribution to a woman's beauty

1427 143 J
STYLE AND IDEA NETT MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIC, STYI.E AND IDEA

thirty years ago. \7ho knows how soon the fashion of short decide whether all this complication is necessary. But the
hair will be outmoded ? Pathos was one of the most admired decision of one successful young composer: "Today's younger
merits of poetry about a hundred yeus today it seems generation does not like music which they do not under-
^go;
ridiculous, and it is used only for satirical purposes. Electric stand," does not conform to the feelings of the heroes who
light has outmoded candleJight; but snobs still use the latter engage in adventures. One might expect that this kind of
because they saw it in the castles of the aristocracy where ar- youth, attracted by the difficult, the dangerous, the mysteri-
tistically decorated walls would have been damaged by electric ous, would rather say: "Am I an idiot that one dares offer
wrrmg. me poor trash which I understand before I am half-way
Does this indicate why things become outmoded? through?" Or even: "This music is complicated, but I will
Long hair became outmoded because working women con- not give up until I understand it." Of course this kind of
sidered it a handicap. Pathos became outmoded when natural- man will be enthused rather by profundity, profuseness of
ism portrayed real life and the way in which people talked ideas, difficult problems. Intelligent people have always been
when they wanted to finish business. Candle-light became offended if one bothered them with matters which any idiot
outmoded when people realized how senseless it is to make could understand at once.
unnecessary work for one's servants-if one can get them at The reader has certainly become aware that it is not merely
all. my intention to attack long deceased pseudo-historians and
The common factor in all these examples was a change in the composers who started the rnovement of New Music.
the forms of our life. Though I have used with pleasure the opportunity to write
Can one contend the same about music? about some of the lesser known merits of Bach's art, and
\7hich form of life makes Romantic music inadequate ? Is though I have enjoyed the opportunity to list some of the
there no more romanticism in our time ? Are we not more contributions of the Viennese Classicists to the development
enthusiastic about being killed by our automobiles than the of compositorial technique, I do not hesitate to admit that
ancient Romans were about being killed by their chariots ? the attack upon the propagandists of the New Music is aimed
Are there not still to be found young people who engage in {gainst similar movements in our own time. Except for one
adventure for which they may have to pay with their lives, difference-that I am no Bach-there is a great similarity
though the glory they earn will pale with the next day's between the two epochs.
front page ? \flould it not be easy to find numerous youths A superficial judgment might consider composition with
to _fly to the moon in a rocket plane if the opportunity were twelve tones as an end to the period in which chromaticism
offered ? Is not the admiration of people of itt ages for our evolved, and thus compare it to the climaxing end of the
Tanans, Supermen, Lone Rangers and indestructibli detectives period of contrapuntal composition which Bach set by his
the result of a love for romanticism? The Indian stories of unsurpassable mastery. That only lesser values could follow
our youth were no more romantic; only the names of the this climax is a kind of justification of his younger contem-
subjects have been changed. poraries' turn towards New Music.
But-also in this respect I am no Bach-I believe that
. One reproach against romanticism concerns its complica-
tions. True, if one were to look at scores of Strauss, Debussy, composition with twelve tones and what many erroneously
Mahler, Ravel, Reger, or my own, it might be difficult tq call "atonal music" is not the end of an old period, but the
l44l 1451

l-
STYLE AND IDEA NE\r MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIC, STYLE AND IDEA

beginning of a new one. Again, as two centuries ago' some' customary that a musician, when he heard a composition the
thing is ialled outmoded; and again it is not one particular first time, observed its consiruction, was able to follow the
*orli, or several works of one comPoser; again it is not the elaboration and derivation of its themes and its modulations,
greater or lesser ability of one comPoser in particular; byt and could recognize the number of voices in canons and the
igain it is a style which has become ostracized. Again it calls presence of the theme in a variation; and there were even
itself New Music, and this time even more nations participate laymen who after one hearing could take a melody home
in the struggle. Aside from nationalistic aims for an exportable in their menory. But I am sure there was not much talk about
music with which even smaller nations hope to conquer the style. And if a music historian had ventured to participate in
market, there is one common trait observable in all these an argument, it could only have been one who was able to
movements; none of them are occupied with presenting new observe similar qualities by ear alone. That is what music
ideas, but onty with presenting a new style. And, again, the critics like Hanslick, Kalbeck, Heuberger and Speidel and
principles on which this New Music is to be based present amateurs like the renowned physician Billroth were able to
ihemselves even more negatively than the strictest rules of do.
the strictest old counterpoint. There should be avoided: The positive and negative rules may be deduced from a
chromaticism, expressive melodies, \Tagnerian harmonies, finished work as constituents of its style. Every man has finger-
romanticism, privite biographical hints, subjectivity, functional prints of his own, and every craftsman's hand has its person-
harmonic progressions, illustrations, leitmotivs, concurrence ality; out of such subjectivity grow the traits which comprise
with the mood ot action of the scene and characteristic de- the style of the finished product. Every craftsman is limited
clamation of the text in opera, songs and choruses. In other by the shortcomings of his hands but is furthered by their
words, all that was good in the preceding period should not particular abilities. On his natural conditions depends the style
occur now. of everything he does, and so it would be wrong to expect
Besides these officially authorized "Verbote," I have ob a plum tree to bear plums of glass or Pears or felt hats.
served numerous negative merits, such as: pedal points (in- Among all trees it is only the Christmas tree which bears
stead of elaborate bass voices and moving harmony), ostinatos, fruits not natural to it, and among animals it is only the
sequences (instead of developing variation), fugatos. (for Easter rabbit which lays eggs, and even colored ones at that.
similar purposes), dissonancei (disguising the vulgarity of Style is the quality of a work and is based on natural
the thematii material), objectivity (Neue Sachlicbh,eit), and a conditions, expressing him who produced it. In fact, one who
kind of polyphony, jubstituting for counterpoint, which, be- knows his capacities may be able to tell in advance exactly
cause of-its lnexact imitations, in former times would have how the finished work will look which he still sees only in
been held in contempt as "Kapellmeistermusik," or what I his imagination. But he will never start from a preconceived
called "Rhabarber counterpoint." The word "Rhabarber," image of a style; he will be ceaselessly occupied with doing
spoken behind the scenes by only five or six people, sounded justice to the idea. He is sure that, everything done which
to the audience in a theatre like a rioting mob. Thus the the idea demands, the external appearance will be adequate.
counterpoint, thematically meaningless, like the word "rhu- If I have been fortunate enough to show some views
barb," sounded as if it had a real meaning. different from those of my adversaries about New Music,
In my youth, living in the proximity of Brahms, it was Outmoded Music, and Style, I would iike to proceed now to

1461 147 )

L
T
STYLE AND IDEA NE\r MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIC, STYI,E AND IDEA
my self-appointed task of discussing what seems to me most scious of the necessary decision, lost his instinctive ability to
important in a work of art-the ldea. walk at all.
I am conscious that entering into this sphere involves some Indeed, r to a composerl And even hiding his
great danger
danger. Adversaries have called me a constructor, an engineer, brain might not help; only having none would suffice. But I
an architect, even a mathematician-not to flatter me--because think th[ need not discourage anyone who has a brain; be-
of my method of composing with twelve tones. In spite of cause I have observed that if one has not worked hard enough
knowing my Verkllirte Nacht and Gune-Liedeq though some and has not done one's best, the Lord will refuse to add His
people liked these works because of their emotionality, they blessing. He has given us a brain in order to use it' Of course
called my music dry and denied me spontaneity. They pre- an idea is not always the product of brain-work. Ideas
tended that I offered the products of a brain, not of a heart. may invade the mind as unprovoked and perhaps even as
I have often wondered whether people who possess a brain undesired as a musical sound reaches the ear or an odor
would prefer to hide this fact. I have been supported in the nose.
my own attitude by the example of Beethoven who, having Ideas can only be honored by one who has some of his
received a letter from his brother Johann signed "land own; but only he can do honor who deserves honot himself.
owner," signed his reply "brain owner." One might question The difference between style and idea in music has per-
why Beethoven just stressed the point of owning a brain. He haps been clarified by the preceding discussion. This may
had so many other merits to be proud of , for instance, being not be the place to discuss in detail what idea in itself means
able to compose music which some people considered out- in music, because almost all musical terminology is vague
standing, being an accomplished pianist-and, as such, even and most of its terms are used in various meanings' In its
recognized by the nobility-and being able to satisfy his most common meaning, the term idea is used as a syrlonym for
publishers by giving them something of value for their theme, melody, phrase or motive. I myself consider the totality
money. \Xzhy did he call himself just "brain owner," when of a piece as fhe idea: the idea which its creator wanted
the possession of a" brain is considered a danger to the to present. But because of the lack of better terms I am
naivet6 of an artist by many pseudo-historians ? forced to define the term idea in the following manner:
Every tone which is added to a beginning tone makes the
An experience of mine might illustrate the way in which meaning of that tone doubtful. If, for instance, G follows
people think a brain might be dangerous. I have never aftet C, the ear may not be sure whether this expresses C
found it necessary to hide that I am able to think logically, major or G major, or even F major or E minor; and the
that I distinguish sharply between right and wrong terms, and addition of other tones may or may not clatify this problem.
that I have very exact ideas about what art should be. Thus, In this manner there is produced a state of unrest, of imbal-
in a number of discussions, I may have shown a little too ance which grows throughout most of the piece, and is
much brain to one of my tennis partners, a writer of lyric enforced further by similar functions of the rhythm. The
poetry. He did not reciprocate in kind, but maliciously told me method by which balance is restored seems to me the real
the story about the toad who asked the centipede whether idea of. the composition. Perhaps the frequent repetitions of
he was always conscious which of his hundred feet was just themes, groups, and even larger sections might be considered
about to move, whereupon the centipede, in becoming con- as attempts towards an early balance of the inherent tension.
[48] l4e)
STYLE AND IDEA NE\r MUSIC, OUTMODED MUSIC, STYLE AND IDEA
In comparison with all our developments in mechanics, a for AJl." Because if it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for
tool like i pair of pliers might seem simple. I always admired :rll, it is not art.
the mind which invented it. In order to understand the Most deplorable is the acting of some artists who arrogantly
problem which this inventor had to overcorne one must wish to make believe that they descend from their heights
imagine the state of mechanics before its invention. The idea in order to give some of their riches to the masses. This is
of fixing the crosspoint of the two crooked arms so that ihe hypocrisy. But there are a few comPosers, like Offenbach,
two smalter segments in front would move in the opposite lohann Strauss and Gershwin, whose flelings actually- coincide
direction to thJlarger segments at the back, thus multiplying with those of the "average man in the street." To them it is
the power of the man who squeezed them to such an extent no masquerade to exPress popular feelings in_ popular terms.
that he could cut wire-this idea can only have been con- They ari natural when they talk thus and about that.
ceived by a genius. Certainly more comPlicated and-better He who really uses his brain for thinking can only be
tools exiit today, and there may come a time when the use possessed of one desire: to resolve his task. He cannot
of the pliers and other similat tools may become- sup.er- iet external conditions exert influence upon the results of
fluous. The tool itself may fall into disuse, but the idea his thinking. Two times lwo is four-whether one likes it
behind it can never become obsolete. And therein lies the or not.
difference belween a mere style and a real idea. One thinks only for the sake of one's idea.
An idea can neaer perisb. And thus art can only be created for its own sake. An
It is very regrettable that so many contemPorary comPosers idea is born; it must be molded, formulated, developed,
care so much about style and so little about idea. From this elaborated, carried through and pursued to its very end.
Because there is only 'il'art pour I'art," art for the sake of
came such notions as the attempt to compose in ancient styles,
using their mannerisms, limiting oneself-to the little that one art alone.
.ut, ih.rt express and to the insignificance of the musical con-
figurations which can be produced with such equipment.
"No
o.r. should give in to limitations other than those
which are due to th-e limits of his talent. No violinist woulcl
play, even occcasionally, with the wrong intonation to please
io*.r musical tastes, no tight-rope walker would take steps
in the wrong direction o"ty fot pleasure or for popular
appeal, no .f,"r, master would *rk" mol everyone could
anlicipate just to be agreeable (and thus
"s
allow his opponent
to win), no mathe-^ii.i".t would invent something new in
mathematics just to flatter the masses who do not, Possess
the specific mathematical way of thinking, and in the same
and no musician
-urrrr^.r, no artist, no Poet, no philosopher
whose thinking occurs in the highest sphere would degenerate
into vulgarity-in order to comply with a slogan such as "Art
Ir0] I 11 ]
BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
to Beethoven's Hammerklauier Sonata. No wonder that
Brahms, in his straightforward manner, spoke out: "Das
bemerkt ja schon jeder Esel." ("Every jackass notices that!")
A visitor meant to be complimentary when he said: "You
Erabms the Qrogrersive-,' are one of the greatest living composers." How Brahms hated
this "one of." \flho does not see that it means, "There are
I a few greater than you, and several of equivalent rank?"
Ir Has BEEN SAID that Brahms' social manners were often But doubtless the most annoying were those visitors (like
one composer from Berlin) who told him: "I am an admirer
characterized by a certain dryness. This was not the "Unknown"
Brahms.2 Vienna knew his method of surrounding himself
of \Wagner, the progressive, the innovator, and of Brahms,
with a protective wall of stiffness as a defense against certain the academician, the classicist." I do not remember what
types of people, against the obtrusiveness of oily bombast, kind of dryness or rudeness he applied in this case, but I know
moist flatter/, or honeyed impertinence. It is not unknown there was a great story in Vienna about the manner in which
that those annoying bores, those sensationalists who were out Brahms presented his esteem for this flattery.
for a good anecdote and those tactless intruders into private But, after all, it was the attitude of the time; those who
lives got little better than dryness. \X/hen the sluices of their disliked \Wagner clung to Brahms, and vice versa. There
eloquence were open and the flood threatened to engulf \r/ere many who disliked both. They were, perhaps, the only
him, dryness was no protection. This is why he was often forced non-partisans. Only a small number were able to disregard
to resort to rudeness. Even so, his victims may have tacitly the polarity of these two contrasting figures while enjoying
agreed to nickname what had befallen them "Brahmsian dry- the beauties of both of them.
ness"; and it may be assumed that each one rejoiced at the \7hat in 1883 semed an impassable gulf was in 1897 no
other's misfortune, but thought that he himself had been longer a problem. The greatest musicians of that time, Mahler,
done wrong. Strauss, Reger, and many others had grown up under the in-
Dryness or rudeness, one thing is certain: Brahms did not fluence of both these masters. They all reflected the spiritual,
want to express high esteem in this manner. emotional, stylistic and technical achievements of the preced-
Contemporaries found various ways to annoy him. A music- ing period. \7hat then had been an object of dispute had
ian or a music lover might intend to display his own great been reduced into the difference between two personalities,
understanding, good judgment of music, and acquaintance between two styles of expression, not contradictory enough to
with "some" of Brahms' music. Hence he dared say he had prevent the inclusion of qualities of both in one work.
observed that Brahms' First Piano Sonata was very similar Form in Music serves to bring about comprehensibility
through memorability. Evenness, regularity, symmetry, sub-
I This essay was originally a lecture delivered in February, 1933, on the oc- division, repetition, unity, relationship in rhythm and harmony
casionof Brahms' 100th birthday. This year, 7931, w^s also the 50th anniver- and even logic-none of these elements produces or even
sary of Wagnet's death. This is a fully reformulated version of my original
lecture. Many things and some of my opinions have changed during that timc, contributes to beauty. But all of them contribute to an organ-
and now 1947 is again rn anniversary of Brahms; he died fifty yeats ago. ization which makes the presentation of the musical idea
2 As rnisrepresented by Robert Haven Schauffler in his book of the same intelligible. The language in which musical ideas ate e:r-
name.

152 7
I13]

_---_
F
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
pressed in tones parallels the language which expresses fe_el-
ings or thoughts in words, in that its vocabulary must be
proportionate to the intellect which it addresses, and in that
ihe-aforernentioned elements of its organization function like
the rhyme, the rhytl-rm, the meter, and the subdivision into
strophes, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, etc. in poetry or
Prose.
The more or less complete exPloitation of the Potency of
these components determines the aesthetic value and the classi- Exalrpu 2
fication of the style in respect to its popularity or profundity.
An artist or an author need not be aware that he accom-
Science must explore and examine all f.acts; art is only con-
cerned with the presentation of characteristic facts. Even
modates his styleto the listener's capacity of comprehension.
An artist need not think very much, if only he thinks correctly
Antony, when addressing the Roman peoPle, realizes that
and straightforwardly. He feels that he obeys the urge of a
he must repeat his ". and Brutus is an honotable man"
spring within himself, the urge to express himself, just like
over and over, if this contrast is to penetrate into the minds
a clock, which indicates twenty-four hours every day, without
of simple citizens. Repetitions in Mother Goose songs are of questioning whether it means "this" day, this month, this
course on a different level, and so is the organization of pop
y-ear, or this century. Everyone knows this, except the clock.
ular music. Here one finds numerous slightly varied repeti-
The artist's response to the urge of his motor occurs auto-
tions, as in the otherwise very beautiful BIue Danube lYaltz.
maticalLy without delay, like that of every well-lubricated
mechanism.
It is obvious that one would not discuss the splitting of
atoms with a person who does not know what an atom is.
On the other hand, one cannot talk to a trained mind in
Mother Goose fashion or in the style of what Hollywoodians
call "lyrics." In the sfhere of art-music, the author respects
his audience. He is afnid to offend it by repeating ovei and
over what can be understood at one single'hearirig, even if
it is new, and let alone if it is stale old trash. A diagram
may tell the whole story of a game to a chess expert; u cle--
ist recognizes all he wants to know by glancing at a few
ExauprE 1
symbols; but in a mathematical formula-are combined the
Here are six repetitions, and almost all are based on the distant past, the actual present, and the most remote future.
alternation of tonic and dominant. Repeatedly hearing things which one likes is pleasant and
Though richer in harmony, the example from Verdi's // need not be ridiculed. There is a subconscious des]re to under-
Trcaatore is of no higher order: stand better and rcalize more details of the beauty. But an

Lt4) Irr]
F
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
alert and well-trained mind will demand to be told the more
remote matters, the more remote consequences of the {-p1,.
IV
matters that he has already comprehended. An alert and well- How great an innovator Brahms was in respect to harmony
trained mind refuses to listen to baby-talk and requests can be seen in this example from his string quartet in C minor,
strongly to be spoken to in a brief and straightforward Op. 51, No. L. (ms. 11-23).
language.
ilI
Progressin music consists in the development of methods
of prJsentation which correspond to the conditions just- dis-
cusied. It is the purpose of lhis essay to prove that Brahms,
the classicist, thi academician, v/as a great innovator in the
realm of musical language, that, in fact, he was a great
progressive.
^ to an incarnate "old-Yagnerian,"
tYfris may seem contestable
tWagnerians
no matter whether he is one of the primigenial
who has grown old, ot simply an "old-tWagnerian" by birth'
There weL still fireproof "old-\tragnerians" born at the time
of my own generati^on and even ten years later. Pioneers of
musiial prog-ress on the one hand, and keePers of -the Holy
Grail of trie art on the other, they considered themselves
entitled to look with contempt at Brahms the classicist, the
academician.
Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss had been the first to
clarify these concepts. They had both been educated in the
traditional as well^ as in the progressive, in the Brahmsian
as well as in the \Tagneriar philosophy of art (lYeltan'
scbauung). Their example helped -us to rcalize that there
was as ririuch organizatioial order, if not pedantry i1 \flagn9r
as there was diring courage, if not even bizarre fantasy in
Brahms. Does not the mystic correspondence of the numbers
of their dates suggest some mysterious relationship between :Y
them? Brahms' one-hundredth birthday anniversary in 1933 dI +
6m C Y
was the fiftieth anniversary of the death of \7agner. And Exauprn 3
now, as this essay is being rewritten, we cofilmemorate the
fiftieth anniversary of Brahms' deaih. This is the contrasting middle section of. a ternary form
Mysteries .o.tceal a truth, but direct curiosity to unveil it. whose a-sectionis already rich enough harmonically in com-
I16] lt7 )

li

ii
I

li
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
parison with the I-V or I-IV-V harmon/, intermixed occasion'
iffy *i,ft a VI or III and sometimes a neapolitan :tiud',:i
Brahms' predecessors. To base a main theme on such a rlch
hur-ony'se"rrr"d a daring enterprise to the ears of the time'
But tie harmony of this middle section competes.success' A/C#
t:
fully with that of many a \Tagnerian Passage' Ev,en the most rE: I
EI
Ab/C
progressive comPosers after Brahms wefe caretully avoldrng
iem"ote deviation from the tonic region in the beginning of a
oiece. But this modulation to the dominant of a minor region
tn B, and the sudden, unceremonious and prec-ipitate return
to the tonic, is a rare case. The successsion of thtee maior
triads on E flat, D flat and C respectively in the coda of Fm/Ab G7
the first movement of the Etoica (ms. t:r-:6L) and the- iuxta-
position of two unrelated triads (on B and Bb) in the follow- Exauprr j
ing e*ample from Schubert are cases of a similar procedure' unmasks itself as remaining within the closer relations of the
tonality. Also not very distant is the harmonic deviation in
Isolde's order to Tristan: "Befehlen liess dem Eigenholde. . .',

Ex.a.upre 4 (From Schubert's Lied: ln der Feme) Exaupm 6


Examples from \Wagner in which. similar progressiont.ot*l But the "Traurige'il/eise", the English Horn solo of Act III,
are ofteit not easily aialyzed, but then prove less complicated
than one might have expected' For instance, the motive ot
the Todestraik, f.ro^ Ttistan md Isold'e,
Exauprr 7
shows in its modulatory section no more remote modulation
than the end of the a-section of the aforementioned C minor
string quartet of Brahms:

I18] Ire]
STYLE AND ID E A BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
Inoves rather less expansively and more slowly than in similar
forms of Brahms. Compare, for instance, the "\Winterstiirme
wichen dem \Wonnemond," the "Als zullendes Kind, zog ich
clich auf" or the song of the Rhine Daughters to Brihms'
"Meine Liebe ist griin," or the main theme of the String
long
Quintet in G, Op. 111, which starts roving in its third meas--
ExltrtprB 8 ure) or the Rhapsody, Op. 79, No. 2, which almost avoids
cstablishing a tonality.
These are in essence chromatically descending
triads, most
of them inversions; their treatment is similar to that ot v
.r.uooii,un triads. Some examples of their appearance in classic
Ternary, rondo, and other rounded forms appear in dramatic
illustrated in Example 9 a, b, c'
-.rii. ^r. rnusic only occasionally, as episodes, mostly at lyrical rest-
hooen,slring Qwrt et, op'
B ee t
5 9' Ne 2 ing-points where the action stops or at least slows down-in
3+
places where a composer can proceed along formal con-
cepts and can repeat and develop without the pressure of
the progress of an action, without being forced to mirror
rnoods or events not included in the chancter of his matefial.
Dramatic music resembles in its modulatory character the
rrrodulatory elaboration (Durchf i.ihrung) of'a symphonl, so-
nata, or other rounded form. l7agner's "Leitmotives" usually
contain some germinating harmonies in which the urge for
rnodulatory changes is inherent. But simultaneously they ful-
I'ill another task, an organizational task, which shows the
formalistic side of $Tagner's genius.
The recitative in pre-rVagnerian operas was also modulatory.
llut it was unorganized, if not incoherent, with respect to
thematic and even motive requirements. The "Leitmotiv"
ExaupH 9 A, B, c tcchnique represents the grandiose intention of unification
of the thematic material of an entire opera, and even of an
If there is no decisive difference between Brahms and cntire tetralogy. An organization as fayteaching as this de-
\Tagner as regards extension of the relationship within a scrves an aesthetic rating of the highest order. But if fore-
tonfiity, it m..it not be overlooked that \Tagner's. harmony sight in organization is called formalistic in the case of
is richei in substitute harmonies and vagrants, and in a freer llrahms, then this organization is also formalistic, because it
use of dissonances, especially of unprLpared ones' On thc stcms from the same state of mind, from one which conceives
other hand, in strophic, songlike forms and other structures, ;rn entire work in one single creative moment and acts cot-
such as represent the \Tagneiian version of arias, the harmony rcspondingly.

[60] [51]

l=
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
Vhen Brahms, towards the end of the last movernent of his .'lu5ky clrance." Such people have a wrong evaluation of both
Fourth Symphony, carries out some of the variations by a luck and inspiration ind- are not capablJ of imagining what
succession of thirds, both can achieve.
It would look like a high accomplishment of intellect'ar
gymnastics if. alI this had been "c-onstructed" prior to in_
spired composing. But men who know the powei of inspira-
Exauprn 10 tion, and how it can produce combinations ^no orr. .u., ior.-
he unveils the relationship of the theme of the Passacaglia see, also know that \(agner's application of the Leitmotiv was,
to the first movement. Transposed a fifth up, in the gre^ft qrlio-rity of cases,-of an inspired spontaneity. Ai
often as
.Siegtried came to his mind, hii mindis .y. *i .-
saw and heard him just as his motive depicts him:'

ExauprB LL

it is identicat with the first eight notes of the main theme,


rJ

I trl r ! i--<+ f escendins |


'
tt--G=--' Exauprr L4 A, B, c
VI
EXAMPLE 12 I assume that I have been the firsi to lay down a principle
rvhich, about four decades ago, began direc[ing and regulating
and the theme of the passacaglia in iis first half admits the
rny. musical thinking and the formulation of my ideas, anl
contrapuntal combination witli the descending thirds'
which played a decisive role in my self-criticism.
I wish to join ideas with ideas. No matter what the pur-
pose or meaning of an idea in the aggregate may bei no
matter whether its function be introductory, estat'lishing,
u?ry.ing, Pt:q?tilg, elaborating, deviating, dlveloping, coi-
cluding, subdividing, subordinite, or baiic, it must"be an
iclea which had to take this place even if it were not to
People uenerallv do not know that luck is a heavenly gift' serve for_ this purpose or meaning or function; and this idea
.q"i"4.1", to, *d of the same kind as, talent, beauty, strength' rnust look in construction and in thematic content as if it
ett. tt is not given for nothing-ol l!. contrary, one must rvere not there to fulfill a structural task. In other words,
deserve it. SkJptics might atiempt belittling this as a mere a transition, a codetta, an elaboration, etc., should not be I

162) r$l
l
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
as a thing in its own end. It should not aPPear phonic-melodic style was formulated. Comparing the com-
considered
at all if it does nol develop, modify, intensify, clatify, or positions manufactured in response to this aesthetic with
those of J. S. Bach on the one hand and of Haydn, Mozaft,
throw light or color on the idea of the piece.
Ileethoven and Schubert on the other, one understands why
This does not mean that functions of these types can be
such ruthless propaganda had to be applied to eliminate
absent in a composition. Br-rt it means that no spacc should -such
be devoted to mere formal DLrrposes. And it means that those J. S. Bach, but one is astonished that fruits can be
clerived from so scanty a soil.
segments or sections which fulfill structural requirements
should do so without being mere trash. Under the leadership of Keyser, Telemann and Mattheson,
This is no critique of classic music-it merely presents composers were asked to let alone "great art"; to strive with
my personal artistic code of honor which everybody else may cffort to write light (that is effortless) music; to see that
disregard. But it seems to me that the Dro,gress in which a theme is provided with "a certain something" (ein geuisses
Brahms was operative should have stimulated composers to titua,s) which seems to be familiar to everybody; to write in
write music for adults. Mature people think in complexes, the light manner of the French. To Matttreson, counterpoint
and the higher their intelligence the greater is the number was a mere mental exercise without emotional power. As it
of units with which thev are familiar. It is inconceivable that has happened frequently, these men were highly-estimated in
composers should call "serious music" what they write in an their lifetime, while Bach was little known. But one must
obsolete style, with a prolixity not conforming to the.con- rloubt that men were inspired geniuses who composed accord-
tents-repeating three to seven times what is understandable ing to such advice, like cooks obeying a cookbook, or some
at once.'\X/hy should it not be possible in music to sav in of their music would have survived. This was not a natural
whole complexes in a condensed form what, in the preceding development; it was not evolution, but man-made revolution.
epochs, trad at first to be said several tirnes with slight One can only express what one possesses inwardly. A style
variations before it could be elaboraied? Is it not as if a cannot make one richer. Thus these musicians livi only be-
writer who wanted to tell of "somebody who lives in a house cause of the musicologists' interest in dead, decayed matter.
near the river" should have to explain what a house is, what It is known that Mozart and Beethoven looked on some of
it is made for, and of what material, and, after that, explain their predecessors with great admiration. Fortunately, how-
the river in the same way? wer, the versatility, inventiveness and power of emotion kept
Some people speak of the "dying romanticism" of music' these masters free from the shackles of an aesthetic of popu-
Do they te^ily believe that making music,, playing with tones, lar complaisance.
is something realistic, or what? Or is it that romanticism has
to resign in favor of senseless prolixity? VIII
VII True, much of the organization of classic music reveals,
grasP thoroughly the development of musical by its regularity, symmetry and simple harmony, its relation
In order to rvith, if not derivation from, popular and dance music. Con-
construction during the epoch from Bach to Brahms it is neces'
struction by phrases of the same length, especially if their
sary to go back tJ the period when the style of contrapuntal
number of measures is two, four or eight times two, and if
construclion was aband-oned and the aesthetic of the homo-
r64l [65]

--+-
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
Example 16 from the String Quartet in Bb major by Mozart
subdivision into two equally long segments adds a certain
is richer in organization: 3*1+1+3 (the latter is perhaps a
kind of symmetry, contiibutls moth to memorability; know-
ing the iirst haif, it is almost possible to conjecture ,the unit of 2+ I) .
seiond half. Deviation from regularity and symmetry does fr*--
iTt-r rt---=----rl--
not necessarily endanger comprehensibility' On-e might ac-
cordingly wonder why in Haydn's and Mozaft's forms irregu-
larity Is more frequently present than in Beethoven's. Is it per'
haps that formal'finesiei have diverted a listener's attention,
*tti.ft should concentrate upon the tremendous power - of
emotional expression? There ire not too many cases like that
of the String Quartet Op. 95 in F minor (see Example l!)'
Constructi'on by phraies of unequal length, accounts for
many of the irrigulatities in Hayd-n's and Mozart's music'
Theie differences-are produced by extension of a segment, Exauprr t6
by internal repetitions or ba reductions and condensations.
Such is the caie in many of Haydn's and Mozart's Menuets, The whole theme comprises eight measures; thus the irregu-
according to which one might be inclined to consider menuets larity is, so to speak, subcutane (i. e. it does not show up on
r *ig-like form, rather than as a derivative of dance the surface).
"r
mustc. \7hile Haydn's example is still symmetrical, this is entirely
Example 15, from a piano Sonata by H-ayfn, consists of unsymmetrical and thereby renounces one of the most efficient
two seghents of two measures and two of three measures: aids to comprehension. But it is not yet what deserves to be
z+)andz*3. called "musical prose." One might rather be inclined to as-
kcoto cribe such irregularity to a baroque sense of form, that is, to a
t - 7^l-." desire to combine unequal, if not heterogeneous, elements into
"
a formal unit. Though such a hypothesis is not without found-
ation, it seems that there is another, more artistic and psy-
chological explanation.
Mozart has to be considered above all as a dramatic com-
Poser.
Accommodation of the music to every change of mood and
action, materially or psychologically, is the most essential
problem an opera composer has to master. Inability in this re-
spect might produce incoherence-or worse, boredom. The
technique of the recitative escapes this danger by avoiding
motival and harmonic obligations and their consequences. The
"Arioso" liquidates rapidly and ruthlessly that minimum of
ExauprE 15

166) [67 7

I
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
To this are added later d. in ms. 22-23 and e in ms. 25-29.
obligations in which it might have engaged. But the "Finales"
and-many "Ensembles" and even "Arias" contain heterogen-
eo,rs ele-er]ts to rvhich the technique of lyric condensation is
not applicable. In pieces of this !yp. u comPoser musl be ca-
pable-of turr-ring within the smallest sPace. Mozatt, antlclpat-
ing this ,recessiiy, begins such a piece with a melody consisting
of" a number of phrases of various lengths and characters,
each of them pertaining to a differelt phase of the action and
the mood. They are, iri their first formulation' loosely joined
together, and often simply juxtapo.sed, thus admitting to be
b.Jken ,rr.rr.l", and usei'independently as motival material
for small forrnal segments.
A striking of this procedure can be seen in the
""u-[1"
Finale (NoI rl) of ,t.t 2 of.'I'he Martiage of-Figato' The
'this Finale, an Allegro, starts after Susanna's
thircl seition of
line "Guardate, guardate quia scoso sari" with a theme in B ExaupH 18 D, E
flat, consisting oT the three phrases a, b, c in Example 17' This Allegro-section comprises 160 measures and contains
an astonishingly great number of segments, all of which are
built, almost exclusively, out of variations of these five little
phrases in a constantly changing order.
Similar construction can be found in many of the ensembles,
of which the Terzet (No. Z) and the Sextet (No. 18) are
outstanding specimens. But even duets, though one might ex-
pect here not so loose a formulation, derive all of it from il-
lustrating segments, whose features show little external rela-
v _ eh tionship. It is admirable how closely the action and the mood
of the actors is portrayed in the opening Duet (No. 1). Both
lFreJr.e I +- G , t*
3+++t#++ ?
Figaro and Susanna are deeply concerned abort aff.airs of their
own. Figaro is measuring the walls of their future apartment,
Susanna trying on a new hat, admiring her looks-neither of
tlrem has an eat or an eye for the other person. Thus, while
Figaro- lays out his measuring tape (Ex. 19, phrase a), ex-
tends it.(phrase b, the syncopation in the basi), and counts
the number of iengths ("cinque," phrase c.)

Exnltprr 17 A, B, c
[68]
l6e l
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE

IX
Analysts of my music will have to rcalize how much I per-
sonally owe to Mozart. People who looked unbelievingly at
me, thinking I made a poor joke, will now understand why I
called myself a "pupil of. Mozart," must now understand my
reasons. This will not help them to appreciate my music, but
Exanprr 19 to understand Mozart. And it will teach young composers what
Susanna tries in vain to attract his interest to her attire. are the essentials that one has to learn from masters and the
way one can apply these lessons without loss of personality.
Mozart himself had learned from Italian and French com-
posers. He had probably learned also from Ph. E. Bach. But
certainly it was his own musical thinking that enabled him to
produce constructions like the abovementioned ones.
The preceding analysis may have suggested the idea that
irregular and unsymmetrical construction is an absolute and in-
Exaupn 20 escapable result of dramatic composing. If this were true one
ought to find more of it in Wagner's music. However, \Vug-
\Wagner or Strauss could not do this better. ner, who in his first period was strongly influenced by con-
Organization based on different and differently shaped ele- temporary Italians, has seldom abandoned a two-by-two-meas-
ments proves to be a vision of the future. A composer of ure construction, but has made great progress in the direction
operas, of oratorios (as Schweitzer shows in analyzing Bach's of musical prose--that is, toward the goal which Brahms also
music to words) or even of songs, who does not prepare for strove for, but on a different road. The difference between
far remote necessities acts as silly and brainless as a pedantic these two men is not what their contemporaries thought; it is
performer who insists on playing classic music wilh metro- not the difference between Dionysian and Apollonian art, as
nomically measured equal beats-as if it were dance music. Nietzsche might have called it. Besides, it is not as simple as
Of course, in the stiff confinement of a Procrustean bed, no that belween Dionysius and Apollo: that the one, in intoxica-
modification can fit, and even those ritardandi and accelerandi tion, smashes the glasses which the other has produced in an
(Schumann's "immer schneller werdend") which the com- intoxication of imagination. Things happen thus only (if this
poser himself demands will never turn out satisfactorily. is not too pompous a word for what is so little and so late)
A wise performer, one who is indeed a "servant to the in the imagination of a biographer or a musicologist. Intoxica-
work," one who possesses the mental elasticity of a rank tion, whether Dionysian or Apollonian, of an artist's fantasy
equal to that of a musical thinker-such a man will proceed increases the clarity of his vision.
like Mozart or Schubert or others. He will systematize irregu-
larity, making it a component principle of the organization.

[70] [71]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
Great art must Proceed to precision and brevity. It presup-
poses the alert mind of an educated listener who, in a.single
ict of thinking, includes with every concept all associations
pertaining to fhe complex. This enables a musician to write
ior ,.rpp".-class minds, not only doing what grammar and
idiom require, but, in other respects lending to every sentence
the full pregnancy of meaning of a maxim, of. a proverb,
of an aphoriim. This is what musical prose should be-a di-
rect and straightforward presentation of ideas, without any
patchwork, without mere padding and emPty repetitions'.
Density of texture is certainly an obstacle to popularity; but
prolixity alone cannot guarantee general favor. Real popular-
ity, lasting popularity, is only attained in those rare cases where
power of eipiession is granted to men who dwell intensely in
the sphere of basic human sentiments. There are a few cases
in Schubert and Verdi, but many in Johann Strauss. Even
Mozaft, when, in the Magic Flute, he temporarily abandoned
his own highly refined and artistic style of presentation in
favor of the semi-popular characters he had to Portray music-
ally, did not fully succeed; the popular parts of this opera
never attained the success of the serious parts. His stand was
on the side of Sarastro and his priests. Exarr.tprE 21
In the epoch between Mozarl and '$Tagner one does noi find
Even if one ignores the first four little phrases which con-
many themes of an irregular construction. But the following
clude the main theme, and also the imitations (marked t4th
example, a transition from ihe end of the main theme to the
and fZth) by which the modulation is finished, there remain
subordinate theme in the first movement of Mozart's String
nine little phrases varying in size and character within no more
Quartet in D minor, certainly deserves the qualification of than eight measures. The smallest (the ith, 6th and zth) are
musical prose.
only three eighth notes long-in spite of which they are so
expressive that one is almost tempted to put words under-
neath. One regrets not possessing the power of a poet to render
in words what these phrases tell. However, poetry and lyrics
would not deprive it of the quality of being prose-like in the
unexcelled freedom of its rhythm and the perfect independence
from formal symmetry.

I72l 177]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
X
Asymmetry, combinations of phrases of differing lengths,
numbers of measures not divisible by eight, four or even two,
i.e. imparity of the number of measures, and other irregularities
akeady appear in the earliest works of Brahms. The main
theme of the first Sextet in B flat, Op. L8, consists of nine
measures (or, rather, ten, because of the upbeatJike measure
which introduces the repetition of this theme in the first violin
at*).
Exaupu 24
There are two rhythmical shifts (at *), but the most in-
teresting feature is presented by the ambiguity of the ending
of the second phrase. One wonders whether measures 9ff. do
not belong to this phrase.
Though these irregularities do not measure up to the art-
Exruprn 22 fulness of the Mozaft examples, they still present a more
advanced phase of the development toward liberation from
The construction then aPPears as 3 (or 1+2) +2+2+2+L= formal restrictions of musical thoughts, because they do not
10. derive from a baroque feeling, or from necessities of illustra-
The subordinate theme of the same movement connects its tion, as is the case in dramatic music.
two motive forms a and b, first to build two two-measure
phrases followed by a three-measure and a two-measure Other asymmetrical structures occur in songs of Brahms.
phrase, totaling nine measures. They derive probably in part from the rhythmic peculiarities
of the poems upon which they are based. It is well known
that Brahms' aesthetic canon demanded that the melody of a
song must reflect, in one way or another, the number of
/A- metrical feet in the poem. Accordingly, if there were three,
four, or five metrical feet, the melody should consist of the
same number of measures or half-measures. For instance, the
first half of "Meerfahrt" (H. Heine) consists exclusively of
three-measure phrases, on account of the poem's meter of three
ExauprE 23 metrical feet.
The Scherzo from the second Sextet, Op. 36, starts with a Mein Liebchen wir s6ssen beis6mmen
theme which comprises seventeen measures, though in the tr4ulich im l6ichten Kd.hn
seventeenth measure another phrase begins overlappingly.

l74l [7r]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
Geuss nicht so l6ut der liebentflammten Lieder
T6nr6ichen Sch6ll
Vom Bhiten6st des Apfelb6ums hernieder
r9 20 O N6chtigdll
This poem has an interesting meter: 5+i+ 5*3 metrical feet.
Note also the spondaic meter of every second iine. The dotted
Exauprp 25 half note in measure 2 causes the extension of the first phrase
to six, or rather seven half-measures. The second line, if treated
The Lied "Feldeinsamkeit" is based on verses of five metri' proportionally, should comprise about four half-measures, but
cal feet; accordingly, one might expect that the corresponding occupies, inclusive of the half-rest, five half-measures.
first two phrases would be five measures of five half-measures An di_e N_achllssl!
long. But the first phrase is condensed to two measures, to
whi-ch the second pirase adds three measutes, thus reflecting
the meter of the verses. ton-rc tl chen

FeldeinsamWt
Exaupre 28
These irregularities are more than the meter of the poem
, In many other examples the length of the pi,r"r"
ly""at
dttters from the number of metrical feetl for insta-rice, in
Example 29, the two times three metrical feet of the iirst
-aan- blid< nach - - ben; (nach two lines could fit well in the space of seven or eight half-
Exauprp 26 measures, instead of the seventeen half_measures apiortioned
to them.
The poem "Am Sonntag Morgen zierlich angetan" has fite
metrical feet, but the melody consists of phrases three meas'
ures long, that is, six half-measures-the result of the_ pro' zieht
,
eg

longation of the pause between the phrases, which could be


a sixteenth-rest only.

^
S"n^ - tiq ltor - gen z;e. - l;ch on I i" - und schaebt aie Dtfl
l, (J-r ? l-. zl :
Exauprn 29
U tdn, uotzl aciss ichuo du da 6f6{hin-ge - gan-?en efc. Similarly, the poem "An den Mond," with its regular
-- Exaivrprn 27 rhythm of four metrical feet, does not require the three-
measure construction.
T76J [77 J
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
The irregularities of "Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer"
are partly caused by the changing rneter of the Poem.
ait blei- -chen gtrdh-len pflegst d*
-

w--lcn
Exauprr 3O
"Beim Abschied" has lines of four rhythmical feet, but the
phrases are stretched to occupy five measures.

Exauprn 33

But an attempt to condense these phrases


ra;(.3
Exairrpu 31
7m - - ad lci- - ser
The irregularity is also not required by the meter (four
metrical feet) of the poem in "Mddchenlied." It is the inserted
fifth measure, the stretching in measures 8 and 9 and the
addition of two one-measure phrases that bring up to ten and Exauprn 34
twelve measures respectively what could be put into eight
measures. illustrates at once that the little piano interludes which sepa-
I"lddchenlied rate and prolong the phrases are zuggested by the mood of the
^1 poem. Tiris loJser c6nstruction PrgPafe.s for an even richer
ireedom of phrasing which occurs in this continuation.
jingsten fog, - u! auf,- er' sleh' ud gleich nach
The same foresight may be the cause of the extensions in
"Verrat" (Example-35). fhere is no metrical feature demand-
ing the fif'th and the tenth measures, both of which are a-gain
piino intedudes. In Jater parts of.the poem deviations from
leg' aie-der mich
ihis meter occur, and this ls the place where deviations from
even-numbered structures increase. In Example 35b a few cases
- are illustrated. The length of the phrases is different, and the
upbeats with which they begin (marked A) fluctuate between
one, three, and five eighths.
Exauprn 32

[78] l7e)
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
In Example 36c this succession is retrograded to Dh, Ch,
Db and transposed a seventh up.
A comparison of Example 37a, b, and c with Example 36d,
e, f, and-g unveils the origin of the enigmatic procedures in
the upper and lower voices of measures 7-9 and simultane-
Exaupm ously shows how the strange figure in measure 36 (example
35
37b) is related to the basic idea.
,
The most important capacity of a composer is to cast a
glance into the most remote future of his themes or motives.
He has to be able to know beforehand the consequences which
derive from the problems existing in his material, and to
organize everything accordingly. Whether he does this con-
sciously or sukonsciously is a subordinate matter. It suffices
if the result proves it.
Thus one must not be astonished by an act of genius when
cgmposer, feeling that irregularity will occur liter, already
1 Ee.36d
etc
deviates in the.beginning from simple regularity. An unpre-
pared and- sudden change of structural piinciplis would'en-
danger balance.
XI
I cannot renounce the opportunity to illustrate the remote-
1es; of_ a genius' foresight. In Example 36a (Beethoven's
String Quartet Op. 9:) there appear in the first measure the
three notes Db, Cq and D[ (36a and b) . ExauprE 37 A, n, c
Moteover, the relation of the still more enigmatic segment
in measures 38-43 (and later in 49-54) with the main theme
is thus revealed. The same succession of tones, direct and
reversed, appears also several times in the following move-
ments. It would be presumptuous to say that it is "the" basic
feature of the structure, or that it had a great influence on the
organization of this string quartet; perhaps its function is only
that of a "connective." I believe its reappearances, its re-
incarnation in other themes can just as well be caused sub-
consciously; the mind of a composer is dominated by every
Exarrrpre j6 *c detail of his idea, the consequences of which accordingly will
[80] [81]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
show up involuntarily and unexpectedly. Of course, only a MahlertSymph.lfr.2 o
master who is sure of himself, of his sense of form and bal.
ance, car renounce conscious control in favor of the dictates
of his imagination.
XII
lllustrations of the tendency toward asymmetrical construc-
I tion among post-\Tagnerian composers are very numerous.
Though the natural inclination to build two- or four-measure
phrases is still present, deviation from multiples of two is
achieved in many fashions.
The main theme of Anton Bruckner's Seventh Symphony,
for instance, contains one segment of five (l+21 measures
and another of three measures. Neither three-measure unit can
be classified as an extension of two measures or a condensa- Exair,rprE 39
tion of four measures. They are both "natural." The irregularities in the subordinate theme of the Schetzo
in Mahler's Sixth Symphony are only partly caused by its com-
position of. 3/a, 4/8, and 3/4 meter. The units are also dif-
t.-' ab^ ,, ferent in length. The first two comprise seven eighth notes,
the third comprises ten eighth notes and in the continuation
even greater differences appear. Also these irregularities could
L'? scarcely be traced back to even numbers.
ll

4ml I
ExaMprs 40
See altu 0th.
An extraordinary case, even among contemporary comPosefs'
--- Exaupu 38 is the melody from "Abschied," the lastmovementof Mahler's
The asymmetry in the main theme of Gustav Mahler's Lied uon der Erde. AII the units vary greatly in shape, size
Second Symphony is due to the irregular appearance of one- and content, as if they were not motival parts of a melodic
measure units. unit, but words, each of which has a purpose of its own in
the sentence.

{821 [83]
I

STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE

Exauprn 4L
The main theme from Richard Strauss' Synpbonia Donzestica
is distinctly an indivisible unit of five measures. It ends over- Exalrpm 44
lapping the entrance of the oboe.
The 'cello solo from "Serenade" (fthoenberg, Pierrot La-
naire, Op.21) consists of an irregular change of one- and two-
measure units.

Exr.upl-n 42
Another theme of the same work consists of two- and one-
measure units.

tms' t:%prn4j
zl

XIII
One might interpret some of the irregularities in the ex-
amples from Haydn, Mozart and Brahms as caused by special
pufposes, as, for instance, the desire to satisfy a baroque sense
of form; or to accomplish a more definite separation of the
Exaupre 43
phrases by "punctuation;" or to assist in the dramatic char-
Also, an indivisible five-measure unit is the first phrase of acterization of various actors in an opera; or to comply with
Max Reger's Violin Concerto. A three-measure phrase com- the metrical peculiarities of the poem of a song-as has been
pletes this part of the sentence. shown in previous discussions.

[84] [8r]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
But none of these reasons will explain irregularities such as how they complement one another; it may also be their emo-
have been mentioned in the music of post-\f,/agnerian compo. tional quality, romantic or unromantic, subjective or obiective,
-no
sers. Evidently their deviations from simple construction their expression of moods and characters and illustration.
-conditions,
longer derive from exclusively technical nor do Contemporary compositoriai technique has not yet arrived at
they serve to provide a stylistic appearance. They have become a freedom of construction comparable to that of a language.
incorporated into the syntax and grammar of perhaps all sub- Iividently, however, paity and symmetry play a lesser role
sequent musical structures. Accordingly, they have ceased to be today than they did in earlier techniques; and the aspiration
recorded as merits of a composition-though unfortunately for a strictness resembling that of the hexameter or penta-
many illiterate composers still write two plus two, four plus rneter, or that of the structures of the sonnet or the stanza in
four, eight plus eight unchangingly. poetry is rare. There are even composers who preserve little
of the features of the theme in their variations-a queer case:
XIV why should one use a form of such strictness, if one aims for
Again: it does not matter whether an artist attains his high- the contrary? Is it not as if one would string a violin E-string
est achievements consciously, according to a preconceived plan, on a double bass? One is ready to ignore discrepancies of this
or sukonsciously, by stepping blindfolded from one feiture kind and degree in favor of overwhelming merits in other re-
to the next. Has the Lord granted to a thinker a brain of spects. But the esthetic background for a just and general
unusual power? Or did the Lord silently assist him now and judgment has become very questionable at present.
then with a bit of His own thinking? Our Lord is an extremely
good chess player. He usually plans billions of moves ahead, XV
and that is why it is not easy to understand Him. It seems,
however, that He likes helping in their spiritual problems
This discussion will be concluded by two illustrations of
Brahms' contribution toward the development of the musical
those He has selected-though not enough in their more mate-
language: the main theme of the Andante from the A minor
rial ones.
String Quartet, Op. 51, No. 2, and the third of the "Vier
Again: asymmetry and imparity of structural elements are
Ernste Gesdnge," Op. l2I, "O Tod, O Tod, wie bitter bist
no miracle in contemporary music, nor do they constitute a
du!".
mgrit A contemporary composer connects phrases irrespective
Both these themes are specimens of a perhaps unique artistic
of their size and shape, only vigilant of harmonic progiession,
quality, as regards their motival elaboration and internal or-
of rhythmic and motival contents, fluency and logiC. But other-
ganization.
wise he chooses his way like a tourist, freely and non-
chalantly if he feels he has time, strictly and carefully if he
feels he is under pressure. If only he never loses sight of his
goal !

Merits of contemporary compositions may consist of formal


finesses of a different kind. It may be the variety and mul-
titude of the ideas, the manner in which they develop and
grow out of germinating units, how they are contrasted and
[86] [87]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
The second phrase consists of. e and d; with the exception
of its upbeat (the eighth note e) and the two notes c# and
b, it presents itself as a transposition of the first phrase (see
itbove at # ), one step higher. It also furnishes the interval
of a fourth, f.
The third phrase contains e twice, the second time trans-
I'osed one step higher.
The fourth phrase is distinctly a transformed transposition
of. c.
The fifth phrase, though it looks like a variant of the pre-
ceding phrase, merely contains c, connected with the pre-
ceding by l.
The sixth phrase, consisting of e, d, and b, contains a
e' chromatic connective b#, which could be considered as the
sccond note of a form of a. This b# is the only note in the
-+-/^- whole theme whose derivation can be contested.
z'$:a .-=a Skeptics, however, might reason that steps of a second or
!3-
**i a ,
cven fractions of a scale are present in every theme without
I
eonstituting the thematic material. There exists an enorrnous
rnultitude of methods and principles of construction, few of
which have yet been explored. I deem it probable that many
tnusicians are acquainted with these two analyses which I
lrroadcast in L953 on celebrating Brahms' i00th birthday anni-
vcrsary. But one who objects to my conclusions must not for-
Exr.v'pLn 46 get that the second example exhibits a similar secret, this time
As the analysis unveils, the A major Andante contains ex- rlealing with thirds.
_
clusively motive forms which can be'explained as derivatives
of the interval of a second, marked by' -brackets a:
& then is the inversion upward of. a;
c is a*b;
d is part of c;
e- is b*b, descending seconds, comprising a fourth;
I is the interval of a fourth, abstracted frcm e, in inversion.
.The.first phrase--c-thus consists of. a plus &. It also con-
tains d (see bracket below), which also fur]ctions as a connec-
tive between the first and the second phrase ("t *).
[88] [8e]
BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE

I
i
Ta-7. aad ge-nag hat sd

Dl-..-___

oenn an dicJt gc - da*ol oia

und dcm cs aohl gcil in

Exauprr 47
This example has a certain resemblance to the main theme
of Brahms' Fourth Symphony-in both the structural unit is
the interval of a third. The first phrase in the voice part con-
sists of a succession of three thirds b - g, g - e and - c,
matked a.
Ie0] Iel]
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
the succession of thirds, though the first two notes have
changed their places (see **). Furthermore, the left hand in
Din- gei und noch c,tohl es - - sen measure L0 contains six tones building a chain of thirds e.
The voice part consists ma"inly of thirds, some of them includ-
ing passing notes. Besides, here where the climactic concentra-
tion approaches a cadence, the interval of a third appears
abundantly, and e also occurs in successions.
See also Example 48a and b. Here again the third is reversed
as a sixth (4aa) in the voice and imitated in the bass (48b).

The second phrase is built from the inversion of a, cfi - e,


marked b, and r, which is a with an inserted passing note c.
The third phrase is a sequence of the second phrase and is
(characteristically!) a third lower.
The fourth phrase, in which the voice follows the piano Exauprn 48 a and n
with a small canonic imitation, inverts the interval of a third
(b - S and e - c respectively) into a sixth ,/. Observe also the The sense of logic and economy and the pov/er of inventive-
relation of a third between the two points * - * in measutes ness which build melodies of so much natural fluency deserve
6 - 7 in voice and piano. the admiration of every music lover who expects more than
sweetness and beauty from music. But though I know off-
The fifth and sixth phrases, with part of the seventh, are
founded upon the notes marked f, g - b - d - f#, which hand only one example of such complexity of construction by
a pre-Brahmsian composer-by Mozart, of course (see Example
e.re &n inversion of the three descending thirds of the first
phrase. Besides, the left hand in measures 8 and 9 contains J0 from the Piano Quartet in G minor)-I must state that
structural analysis reveals even greater merits.
Ie21 lttl
BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
STYLE AND IDEA
The example from Mozafi (Example 5i) is an enigma-
The Andante from the A minor String Quartet (Example trot to the performer, but to the analyst who is interested in
46) contains six phrases in eight measures. The length- of the grammat, syntax, and linguistics of music.
these phrases is 6*6*6+ 4+4+6 quarter notes. The first
three phrases occuPy five and three-eighths (ol. five and one-
half) measores. Tit! first phrase ends practicaily "l the first
beat'of measure 2. In order to appreciate fully the artistic
value of the second phrase's metrical shift, one must realize
that even some of thi great comPosers, Brahms' predecessors,
might have continued as in Example 49, placing the second
phrase in the third measure.

Ex,c,L{prs 49
Brahms might have tried to place the first three phtases
into three 6/4
measves.

If, then, the next two phrases wouldfit into two 4/4 meas-
ures, it might be doubtful whether the accentuation of the
last phrase (ut *) is adequate, if. aLL the preceding
-phrases
had iheir main accents placed on first beats. But, besides, this Exauprn 51- A-E
notation would reveal the imparity of the construction even
more, because the theme then becomes seven measures. It consists of three little segments, or phrases, whose metri-
In Brahms' notation these subcutane beauties are accofilmo' cal position is intricate. The beginning of the first phrase on a
dated within eight measures; and if eight measures constitute third beat is marked rf, demanding a stronger accent than the
an aesthetic principle, it is preserved here in spite of the great lhird beat usually carries. The following first beat is marked
freedom of construction.
le4f llll
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
p and if
this means "cancellation of the accent,"2 one might
assume that it means a change of time, as indicated in Example
51d and 51e, where the changes of the meter are carried out,
But in measure 2, the fourth beat is also marked sf and accen-
tuation of the following beat is also cancelled, or at least
reduced. For this reason one might suppose that the second
phrase does not begin, as the brackets above indicate, at the
second beat of measure 3, but at the fourth beat of measure
2, with the sf , as indicated below the left hand. It is also /p-*/p-
possible that the note on the third beat (the f#) should retain
its accent, thus producing a spondee.
In addition to all these problems, the 'cello, when this little
segment is repeated, contributes a problem of its own, by sf-
accents
1!ich partly contradict those of the main voice (Ex-
ryPl. 51b). The structural intricacy of this example is paral-
leled by the polyrhythmic construction of the secoird variation
in the Finale of the String Quartet in D minor (Example 52a).
Today one will write this as in Example 52b.In Example 51c,
an example from the Menuet of the C major String Quartet
may serve as a further justification for entering into an exam- .lrcr,Beethoven is a great innovator as regards rhythm. Remem-
ination of such subtle problems. Example 5Zc is one which for instance, the last movement Jf ttt. piano Concerto
in Eb, or the Menuet of the String Quartet, Op. 13 No. 6, etc.
suggests a phrasing contrary to the meter. Here a unit of five
quarter-notes is repeated on different beats, while the accom-
llut structuraliy, as previously stated, he is generally rather
simple. Tlough, ho*ever, thi lucidity of presintation'balances
paniment remains unchanged.
satisfactorily the heavy load of emoti,ons his iders carry with
lhem, it is needless to say that abandonment of Mozari's un-
cqual and unsymmetric foundations would have been an ex-
lremely regrettable loss. The idea cannot be rejected that the
t'ental pieasure
_caused by structural beauty can'be tantamount
to the pleasure deriving from emotional quarities. In this sense
llrahms' merit would be immense, even if he had preserved.
lhis way of thinking only in the manner of a technical device.
llut-and this characterizes his high rank-he has surpassed
it.
- 2I prosody.
use in m-I_music for sirn;ta1 purposes the symbols / and u, borrowed If a man who knows that he will die soon makes his ac_
from Thus changes of accentuation and rhythmic shifts are indicatcd. .runt with earth and with heaven, prepares his soul for the
See Example 51 c.
rleparture, and balances what he leavis with what he will
Ie6)
le7l
BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
STYLE AND IDEA likes to be conscious of what he produces; he is proud of the
receive, he might desire to incorporate a.word-a P"t! ."l,,tl: ability of his hands, of the flexibility of his mind, of his
wisdom he hai acquired-into the knowledge of .Panktld' ]: subtle sense of balance, of his never-failing logic, of the mul-
sense of
he is one of the Great. One might doubt about the titude of variations, and last but not least of the profundity
iii. if it then would L" u -.r. alcident that suchawork'alife' of his idea and his capacity of penetrating to the most remote
t.r-irr"ting work, would not represent.more than iust another consequences of an idea. One cannot do this with a shallow
oous. or is one entitled to assume that a message
from.t idea, but one can, and one can only, with a profound idea-
rri"r, *ho is already half on the other side progresses..:o,tle and there one must.
entttled to
uttermost limit of ihe still-expressible ? Is one not It is important to realize that at a time when all believed
itr"refrom perfection bf "tt extraordinarl j^"gj:,*' in "expression," Brahms, without renouncing beauty and emo-
"*p..t
cause mastership, a'fr""u."ty gift, which cannot
be acquired tion, proved to be a progressive in a field which had not been
manifests- itself
;; ,h. ;J p"iit,^r.-! ^ttid"liy and.exercise'
full when a
cultivated for half a century. He would have been a pioneer
;;it ;";., Jnly or,. sI"gle time in its entirety' if he had simply returned to Mozart. But he did not live on
;;;t"g"
- or t"itt importince has to be formulated? inherited fortune; he made one of his own. True, $Tagner
i i.frugir,. that at ihis point Brahms' protective wall of dry' has contributed to the development of structural formulations
,r.r, enter the piiture, and that he might stoP me: through his technique of repetitions, varied or unvaried, be-
::Nl*-i"gttt
iFs eno,rgh Poetry. If you have to. say somethin9,'
::'!, cause they freed him from the obligation of elaborating longer
it briefty andte"chriically witho_ut so much sentimental tuss. than necessary upon subjects which he had abeady clearly
'order, am-pressed to say that
I
Before obeying this .this determined. Thus this language admitted turning to other sub-
third of the Viei Ernste Gesi)nge, "d Tod, O Tod, wie bitter jects, when the action on the stage demanded it.-
-it, to me the most"touching of theit'whole
bist du," seems .cYcle- Brahms never wrote dramatic music-and it was rumored
;" ;* oi p.rf.ction, if not becaise of Intuition' in' in Vienna that he had said he would rather write in the style
riiri i"" ""d siontaneity in creation are generally. character' of Mozart than in the "Neudeutsche Stil." One can be sure it
iitically combined with speed' But. "was glaubt,er' would not have been Mozart's style, but pure Brahms, and
der Geist
i:t,iti:"
mich packt?".(Do
t"in. .t.nae Geige denki, wenn though he might have repeated whole sentences, and even
vou reallv srrppose I think of your miserable vlolln' lt mc single words of the text, in the manner of pre-S(agnerian
ip"ris"ii ;;id;i *"?)-this ii no* the arrist himself feels opera, he could not have entirely disregarded the contempora-
whether he creates in hard labor or onty by a kind of
toying' ry feeling for dramatic presentation; he would not let an
out
There is no doubt that Brahms believed in working
the
actor die during a da capo aria, and repeat the beginning after
ideas which he called "gifts of Srace'" Hard labor
is' to a
death. On the other hand, it would be frigtrty enlightening to
trained mind, no torturi but rather a pleasure' As
I have
see all the dramatico-musical requirements carried out over
stated on another occasion: if a mathematician's
or a chess Brahms' immensely advanced harmony.
olaver's mind can perform such miracles of the brain' why It might be doubtful whether Brahms could have found a
i;;1ft""-;";i.i^r,'t'mind not be abte to do it? After all' an
libretto fitting to what he liked and to the emotion he was
improviser must anticipate before playing, and composlng l3
capable of expressing. Would it have been a comic opera, a
a ilowed-down improvisation; often one cannot wrlte tast comedy, a lyric drama or a tragedy? He is many-sided, and
..roogn to keep op *itn the stream of ideas' But a
craftsman
Iee]
Ie8]
I'
STYLE AND IDEA BRAHMS THE PROGRESSIVE
one can easily find in his music expressions of all softs, with rlramatic expression is only a paft of the drama, the orchestra,
the possible exception of violent dramatic outbursts such as :tt first only an accompanying factor, has developed into a
one finds in V7agner and Verdi. Who knows ? If one considers .lominant one. It not bnly illustrates mood, character and
Beethoven's Fidelio, which is distinctly symphonic in its or- :rction, but also determines the tempo of the action, and,
ganization, remembers the tremendous outbuist at the end of tlrrough its own formal conditions, eitends or limits all that
the second act, "O namenlose Freude!" (Oh inexpressible lrrrppens. In order to rcahze the consequences of the orchestra's
joy!) and compares that with the strictly symphonic-style of
lrredominance, one must remember the frequent repetitions of
th-e greater part of the third act, one m^y gel an impression lcxt in pre-$/agnerian operas. They serve to correspond to the
of.what a_ genius is capable "wenn der Geist ihn paikt." lrcnd towards expansion of the form originated in the orches-
"O,Tod, O Tod, wie bitter bist du" has been analyzed as tra. Then there are those occasions when a melody does
regards its eminent motival logic. In Example 47 are also rrot accommodate to the text. These are the places where the
marked the beauties of its phraling. It seemi superfluous to singer dwells on the dominant of the chord while the orches-
-in
discuss these features here detall; a few remarks should lra continues to build up the formal and thematic elaborations
suffice to illustrate what has been contended in the course of rrf his part. These are the places in more recent works where
this research. lhc orchestra plays like a symphony, showing little regard for
The whole first part of this song contains in twelve meas- llre requirements of the singer, and-an ultiamodern pseudo-
ures thirty-six half notes. The phrasing (in the voice) appor- progressive accomplishment-complete disregard for what is
tions six half notes to the first phrase,' four to the seiond, Io bg sxpl.ssed by the stage, word and voice] sometimes even
five to the third, five and a ha.lf. to the fourth, three and tounteracting them.
a half. to the fifth (counting only one upbeat eighth-note), Applying here Brahms' contributions to an unrestricted
three to the sixth, four and a half to the seventh, and five and rrrusical language wiil enable the opera composer to overcome
a half. to the ending phrase. One may appreciate the rhythmic the metrical handicaps of his libreito's proie; the production
shift of the third phrase to another belt and a further shift ,rl' melodies and other structural elemenis will not depend on
produced through the beginning of the little canon in meas- llrc versification, on the meter, or on the absence of possibil-
ures 6 and 7. itics for repetitions. There will be no expansion necessary for
Brahms' domain as a composer of songs, chamber music and Incre.formal reasons and chanses of mood or character-will
symphonies has to be qualified as epic-lyric. The freedom of rr<rt endanger the organization. The singer will be granted the
his language would be less surprising were he a dramatist. His ,pportunity to sing and to be heard; he will not bi forced to
infiuence has already produced a further development of the rccite on a single note, but will be offered melodic lines of
musical language towaid an unrestricted, though well-balanced irrtcrest; in a word, he will not be merely the one who pro-
presentation of musical ideas. But, curiously, the merits of nounces the words in order to make the action understandable.
his achievements will shine brighter when more and more llc will be a singing instrument of the performance.
are incorporated into the dramatic technique. The opera com- It seems-if this is not wishful thinklng-that some prog-
poser will then become able to renounce a makeshift iechnique rcss has already been made in this direction, some progreis
which is a shortcoming not only in the operas of the great pie- in the direction toward an unrestricted musical languag? *tictt
\Wagnerians. As the contribution
of tlie singer-actor to the rvas inaugurated by Brahms the Progressive.
[1oo] [101]

b-- ,4lr,
COMPOSITION'$rITH TWELVE TONES
And 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."
fompwition- witb Twelve' Tones, II
I Form in the arts, and especially in music, aims primarily
at comprehensibility. The relaxation which a satisfied listener
To uNnEnsraNo the very nature of creation one must acknowl- experiences when he can follow an idea, its development, and
edge that there was no light before the Lord said: "Let there the reasons for such development is closely related, psycho-
be Light." And since there was not yet light, the Lord's logically speaking, to a feeling of beauty. Thus, artistii value
ornniscience embraced a vision of it which only His omnipo. demands comprehensibility, not only for intellectual, but also
tence could call forth. for emotional satisfaction. However, the creator's id.ea has to
\We poor human beings, when we refer to one of the better
be presented, whatever the nrood. he is impelled to evoke.
minds among us as a creator, should never forget what a Composition with twelve tones has no other aim than
creator is in reality. comprehensibility. In view of certain events in recent musical
A creator has a vision of something which has not existed history, this might seem astonishing, for works written in
before this vision. this style have failed to gain understanding in spite of the
And a creator has the power to bring his vision to life, the new medium of organization. Thus, should one forget that
power to realize it. contemporaries are not final judges, but are generally over-
In fact, the concept of creator and creation should be formed ruled by history, one might consider this method doomed. But,
in harmony with the Divine Model; inspiration and per" though it seems to increase the listener's difficulties, it com-
fection, wish and fulfillment, will and accomplishment coincidc
pensates for this,deficiency by penalizing the composer. For
spontaneously and simultaneously. In Divine Creation there
composing thus does not become easier, but rathef ten times
were no details to be carried out later; "There was Light" at more difficult. Only the better-prepared composer can com-
once and in its ultimate perfection.
pose for the better-prepared trr,rii. iou.r.
Alas, human creators, if they be granted a vision, must
travel the long path between vision and accomplishment; a m
hard road where, driven out of Paradise, even geniuses must The method of composing with twelve tones grew out of a
reap their harvest in the sweat of their brows. necessity.
Alas, it is one thing to envision in a creative instant of In the last hundred years, the concept of
inspiration and it is another ihing to materialize one's vision
harmony has
by painstakingly connecting details until they fuse into a kind
ghanged tremendously through the development of chromatic-
ism. The idea that one basic tone, the ioot, dominated the
of organism.
construction of chords and regulated their succession-the
t D.lt..t.d as a lecture at the University of Califomia at Los Angelel, concept of. tonality-had to develop first into the concept of
March 26, 1941. extended. tonality. Very soon it becime doubtful whetheisuch
[102] [103]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION ITITH TSTELVE TONES
a root still remained the center to which every harmony and gradually eliminated the difficulty of comprehension and
harmonic succession must be referred. Furthermore, it became finally admitted not only the emancipation of dominant and
doubtful whether a tonic appearing at the beginning, at the other seventh chords, diminished sevenths and augmented
91d, or at any other point really had a constructive meaning. triads, but also the emancipation of \Tagner's, Strauss',
Richard ])/agner's harmony had promoted a change in the Moussorgsky's, Debussy's, Mahler's, Puccini's, and Reger's
logic and constructive power of harmony. One of its con- tnore remote dissonances.
sequences was the so-called intpressionistic use of harmonies, The term emancipation of tbe dissonance refers to its com-
1:rehensibility, which is considered equivalent to the conso-
especially practised by Debussy. His harmonies, without con-
structive meaning, often served the coloristic puqpose of nance's comprehensibility. A style based on this premise treats
expressing moods and pictures. Moods and pictuies, though dissonances like consonances and renounces a tonal center. By
extra-musical, thus became constructive elements, incorporated avoiding the establishment of a key modulation is excluded,
in the musical functions; they produced a sort of emotional since modulation means leaving an established tonality and
comprehensibility. In this way, tonality was already dethroned cstablishing anot her tonality.
in practise,_ if not in theory. This alone would perhaps not The first compositions in this new style were written by me
have caused a radical change in compositional techniqoe. How- around 1908 and, soon afterwards, by my pupils, Anton von
ever, such a change became necessary when there occurred \Webern and Alban Berg. From the very beginning such com-
simultaneously a development which ended in what I call the positions differed from all preceding music, not only harmonic-
eruancipation of the d.issonance, ally but also melodically, thematicaLly, and motivally. But the
The ear- had gradually become acquainted with a great foremost characteristics of these pieces in statu nascendi were
number of dissonances, and so had lbst the fear of their their extreme expressiveness and their extraordinary brevity.
' sense-inter_rupting" At that time, neither I nor my pupils were conscious of the
-effect. One no longer expected prepara-
tions of S7agner's dissonances or resolutions bf Strausst dis- reasons for these features. Later I discovered that our sense
cords; one was not disturbed by Debussy's non-functional of form was right when it forced us to counterbalance extreme
harmonies, or by the harsh counterpoint oi latet composers. cmotionality with extrao rdinary shortness. Thus, sukonsci-
This state of. affahs led to a freer use of dissonances como^r. ously, consequences were drawn from an innovation which,
able to classic composers' treatment of diminished sevJnth like every innovation, destroys while it produces. New color-
chords, which could precede and follow any other harmony, ful harmony was offered; but much was lost.
consonant or dissonant, as if there were no dissonance at a[1. Formerly the harmony had served not only as a source of
\7hat distinguishes dissonances from consonances is not a beauty, but, more important, as a means of distinguishing the
greatet or lesser_degree of beauty, but agreaterorlesserdegree features of the form. For instance, only a consonance was
o-f. comprehe-nsibility. In my Harmonie[ebre I presented-the considered suitable for an ending. Establishing functions de-
theory- that dissonant tones appear later among fhe overtones, manded different successions of harmonies than roving
for which reason the ear is less intimately icquainted with functions; a bridge, a transition, demanded other successions
them. This phenomenon does not justify such- sharply con- than a codetta; harmonic variation could be executed intelli-
tradictory terms as concord and discord. Closer acquaintance gently and logically only with due consideration of the funda-
with the more remote consonances-the dissonances, that is- mental meaning of the harmonies. Fulfillment of all these
[ 104] [1or]
STYLE AND IDEA CoMPoSITION \UrITH TV/ELVE TONES
functions-comparable to the effect of punctuation in the con. not be Present without obedience to such laws-forces the
struction of sentences, of subdivision into paragraphs, and of .o*por.i along the road of exPloration' He must find, if not
fusion into chapters-could scarcely be aJsured with chords laws or rules,lt least ways to justify the dissonant character
whose constructive values had not as yet been explored. Hence, of these harmonies and their successions.
it seemed at first impossible to compose pieces of complicated V
organization or of great length.
After many unsuccessful attempts during a period of ap-
A little later I discovered how to construct larger forms proximately iwelrre years, I taid the foundations for a new
by following a text or a poem. The differences in size and
proced,rre in m.rsicai construction which seemed fitted to re-
shape of its parts and the change in character and mood were provided formerly by
mirrored in the shape and size of the composition, in its i>lace those structural differentiations
tonal harmonies.
dynamics and tempo, figuration and accentuafion, instrumen.
tation and orchestration. Thus the parts were differentiated as
I called this procedurc Method, of Composing witb Vwelae
'|'ones lYhich are Related' Only with One Another.
clearly as they had formerly been by the tonal and structural
This method consists primarily of the constant and exclusive
functions of harmony.
r.rse of a set of twelve different tones. This means, of course,
IV that no tone is repeated within the series and that it uses all
Formerly the use of the fundamental harmony had been lwelve tones of ihe chromatic scale, though in a different
_
theoretically regulated through recognition of the effects of order. It is in no way identical with the chromatic scale'2
root progressions. This practise had grovrn into a subcon.
sciorrsly functioning sense of form which gave a real composer
an almost somnambulistic sense of security in creating, -with
*t
utmost precision, the most delicate distinctions of formal ele-
ments.
S7hether one calls oneself conservative or revolutionarfr
whether one composes in a conventional or progressive manner,
,t
whether one tries to imitate old styles or is-deJtined to express Exauprp 1
new ideas-whether one is a good composer or not---one
must be convinced of the infallibility of -one's own fantasy Example 1 shows that such a basic set- (BS). consists o{
and one must believe in one's own inspiration. Nevertheless, various intervals. should never be called a scale, although
It
the desire for a conscious control of the-new means and forms it is invented to substitute for some of the 'unifying and
will arise in every artist's mind; and he will wish to formative advantages of scale and tonality. The scale is the
know
consciously the laws and rules which govern the forms which source of many figurations, parts of melodies and melodies
he has conceived "as in a dream." Strongly convincing as this 2 Curiously and wrongly, most people speak-of. the. ."system" of the,chro-
dream may have been, the conviction thai these nevi sounds rnetic scale.'Mine is no system but only a method,- which means a modus oI
obey the laws of nature and of our manner of thinking-the *ppivirg t.g"tarly a preconceived formula. A metbod can, bfi nee-d ,not,- be
"ttt. ""o.tr"qrr"tti", of a system.
,,'n'. of I am also.not the inventor of the chro-
conviction that order, logic, comprehensibility and form can- in"ti.,."t.; someLody else must have occupied himself with this task long ago.

[106] [107]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION \TITH T\TELVE TONES
themselves, ascending and descending passages, and even
broken chords. In approximately the i-. Justified aheady by historical development, the method of
composing with twelve tones is also not without esthetic and
of the basic set produie similar elements. Of-*ner
the tones
course, cadences theoretical support. On the contrary, it is just this support
produced by which advancbi it from a mere technical device to the rank
!!. distinction between principal and subsidiary
harmonies will scarcely be derived from ihe b"si. set. But iurd importance of a scientific theory.
something different and more imporiant is derived from it Musii is not merely another kind of amusement' but a
with a regularity comparable to the regularity and logic of the rnusical poet's, a musical thinker's representation of musical
earlier harmony; the association of to""es in'to harminies and icleas; these musical ideas must correspond to the laws of
their successions is regulated (as will be shown rater) by the Iruman logic; they ue a part of what man can apperceive,
order of these tones.-The basic set functions in the'-i''n., rcason and express. Proceeding from these assumptions, I
of a motive. This explains why such a basic set has to be rrrrived at the following conclusions:
invented anew for every piece. it has to be the first creative THE T\7O-OR-MORE-DIMENSIONAL SPACE IN
thought. It does not malle much difference whether or not \rHICH MUSICAL IDEAS ARE PRESENTED IS A UNIT.
the. set appears in the composition at once like a 'fhough the elements of these ideas appear seParate and in-
theme or a
lgdy,' whether or not it ii characterized as such by features
t
ofrhythm, phrasing, construction, character, etc.
tlependent to the eye and the ear, they reveal their true mean-
irrg only through their cooperation, even as no single word
-\Vhy such a set should consist of twelve different tones, tl6ne can e*press a thoughf without relation to other words.
why none of these tones should be repeated too ,oorr, *hy, All that happens at any point of this musical space has more
set should be os"d rn one composrtlon- than a local iffect. It functions not only in its own plane, but
the answers fdl,g.r.
1;coldinglf,
to all these questions came to me gradually. irlso in all other directions and planes, and is not without
Discussing_such problems in my Harmonielehre (1911),
I influence even at remote points. For instance, the effect of
recommended the avoidance of oclave doublings.3 T;
doJble progressive rhythmical subdivision, through what I call "the
is to emphasize, and an emphasized tone could"be il..prJ;d iendency of the shortest notes" to multiply themselves, can be
as a root, or even as a tonic; the consequences of such observed in every classic composition.
an
interpretation must be avoided. Even a sligtrt reminir;.
;f A musical idea, accordingly, though consisting of melody,
the former tonal harmony would be dijurbing, U..;or. it rhythm, and harmony, is neither the one nor the other alone,
would create false expectations of consequen..r"-d continu- but all three together. The elementsof amusicalideaarepartly
ations' The use of a tonic is deceiving if ii is not incorporated in the horizontal plane as successive sounds, and
based on ott
the relationship of tonality. partly in the vertical plane as simultaneous sounds. The mutual
The use of more than one set was excluded because in i:elation of tones regulates the succession of intervals as well
every
following set one or more tones would hr"; d;;;il
;; ts their association into harmonies; the rhythm regulates the
soon. Again there would arise the danger of interp'retirrs succession of tones as well as the succession of harmonies
tte
repeated tone as a tonic. Besides, the"effect
;it ;";fi and organizes phrasing. And this explains why, as will be
be lessened. "f slrown later, a. basic set of lwelve tones (BS) can be used
in either dimension, as a whole or in parts.
, Still sometimes occurring in my first The basic set is used in diverse mirror forms. The composers
compositions in this style.
[108] [1oe]
STYLE
COMPOSITION NTITH TWELVE TONES
of the last century had not employed such mirror forms as
much as the masters of contrapuntal times; at least, they sel-
dom did so consciously. Neveriheless, there exist examples, of
which I want to mention only one from Beethouen's iast
String Quartet, Op. 135, in F major:

#
3 e ethouen,String Qua.rtefi Op. I 35, I th tnou em cnt
2nl'roducttbn

ExauPrr 2 ,,.or**

The original form, a, "Muss es sein," aPPeaJS -in & inverted


and in -iot; r shows the retrograde form of this inversion,
rvhich, now reinverted in d and filled out with passing notes
in e, results in the second phrase of the main theme'
$Thether or not this device was used consciously by Beeth-
oven does not matter at all. From my own experience I know
that it can also be a subconsciously received gift from the
Supreme Commander.

[110] [ 11r ]

l*- *&
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION TTITH TSTELVE TONES
The two principal themes of my Kammersymphonie
(Chamber Symphony) can be seen in Example 3 under a and
1,, Af.ter I had completed the work I worried very much about
the apparent absence of. any relationship between the two
themes. Directed only by my sense of form and the stream of
ideas, I had not askbd such questions while composing; but,
as usual with me, doubts arose as soon as I had finished.
'l'lrey went so far that I had aheady raised the sword for the
kill, taken the red pencil of the censor to cross out the theme
1.,, Fortunately, I stood by inspiration and ignored these
Iuental tortures. About twenty ^y years later I saw the true
rclationship. It ls of such a complicated nature that I doubt
whether any composer would have cared deliberately to con-
struct a theme in this way; but our subconscious does it invol-
tuntarily. In c the true principal tones of the theme are marked,
'tnd d shows that all the intervals ascend. Their correct in-
version e produces the first phrase I of the theme &.
It should be mentioned that the last century considered such
t procedure cerebral, and thus inconsistent with the dignity of
genius. The very fact that there exist classical examples proves
the foolishness of such an opinion. But the validity of this
form of thinking is also demonstrated by the previously stated
law of the unity of musical space, best formulated as follows:
the unity of musical space dernand.s an absolute and xnitary
Perception,In this space, as in Swedenborg's heaven (describ-
cd in Balzac's Seraphita) there is no absolute down, no right
or left, forward or backward. Every musical configuration,
every moyement of tones has to be comprehended primarily
as a mutual relation of sounds, of oscillatory vibrations, ap-
pearing at different places and times. To the imaginative and
creative faculty, relations in the material sphere are as in-
dependent from directions or planes as material objects are,
in their sphere, to our perceptive faculties. Just as our mind
Exaupre irlways recognizes, for instance, a knife, a bottle or a watch,
rcgardless of its position, and can reproduce it in the imagin-
ation in every possible position, even so a rnusical creator's
[112] [113]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION ]UrITH TS'TELVE TONES
mind can operate subconsciously with a row of tones, ryg1d'
less of their direction, regardless of the way in which a VII
mirror might show the mutual relations, which remain a It has been mentioned that the basic set is used in mirror
given quantity. frlrms.
VI
The introduction of my method of composing with twelve
tones does not facilitate composingi on the contrary, it makes
it more difficult. Modernisticilly-minded beginners often think
they should try it before having acquired the necessary techni'
cal equipment. This is a great mistake. The restrictions im' 6 7E 910 U121?11
posed on a comPoser by the obligation to use only one set
in a composition are so severe that they can only be overcome
by an imagination which has survived a tremendous number
of adventures. Nothing is given by this method; but much
is taken away.
It has been mentioned that for every new comPosition a
special set of twelve tones has to be invented. Sometimes a BasicSet
set will not fit every condition an experienced comPoser can
fotesee, especially in those ideal casei where the set aPPears
at once in the form, character, and phrasing of a theme. Recti'
fications in the order of tones may then become necessary.
In the first works in which I employed this method, I was
not yet convinced that the exclusive use of one set would
not result in monotony. \Would it allow the creation of a suf'
ficient number of characteristically differentiated themes,
phrases, motives, sentences, and other forms ? At this time,
I used complicated devices to assure variety. But soon I dis.
covered that my fear was unfounded; I could eveh base a ExauprE 4
whole opera, Moses and. Aarcn, solely on one set; and I
found that, on the contrary, the more f.amiliar I became with From the basic set, three additional sets are automatically
this set the more easily I could draw themes from it. Thus, tlerived: 1) the inversion; 2) the retrograde; and 3) the
the truth of my first prediction had received splendid proof. rctrograde inversion.a The employment of these mirror forms
One has to follow the basic set; but, neyertheless, one com- trrrresponds to the principle of. the absolute and unitary per'
poses as freely as before. 4BS rneans Basic Set; INV means inversion of the Basic Set; INV8, INV5,
lNVl, INV6 means inversion at the 8ve, lth, minor Jrd, or major 6th from
tlre beginning tone.
[114] [11r]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION SruTH TIUTELVE TONES
ception of musical space. The set of Example 4 is taken from of a basic set are unlimited. In the following pages, a number
the \(ind Quintet, Op.26, one of my first compositions in thir of examples from my own works will be analyzed to reveal
style. some of these possibilities. It will be observed that the succes-
Late4 especially in larger works, I changed my original idea, sion of the tones according to their order in the set has always
if to fit the following conditions: (see page rl1) the
necessary, been strictly observed. One could perhaps tolerate a slight
invetsion a fifth below of the first six tones, the antecedent, digression from this order (according to the same principle
should not produce a repetition of one of these six tones, but which allowed a remote variant in former styles) 0 in the
should bring forth the hitherto unused six tones of the later part of a work, when the set had alrcady become familiar
chromatic scale. Thus, the consequent of the basic set, the to the ear. However, one would not thirs digress at the begin-
tones 7 to 1.2, comprises the tonei of this inversion, but, of ning of a piece.
course, in a different order. The set is often divided into groups; for example, into
In Example 5 (page 118), the inversion a f.ifth below does two groups of six tones, or three gfoups of four,- or four
not yet fulfill this condition. Here the antecedent of the BS groups of three tones. This grouping serves primarily to pro-
plus that of the INV 5 consists of only L0 different tones, vide a regularity in the distribution of the lones. The tones
because c and b appear twice, while f and f.# are missing. used in the melody are thereby separated from those to be
used as accompaniment, as harmoniEs or as chords and voices
VIII demanded by the nature of the instrumentation, by the instru-
In every composition preceding the method of composing rnent,_ or by the character and other circumstances of a piece.
with twelve tones, all the thematic and harmonic material is 'Ihe distribution may be varied or developed according tb cir-
primarily derived from three sourcesr the tonality, the basic cumstarrces, in a manner comparable to the changes of what
motiae which in turn is a derivative of the tonality, and the I cali the "Motive of the Accompaniment."
rbytbm, which is included in the basic motive. A composer'l
whole thinking was bound to remain in an intelligible manner
x
around the central root. A composition which failed to obey The unlimited abundance of possibilities obstructs the
these demands was considered "amateurish;" but a comPo- of illustrations; therefore, an arbitrary
systematic presentation
sition which adhered to it rigorously was never called "cere- procedure must be used here.
bral." On the contrarl, the capacity to obey the principle In the simplest case, a part of a theme, or even the entire
instinctively was considered a natural condition of a talent,t tlreme, consists simply of a rhythmization and phrasin g of. a
basic set and its der^ivatives, the mirror forms: inversioniretro-
The time will come when the ability to draw thematic
material from a basic set of twelve tones will be an uncon. gl^4., and retrograde inversion. \7hile a piece usually begins
ditional prerequisite for obtaining admission into the comPo- with the basic set itself, the mirror forms and other derivatives,
sition class of a conservatory. such as the eleven transpositions of all the four basic forms,
_applied only later; the transpositions especially, like the
are
Ix rnodulations in former styles, serve to build subordinate ideas.
The possibilities of evolving the formal elements of music-
melodies, themes, phrases, motives, figures, and chords--out

[ 116] [117]
COMPOSITION VZITH T\XTELVE TONES
STYLE AND IDEA
Wind Quintet,Op.26 Wind Q,utntet, op.26

ExauprB 5

Example 5 shows the basic set (with its inversions in the


octave and fifth) of my IVind Quintet, Op' 26.
Many themes of this work simply use the order of one ot
the basic forms.

!t 5
rxauirE e
The main theme of the first movement uses for its first
I'lrrase the first six tones, the antecedent; for its second
lrlrrase, the consequent of the BS. This example shows how
1rn accompaniment can be built. As octave doubling should
lrc, avoided (see page tz6), the accompanying of tones L - 6
rvitlr tones 7 - 12, and vice versa, is one way to fulfilt this
r<rluirement.

[118] [ lle]
ExauprB
STYLE AND IDEA
W;t1d Q.uintet, Rondo (a lh m ooe rc Ent)

n.
6 I 9 loll ll

t 2 7 4 5 6789t01113,,

ExaMprs 7
Example 7 proves that the same succession of tones
produce different themes, different characters'

[120]

[121]
COMPOSITION TTITH TTTELVE TONES
STYLE AND IDEA
Example 8. the principal theme of the Rondo of
this Quintet
rhffi^T;;;;';f it)titg the repetitions of a theme' The
larger
oroduction of such u^ti*ti is not^ only necessary.P
i;;;6*tdr-y i" Rondos, but useful also in smaller struc'
orr.t.'Sfrfiile rhphrn aJ ptttutitg significantly Pttt:i]-,t ll:
tne
character so that it can easily be. regognlzed'
of the theme
use or
io".t *a intervals are changed through a different
BS;;J.irro, forms. Mirror?orms are used in the procedure'
same-way
as the BS. But f*ample 9 shows a more complicated

Wind Auintet, Rondo t measures

Exauprr 9
At first a transposition of the retrograde is used three times
in succession to build melody and accompaniment of this
subordinate theme of the Rondo from the same Quintet.
The principal voice, the bassoon, uses three tones in each of
the four phrases; the accompaniment uses only six tones, so
that the phrases and the sets overlap each other, producing a
sufficient degree of variety. There is a definite regularity in
the distribution of the tones in this and the following
Bagsooru lixample L0, the Andante from the same Quintet.

[123]
lr22J
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION STITH TTTELVE TONES
Wirud Quintet' Andante (3rd tnouement) Here also the form used, the BS, appears three times; here
rulso, some of the tones appear in the'principai
voice (horn)
while the others build a simi-contrap,,rntrt il ti; b;_
soon.
-'.tody

I{;tta Quitttet, Scherzo (a"rd nouement)

4.

hi,r
J tl A A.

In the Scherzo of the same work (Example 11), the main


Exauprr L0 theme starts with the fourth tone afte; the accompaniment
has
cmployed the preceding three tones of the BS. here the ac_
lL24) rL25l
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION WITH TVBL\|B TONES
companiment uses the same tones as the melody, but never at 5u.ih, Op PS
the same time. BS (transposed e dimt'nished
-; ?,'..n edsurett eE'94
- Scherzot'9::t--------,--.,-
Wirvd Ouintet,
A ,

rl

Suitc, Op 25, Praeludiam


Exauprn L2

In Example 12, inversion and retrogtade inversion ar coltt'


bined into a contraPuntal unit whicf, is worked out
in thc
manner of the elaboiation of the Rondo'

XI
3 S.(transposcd)
Obviously, the requirement to use- all the tones of the
set
in the accompaniment o^r thc
is fulfilled whether ih.y Exaupu t3 and t3a
My first larger "pp.utin this style, the Ptd'ilo J'$ttl
work
melody.
Op.25, already takeJadvantage of this possibility, as *i'l H 'fhe BS as well as the inversion is transposed at the interval
uf a diminished fifth- This simple provision made it possible
,rio*r, itt to-i of the following examples' But the aPPrehen'
of octaves caused me to take a sPeq$ lu use, in the Praeludium of this Suite, BS for the theme and
sion about the doubling
llrc transposition for the accompaniment, without octave dou-
precaution.
hling.

lt26) lt27 7
COMPOSITION STITT{ T$rELVE TONES
STYLE AND IDEA
hand comes before 5 - 8. This deviation from the order is an
Suite, Op.25, dauotte irregularity which can be justified in two ways. The first of
these has been mentioned previously: as the Gavotte is the
second movement, the set has already become familiar. The
second justification is provided by the subdivision of the BS
into three groups of four tones. No change occurs within any
one of these groups; otherwise, they are treated like indepen-
clent small sets. This treatment is iupported by the pr.rirr..
of a diminished fifth, Db - g, or g - Db, as third ani fourth
tones in all forms of the set, and of another diminished fifth
as. seventh and eighth tones. This similarity, functioning as a
relationship, makes the groups interchangiable.

Suite,0p.25, f'Ienuet

\--/'g
o.3s
=
,. -:

Suite, Op.25,Trio

"f rTi, , bib

ExauPrn t4 and t4tr


But in the Gavotte (Example 14) and the Intermezzo (Ex'
ampler4a)thisproblemissolvedbythefirstprocedufemen.
tioned above: the separate selection of the tones for thetr
,"ro..tiu. formal funition, melody or accomPaniment' In botlr
.ur^., grouP of the tones appears too soon-9 - 12 in the Exauprr
lett 15A
" lL2e)
[128]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION !rITH TSTELVE TONES

In the Menuet of the Piano Suite (Example 15) the melody orchestra, because of their individuality. More mature minds
much resist the temptation to become intoxicated by colors and pre-
besins with the fifth tone, while the accompaniment'
--ih.begins with the first tone.(Example 15a) is a canon.ln
la6r, fer to be coldly convinced by the transparency of clear-cut
frio of this Menuet ideas.
which the difference beLween the long and short notes helPl Avoidance of doubling in octaves automatically precludes
to avoid octaves.
-- the use of broken harmonies which contribute so much to the
fir.- pt*iUility of such canons and imitations, and -even pleasant noise that is today called "sonority." Since I was
fusues ind foe"fos, has been overestimated by analysts of
thir educated primarily by playing and writing chamber music,
,til., Of .oori., for a beginner it might be as difficult to avoid my style of orchestration had long ago turned to thinness and
oJr"u. doubling here as it is difficult for-poor.t9t"P?::* transparency, in spite of contemporary influences. To provide
19
"tonal"
avoid parallel Jctaves in the "tonal" style. But while a for the worst seems better wisdom than to hope for the best.
.o*to^t.t still has to lead his parts into consonances or clt' Therefore, I declined to take a chance, and, by making some
dissonances, .o-poier -with twelve independent slight changes, built the basic set so that its antecedent (see
"i.fr.a
lo"?r "
poit.tt.t th; kind of freedom which:nany page 116), starting a minor third below, inverted itself into
"pp"rently
would Jn'ur".t.rir. by saying: "everything is allowed." .'Every' the remaining six tones of the full chromatic scale.
thing" has always b.err ullo*ed to rwo kinds of artists: to
and to ignoramuses on the other'
-"ri.r, on the one hand, il
iio*.t.t, the meaning of composinf itt itit"tive style.thehere
not the same as it is ii counterioint' It is only one.of wayt
(transp. q &zi>duf -D S )
of adding a coherent accompaniment, or subordtnate volcetl
to the m"ain theme, whose character it thus helps to exPrelt
more intensivelY.
XII
The set of my Variations for Orchestra, Op' 31, is shown
in Example 16a.
A wort for orchestra must necessarily be composed of mor'
voices than one for a smaller combination. of course, many
composers can manage -with a small .number of voices .by
ao"6fi"g them in maiy instruments or in octaves, by breaking
the hamony in many ways-sometimes-thercbt
obscuring tli'. pr.r..r., if. contLnt, iometimes making ttt
""J-io.iUfi"g
^
absence itear. Ii must be admitted that most orchestral
com'
binations do not promote what the artist calls unmixed, un
broken colors. The childish preference of the primitive 7r f9t
colors has kept a number of imperfect instruments in thQ
[110] [131]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION SNTH T\rELVE TONES

Yariationsrop.3T 578t
'u - 9s7
\E- a=)
t- _----
Jg

a5 132

ExAuprr 16a and s


Besides, I used in many places a device, derived from
clouble counterpoint of the tenth and twelfth, which allows
the addition of parallel thirds to every part involved. By trans-
posing BS athird up (BS3) and INV a third down (INV3),
I obtained two more basic forms which allowed the addition
of parallel thirds.

lL32) lt33l
COMPOSITION STITH TIrELVE TONES
STYLE AND IDEA
Vartationl

Exauplr L7

In the First Variation (Example 17) I used this device


often, but not as often as I had expected. Very soon I recog'
nized that my apprehension was unnecessary. Of the following
examples, chosen at random to illustrate other peculiarities,
none Jhows the addition of parallel thirds.
After an introduction succCssively revealing the tones of the
BS and its IlW3, the "Theme" of the Variations aPPears
(Example 16). Buitt as a ternary form, it uses the tones of
the BS- and its three derivatives in strict order, without any
omission or addition.

Ex,rgr.rprn 18
The motive of the Fifth Variation is based on a transposi-
tion of the INV (II\W8). Here are six independent parts
built from only one set, comprising only the first fwo beats;
the continuation carries on this system and finds ways to pro-
duce a satisfactory amount of variety.

[ 1]11 [13r]
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION \rITH TTTELVE TONES
l[ariationW YarntionW.

ExauprE 19

The motive of the Sixth Variation is built from another


transposition of the INV (INV6). It is composed of a contra-
puntal combination of two melodic parts, using some tones of
INV6 in the upper and others in the lower voice. This combi-
nation allows a great number of forms which furnish material
for every demand of variation technique. New forms result
through inversion of both voices (Example 20a) and other'
changes of their mutual positions such as, for instance, canonic Exalrpre 20 a and e
imitation (Example 20b).
One should never forget that what one learns in school
Yariattongl about history is the truth only insofar as it does not interfere
with the political, philosophical, moral or other beliefs of
those in whose interest the facts are told, colored or arranged.
'fhe same holds true with the history of music, and he ivho
guilels5tlt believes all he is told-whether he be layman or
1>rofessional-is defenseless and has to "take it," to take it as
they give it. Of course, we know their guesses are no better
than ours.
But unfortunately our historians are not satisfied with re-
arranging the history of the past; they also want to fit the
history of the present into their preconceived scheme. This
forces them to describe the facts only as accurately as they see
them, to judge them only as well as they understand them, to
ir
draw wrong conclusions from wrong prlmises, and to exhibit
foggy visions of a future which exisis only in their warped
irnaginations.
[ 136] lt37 J
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION !rITFI TVELVE TONES

I am much less irritated than arnused by the critical remark


of one Dr. X, *fro ,"yr-tftat I do not car'e for "sound"'
'Sotnd," once a dignified quality of higher rnusic' has de'
teriorated in significance since skillful workrnen-orchestrl'
torr-t uu. takei it in hand with the definite and undisguised
i"l."tl* of using it as a screen behind which the absence of
ideas will not be"noticeable. Formerly, sound had been the r4'
Jiution of an intrinsic quality of ideas, powerful.:noo8l.t9
penetrate the hull of the form. Nothing could radtate whtcn
ilas not light itself ; and here only ideas are light'
Today,
"soond is seldom associated with idea' The -. super'
ficially minded, not bothering with digesting the idga' noticc
.rl..i'"ffy the sound. "Brevit! is. essential to wit;" length' to
*iJ p.6pfe, seetns to be esiential to sound' They observe it
?c9l0uuBrxro987
only i? if hsts for a comparatively.long time'
Il is true that sound in my music changes with- every turn
of the idea-emotional, structural, or other' It is furthermore
true that such changes occur in a more- rapid succession than
usual, and I admit-that it is more difficult- to perceive.them
simultaneoosly. The Seventh variation offers just such. ob'
,i*i., ," co*pr.hension. But it is not true that the other kind
of sonority is foreign to mY music.
The ,"pid .t of thl sonority in .this Seventh Variation
make it difficott Tor the listener to enjoy. The figure in thc
"r,gis
bassoon part continues for some time, while the instrumenta'
lio" of tfie harmonies in eighth notes changes rapidly and con'
tinuously.

[138] [13eJ
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION STITH TIJrELVE TONES

ExaupHs 27,22,23,24
Examples 2L - 24 show that a great multitude of thematic
tharacters can be derived from one set. Various methods are,
rrf course, applied. It may be worth while to mention that in
BSz lixample 25,
finale(measure 332) Finqle

'hFfh
il

f14ol [ 141J
STYLE AND IDEA COMPOSITION VITI{ T$(ELVE TONES
as a homage to Bach, the notes B-flat, A, C, B, which spell, in
German, BACH, were introduced as a contrapuntal addi-
tion to the principal thematic developments.
The main advantage of this method of composing with
fwelve tones is its unifying effect. In a very convincing way, I
experienced the satisfaction of having been right about this
when I once prepared the singers of my operaVon Heute Auf
Morgen for a performance. The technique, rhythm and intona-
tion of all these parts were tremendously difficult for them,
though they all possessed absolute pitch. But suddenly one of
the singers came and told me that since he had become fami-
liar with the basic set, everything seemed easier for him. At
short intervals all the other singers told me the same thing in-
dependently. I was very pleased with this, and, thinking it
over, I found even greater encouragement in the following
hypothesis:
Prior to Richard tWagner, operas consisted almost exclusive-
ly of independent pieces, whose mutual relation did not seem
to be a musical one. Personally, I refuse to believe that in the
great masterworks pieces are connected only by the superficial
coherence of the dramatic proceedings. Even if these pieces
were merely "fillers" taken from earlier works of the same
composer, something must have satisfied the master's sense ol
form and logic. \We may not be able to discover it, but certain-
ly it exists. In music there is no form without logic, there is
no logic without unity.
I believe that when Richard \Wagner introduced his Leit-
ttoriu-for the same purpose as that for which I introduced
my Basic Set-he may have said: "Let there be ,rtity."

lL42) lL43\
A DANGEROUS GAME
pant's life may be at stake. I wonder whether Richard \Tagner
knew that he would be living in exile as an outlaw for so
many years when, because of artistic corruption, he partici-
pated in setting the Dresden Hoftheater on fire.
er4 Oangerout Qarne'" On the other hand, very few of those who emigrated can
ask to be honored for their political or artistic straightforward-
Tusnr ARE a Sreat many categories of collaborators in Ger- ness. Most of them had no other chance of being spared,
,rrarry in iite conqrrered cdunffies. One must distinguislr either because of their race or that of their matrimonial part-
"nd
between the many wht haue been forced to collaborate
ancl ner. Many had been politically implicated and others came
those who have done so voluntarily. There are others, besides' under the ban of "Kultur-Bolschewismus." There are probably
,.missed
the bus," who would have preferred to not many who emigrated voluntarily; and even among such
"*"-rio'fry
emigrate'rither than bow to dictates, if it had not become too "real" emigr6s there are some who tried hard to come to an
l^tr"fo, them to do so. And there are also those whose stupicl agreement with the powers only to give up in the end.
esotism led them to believe that evil could happen only to Yet despite the faci that little personal merit attaches
;?h;r; while they themselves would be spared' Some did only to the inability of many to swim with the official current
what they were'ordered to do, others functioned as.agitators' (Gleicbschaltung), there is this to be said for them: they all
pior.*,ilg those who did not conform to the prescribed style, had to abandon their homes, their positions, their countries,
lnd based"their conduct on the theoretical party line' their friends, their business, their fortune. They all had to go
\7ith the thought in mind that the captatn rn Carmen ,rs abroad, to try to start life anew, and generally at a much
not intended to lepresent a coward but simply 1 .ma1 who lower level of living, of influence, of esteem; many even had
yields to the argum^ent of the guns which confront him, it may to change their occupations and to suffer humiliation.
f. r^id that o"nly those should be authorized to blame the There may be no merit in all that; still, if those who had
forced collaboratbr who have themselves proved fearless be' to do it could do it-why should not others also have pre-
fore the menace of the concentration camP and of torture' ferred to preserve their honesty, their integrity, their charac-
People like that of course also exist' ter, by taking upon themselves of their own free will the suf-
- -C'uriously,
few rcalize that politics, a nice topic to ,talk fering of an emigr6, like those who had no other way 7
about, is a rather dangerous game into which one shouid That would have been of some merit!
en-

ter only if he is u*^ti that his life and that of his opponent I am inclined to say:
ue at stake if he is willing to pay for his conviction- Those who here acted like politicians are politicians and
^nd should be treated in the same manner in which politicians are
even that price.
Artists lenerally deal with this problem as thoughtiessly as treated.
if it were"merely a controversy on artistic matters; just as if Those who did not so act should escape punishment.
tt.y *.r" discussing merely "art for art's sake" as contrasted But considering the low mental and moral standards of art-
witir "objectivity iri art." bven in such arguments a pattici- ists in general, I would say:
-t P"bltrh"d as paft of a sy,mposium "on Artists and c-ollaboration" in Treat them like immature children.
Uodtii--unt;c, x*tl, 2, November-December, 1944' Call them fools and let them escape.
lr44) lL45l
EARTRAINING THROUGH COMPOSING
lated or not. In the face of works of. art one must not dream,
but one must try hard to grasp their meaning.

u
arnaining tbrougb fonpaing, "Music Appreciation" often gives a music student not much
more than the perfume of. a work, that narcotic emanation of
I music which affects the senses without involving the mind.
No one listening to popular music would be satisfied with
SupposB someone paid a visit to the ancient buildings of such an impression. There is no doubt about the momenc
Rome or the famous pictures in the Louvre in Paris, or read when a man starts to like a song or dance. It is when he be-
a poem by Goethe or an involved mystery story by Poe. \fhat gins to sing or whistle it-in other words when he is able to
would his reactions be ? remember it. If this criterion is applied to serious music, it be-
In Rome he might dream of the mighty Roman empire, of comes clear that one does not like more than its perfume un-
the slaves who built its monuments, the citizens who attended Iess one can keep it in mind.
the public games. At the Louvre he might again surrender to Remembering is the first step toward understanding. To
his imagination. A religious painting would remind him understand as simple a sentence as "The table is round" re-
of Biblical stories, mythological sculpture would turn his quires keeping the table in mind. Forget the table and only
thoughts to paganism. Reading the poem by Goethe, he would the perfume of the sentence remains. Historical facts, biogra-
associate it with the life of this great man. Remembering the phies of authors and performers, anecdotes of their lives, path-
Sorrouts of lYerther, he would go on to think of the opera, etic, humorous, interesting or instructive, may be of some val-
lYertber, by Massenet-who also wrote Manon, which he likes ue to people who are otherwise deaf to the effects of music.
better. But all this cannot help anyone to absorb and remember the
A nice dream! content.
And he would be quite right not to resist the temptation
Of course the best way to train a. musical ear is to expose it
of his imagination. But would the same attitude be advisable to as much serious music as possible. Musical culture would
while he was reading a mystery story? Dreaming of more or
spread faster if people would read music, play music or even
less related subjects, interesting or beautiful though they be,
listen to music much more than they do today. Extensive fam-
could he absorb and remember the details which simultaneous-
iliarity with serious music is the foremost requirement of mu-
ly hide and reveal the murderer?
sical culture. But even this is not enough without thorough
It is not too serious not to discover the solution of such ear-training.
crimes. But if the first examples did not show the point I am
Ear-training, in the narrow sense, is practiced in high schools
about to make, then the case of the detective story must have
and colleges with excellent results. Good methods have been
made it clear: one cannot do justice to a work of art while
developed, but, like teaching techniques in other musical sub-
allowing one's imagination to wander to other subjects, re- jects, they have become too abstract, to some extent have lost
I Modern |vfutsic, XXlil, 3, FaIl L946. contact with the original purpose. A trained ear is valuable,

rL46) IL47 ]

li
ir
I

J i

I
I
EARTRAINING THROUGH COMPOSING
STYLE AND IDEA
tion of a symphony for the end of the movement if he knew
but not especially so if the ear is the galewlY to the auditory nothing of the structural functions of tonality. Sometimes a
sense rathir than the musical mind. Like harmony, counter' deceptive cadence is similarly misunderstood.
ooint and other theoretical studies, ear-training is not an encl Knowledge of harmony alone wiil not suffice to correct
in itself, but only a step towards musicianship' such errors. Further studies are necessary to fortify that knowl-
One often hears the question, "Why teach composition trl edge and to anchor it firmly in instinct. Even people without
people who will never try it again after their student days arc absolute pitch can learn to recognize modulatory sections. \7hy
fu"i, p.opte who have nlitheicreative ability nor the creativc should a composer wrile such sections at all if they have no
impulie, ?or whom it is a niShtmare to have to express somc' cffect upon the layman ? A well-trained student of harmony
thing in an idiom quite foreign to their minds ?" will also have at least some acquaintance with the effects of
Tte arrs*e, is thls: just as almost anyone can be trained ttr centrifugal harmonies.
draw, paint, write ur, or deliver a iecture, it must also bc The study of counterpoint develoPs the capacity for listen-
"rruy
portiftl" to make people with even less than mediocre gifts ing to more than one voice. A listener who hears in a fugue
.rse the means of muiical composition in a sensitive manner' only the repetitions of tire theme may well complain of
The prospect of having to liiten to their musical products monotony. But if he also perceives the accompanying voices,
."f..1 *in u possibiliti seem rather dubiously desirable, ancl which are often second and third subjects, he will come closer
it is certainly not the purpose of theory teaching to- produce t
-composers.- to understanding the true nature of contrapuntal composition.
surplus of unwanted Still, every good musiciatt llven in homophonic compositions there ate cases where one
should submit to such training. How can one enjoy a gamc must hear more than the principal voice. Many extensions in
without understanding its finJ points, without knowing when the music of Mozart and Brahms are produced by a movement
the ball is sliced or curved, without an idea of strategy or tac-
of the harmony contradictory to the melody, an effect which
tics ? And yet there are performers who simply .do not know
is lost on anyone who listens to the melody alone. Every note
the bare construction, ttoi to mention the subtleties of musical
a master has written should be perceived. How much pleasure
pieces ! it gives the connoisseut to watch the second violin in a Mozart
^ Understanding the fine points-that is, understanding the quartet, as it accommodates itself to the first, assists or con-
game at all-demands a thorough preparation' Harmony, tradicts, expresses sympathy or antipathy by characteristic in-
Iounterpoint and form need not be taught as branches of es- tcrjections!
thetics or history. A few illustrations will show how this train-
ing can be used to betler PurPose. ru
"If a student of harmo"| only writes his examples, but
"ot These examples may already have given a clue to how
also plays them afterwards, his ear will become -acquainted much more might be achieved through the study of form and
with 'a nrrmbe, of facts. He will rcalize that chords are used orchestration.
in root positions and inversions and that there is a difference It is a great mistake to believe that the object of form is
in structural weight belween them. And when he hears a clas- beauty. There is no beauty in eight measures because they
sical fermata on a six-four chord, he will not applaud, know- lre eight, no lack of beauty in ten. Mozart's asymmetry is not
ing that this cannot be the end of the piece. Even someone lcss beautiful than Beethoven's symmetry. The principal func-
wiih absolute pitch might mistake the ending of ihe first sec-
[148]
lr4e ]
STYLE AND IDEA EARTRAINING THROUGH COMPOSING
Music shoulcl obviously wants us to understand every variation as a deriva'
tion of form is to advance our understandins'
offers"man one of thc tive of his chosen theme. The Haydn theme of Brahrns' Varia'
be enioyed. Undeni"iiy]-"nd""tu''ding
p l.^Joi.t. a'a thougi
j.'::*o t tions has an "A" section which consists of a ten-measure Pe-
; ;;'';t
"Jubl.
. l* -t-:::::
"b form proouces riod characteristically subdivided at the first measure. It is
."1-Uit,y, by'providing comprehensibilitv'
beautv. An apple tree doe-s not exist in
order to give us apples' difficult not to recognize this in the variations. Furthermore,
the third section is unusual in that it is prolonged by means
but if produiei.them nevertheless'
Forms are prtmartly -i; organizations to. exPress ideasisina ":oI' of an extension. No one, at first hearing, can SrasP all the
;il-Pt at self-expression useful fine points of Brahms' variation technique, the harmonic and
prehensible manner.
aooroach to unclerstanding t6e methods of the gle.at co:n' contrapuntal combinations, the many ways in which he treats
by experience that the repetttton ot I the unevenness of his five-measure sections. Perhaps all this
F;;;t. A studentor,.knows o.."'i6n bL good' useful or inevitable' on is not absolutely necessary for an adequate resPonse to the
section may on
and he will recog' music. But it is certainly a good approach to what the com'
another Poor, unnecessary or mdnotonous'
;i;; ii;'meanir,g or-t.lJtition in the works of others' Repeti' poser himself wants to tell us.
musical idea' Any' Composing trains the ear to recognize what should be kept
tion, if not monotonoo", htlp' to convey a
in mind, and thus helps the understanding of musical ideas.
one trained to uury if,.'butiL motive oi
hit own composition
U. uUt. io iollo* a complicated melody without Characteristic deviations from the norm, irregularities, will
*irr
".l"Utv dreaming of irrelevant images', be guides in the no-man's-land of great ideas.
---li
invofuntarilf .r r:-!^^^-
it ihe 6rg"niratiJn of a-piece. which ,trelns tfe,|it':1t:-1" Now to speak of orchestration. My concept of color is not
+

grow..tn' the usual one. Color, Iike light and shadow in the physical
keep the idea in mind, to follow its developmelt' {s
iaugh.t to rvorld, expresses and limits the forms and sizes of objeas.
ll"[r"t"*il;^il-i;,1' 1r v"' have beenprincipal and,proyide suoor' Sometimes these elements serve as a camouflage. A musician
yo"r ,ft.-.s with limits, to distinguish
dinate ideas, to .o.J'i* fl"t"ty #tn t"tiaity'
to diuidt dis- likewise might wish to hide something. For instance, like a
good tailor, he might wish to hide the seams where sections
tinctly into Pafis *h"t .^""ot be conceiv*'irndiv-t-111,Jj"
are sewn together. In general, however, lucidity is the first
will know how to make use of these earrnarks in masterpteces
as svmbols to remember' The theme of the
fourth rnovement l)urpose of color in music, the aim of the orchestration of
cvery true artist. I do not wish to be a killjoy, but I rnust con-
;; ;;;,h*.t't Qo"tt"t in A Minor, op' !32'..:oltitl: arnaz'
fess that I find the delight in colors somewhat overrated. Per-
ingly of ten rneasures and, more amazingly stilt,,f l:t--:t^"th
measure reaches ;;;;i;;"1 ending on
the seventh degree of haps the art of orchestration has become too popular, and in-
" St"rcely a moslcian would recognize the teresting-sounding pieces are often produced for no better
n-.i*r' G .";oi.- been taught that rcason than that which dictates the making of typewriters and
,i"l"i"ti y of soih-a ltottaitt.if he h.ad not only' and fountain pens in different colors.
themes like this of eight measures
";iti;-;;"ii't
l;; on the ri.ti irtita or fifth degree'- But anyone who
w
will easily recognize the theme whenever
lt aPPeals
knows this It is obvious that not even a small percentage of music stu-
in the develoPment. varia' .lents will become composers. They cannot and they should
\Tithout ,.-.-t.,it'g, how could we understandofl X' he not. It is also evident that many would-be composers and mu-
tions? \(hen .o-potJi calls his pix'e Variations
^ [1r1]
[lto]
STYLE AND IDEA
sicians who, through some study, have.acquir:d
^ :T-,:illtt:l
or
l"o*f.an. of moiic, rnay Presume to judge the acttvrtres
attltuqe
oood artlsts and real creators' This is where a correct
ilil;; Jirt teacher becomes most importagt' H9,,musf
wrll no[ Hearr- and Erain- in efrtusicr
.onuirr.l his students that the study of comPosttlon
make them experts or acknowledged
jldqt:l that ttsonly pu^r'
B1y7tc in his philosophical story "seraphita" describes one
better' to obtain that
oose is to help them understanlmusic of his characters as follows: "\Tiifred w^s man thirty years
of. an ear "
5i;;;.';;i;t'it int.t."t in the art' The possession
man to humlll'
of. age. Though strongly built, his proportions did not'lack
a
irained through composing should not entitle harmony. He was of medium height as ii the case with almost
ate his innocent urrd 1",," fortunate neighbor'
It should give all men who tower above the resi. His chest and his shoulders
iL"""Ly-"". pr.ut"t.,-ittt pltut"" oibuluntt between the were broad and his neck was shoft, like that of men whose
l"y'rt. .'"p.;tr'fro- music uttd tht joy he actually receives'
heart must be within the domain of the head.,,
No doubt all those who supposedly create cerebrally-phi-
losophers, scientists, mathemiticians, constructers, inoeniors,
theorists, architects-keep their emotions under control and
pr.eserv-e the coolness of their heads even though imagination
will often inspire them. But it is not genet"lly agrJed that
po-ets, artists, musicians, actors, and singers should admit the
influence of a brain upon their emotioni.
Only a few decades ago it was the standard opinion that a
poet,,and especially tyrj poet, was distinguishei not only by
"
long hair and a dirty_collai but also by hiJhabit of assuming
an interesting pose.'In place of a sober and direct word, h!
was expected- to use one which only circumscribed an idea or
a fact and, if possible, obscured botn fittle, befogged their
meaning and appearance. Thus they appeared^ as iImething
9u_!
of a dream, suggesting that the ,.ider-rro, not that hl
fall.asleep, but only that hl dream without sleeping.
Ihg"g! such viewpoints no longer prevail, silnilar out-
moded misconceptionJ are still in ci-rculation. one such mis-
conception is the general belief that the constituent qualities
of music belong- to- two categories as regards their origin: to
the heart or to the brain, with the except'ion of some pioducts
in which both might have a word to say.
- ,it" vii ,be Mind (The University of Chicago press, 1947).
"t
lL52) [1r3]

t
E
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
Those qualities in which a listener likes to recognize
his
beautiful piece but only one of average craftmanship does not
own heart'are those which he deems to have originated in the
make any difference, because it often takes as much time to
emotions of a composer: the beautiful melody or phrase'
the
compose a letter as to write music. I personally belong to
ieautiful-or,
--Th;t; at least, sweet-sound, the beautiful harmony' those who generally write very fast, whlthet it is "cerebral"
qu"ii,i.t of a less heart-warming nature, such as dy- counterpoint or "spontaneous" melody.
of
namic conirasts, changes of tempo, accentuation, features Most of the friends of my youth were also fast writers. For
ifryttrrn and accomparf;mett, and, most of all, the finesses of
instance, Alexander von Zemlinsky, composer of many success-
orlganizatio*-these seem to be ascribed to the cooperatio.n of ful operas, while still studying compositibn at the Vienna Con-
"interesting,"
heart and brain and might be classified rather as servatory, prepared at the same time for a competition in piano
arousing the interest oi a listener without considerable appeal which he later won. He had a peculiar method of using his
to his feelings. time rationally, since he was forced to give many piano lessons
The thirdigrouP arouses neither so much feeling- nor inter- in order to earn a living. He would alternately compose and
l"t, if it"shorild accelerate the heart-beat, it is because. of practice the piano. \)Triting in ink one page of music, he had
the admiration, the awe, in which it is held' Counterpoint'
"rr, to wait for the page to dry. This interval of time only could
.ontrupottt"l style, is definitely attributed to the brain' It is he spare for practice. A busy life!
tto"o.ia by the highest appreiiation but tolerated only if - it A week was generally considered just sufficient time to
does not destroy tf,e warmitr of the dreams into which the start and finish a sonata movement. But I once wrote all four
charm of the beautiful has led the listener' rnovements of a string quartet within this length of time. A
I believe that a real composer writes music for no other song for voice and piano might have required one to three
reason than that it pleases him. Those who compose b"cause hours-three hours, if you were unfortunately caught with a
they want to please others, and have audiences in mind' are long poem.
,rot real artisti. They are not the kind of men who are driven
I composed three-fourths of both the second and the fourth
to say something whether or not there exists one person who movements of my String Quartet No. 2 in one-and-a-half days
likes it, even if-they themselves dislike it. They afe not crea' each. I completed the half-hour music of my opera Erwartung
tors who must open the valves in order to relieve the interior in fourteen days. Several times I wrote two or three pieces of
pressure of a creation ready to be born. They are merely.more
Pierrot Lanaire and the song-cycle Hrtngend.e Giirten in a day.
br less skillful entertainers who would renounce composing if I could mention many more such examples.
they could not find listeners.
i.eal mosic by a real comPoser might produce .e19ry kin{. of Thus it will be as astonishing to you as it was to all my
impression without aiming io. Simple and beautiful melodies,
friends when I came with the score of VerhDirte Nacht and
showed them one particular measure on which I had worked
safty rhythms, interesting harmotty, sophisticated form, com-
a full hour, though I had written the entire score of four hun-
plic'ated'counierpoint-tlie real composer writes them with the
ease with which one writes a letter.
"As if he were writing a .lred and fifteen measures in three weeks. This measure is in-
letter"-this is what my comrades in the Austrian army- said deed a little complicated since, according to the artistic con-
admiringly when, in the barracks, I wrote some rnusic for a viction of this period (the post-$Tagnerian), I wanted to ex-
party gi'ven by the comPany. That this was not a remarkably press the idea behind the poem, and the most adequate means

[1r4] [1']
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC

to ihat end seemed a complicated contraountal combination: lhing t9 which inspiration has not forced him. Often enough
*;;*'il;;;;J;'*"tianeouslv (Example nsprratron rntervenes spontaneously and gives its blessing un_
a leitmotiv and its demanded.
I.t 9ft9n happens to a composer that he writes down a
melody ig on9 uninrerrupted diaft and with a perfection that
requires no chang-e and offers no possibility of improvement.
It has occurred often enough to mi. For initance, in this me[-
9dy fl* my String euartit No. 2, I certainly did not make
the slightest change (Example 2).

PP

Ex,ruPrE Verkliirte Nacht


of a spontaneous ln-
This combination was not the product.
soiration but of ;;;;";;i intention' of'a cerebral re'
""
;fi,t"*'fi; r*rt"i.A labor which required so much time was
;ftu;;J;"b-di;;te voices as would soften the harsh
frictions of this combination'
Of course possibility that in the m]-d::
tft.r. iJui*"yt''ftt
there might suddenly emerse new
reasons
;;;;ition venture' One
for persuadin-g a composer to engage in such"a ambition' the
"f
of the most trequent of such re"so"s is artistic an artist to elabo'
artist's sense of no"ot'l"Jted, the aim-of
rate profounaty ,rpoi^l'il id;d especially
if it makes tl:"1*l
fi;ft;ilil'f;; h;-;"d .ue. ii it makes it more difficulteven if
for his listeners-til';;th";ld not be condemned Be'
;; ;;;J;;1 pt"..a"t" causes loss of the surface beauty'
ril, ;;;;,iJt n..a not necessarily f ail lf he has started sorne'

[116] lLtT )
ExauprE String Quartet No. 2 HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
I was certainly no less directed by inspiration when I started
rny First Chamber Symphony (Kammirsymphonie). I had a
perfect vision of the whole work-of co,rtse, not in all its de-
t-U - rc aich tr
ttlr tttdrtcLtooll tails but in its main features. But, while I wrote many of the
subordinate themes later in one draf.t,I had to work viry hard
to shape the beginning. I have copied here some of the phases
and metamorphoses through wtrich the first two main ideas
had to pass before I was satisfied (Example 3).

oo-griin-di - gea danlr ood on. be ' !aE' tea

Final Forrn

lo.ber den groe-aeo e-a tro woarcb ' lori

Exauprp 3 A, B, c, D: Kammersynphonie,

[ 15e .'l

[1r8]

rJ.
Exalrprn 3 E, F, c, I{, I, 1: Kammersymphonie,
STYLE AND IDEA
PrinciPal Theme 3 ti, r', G, H, I, J
melodic configuration'
rhythmic
A -Shows the onein all sketches'
'and
which reaPPears
is quite un-
at a continuation- which
Aa-Shows an atternpt
t"5li'l' lnt (Aa) which does not
balanced Utt 'rtytt'-
disaPPear any rnore' ,C.
tones' though in'
a
brings the ascending'
-
*l:,|"
B
-Already
b r o ad e rur'v
tt'* i' ^t i"'' ^ f d Tl " ^ I'f lt','( :J.
;|;'ittilil
lffirrr'tr* following sketch 2C
I

[161]
[160]

I
I{EART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
STYLE AND IDEA
whose character, tempo, expression, harmonic progression,
and motival contents displayed a centrifugal tendericy: thii
was here the task. If one compares the diffiiult labor required
in this case with the great eaie with which most of the'other
themes were conceived, one might conclude that inspiration
at times makes a gif.t to a composer in a perfect forrn, which
at other times is denied him. In-both cases-it was not complex-
ity which stood in the way of perfection, nor was it the ireart
which erred nor the brain which corrected.
In order to give an idea how such themes look when con-
ceived spontaneously and written without correction, I refer
the reader to the subordinate theme of the Kammers,ttntbbonie
(No. 21,.pp.,2.2-23 in the score). Or Example 4, fro'm the
Principal Theme 5 same work, will also illustrate this point.
which are
E fitst sketch already contains four features final form
-This forr"Ji"fli"iitttt and also in the
used in only of
"rr
(3-l). Trt. -.toiittr"t- -"ti'a -next'.consists here
sketch adds the fifth
four notes. BJ;j;t^Jt-the rhythm
tone (A&) ' Th;l;;o-under D the
syncopated
, tt't tt'ut"cteristic-leap of a ninth' c to d'
i;i,;d.t r,ur*o"il
;'t;gt";;t"" based on fourth
chords'
and the
marked (*). --r r---
try +^ .^nrinrrr.
to continue
G to I-Preserve the first 4l/2 measyres andis then given in
in ;;;;'- i[" ii"ur form
various
ExamPle 3-I'
In all these cases tht" no problem which one would
*u'
.^ii^.;pii..La. rnttt *ut no combinationasofin voices
whose
the examPle
contrapuntal ..tutio"" '"tqoi"J "auptation'
-first there wer
ii"^^1il[irnr'-lil,rnr. In these whichnotations,
demanded control'
even no harmo,tic t;"i;tti";t
There was at hand fiom"the start a
sufficient amount of mo'
too much than too
tival forms and their derivatives, rather the progres; of d;'
little. The task, therefore' was to retard to
,,.tnnmenf 1., ordei to enable the average good listener
i.."tT" *r.a *t", preceded so as and to-understand the conse'
bounds to balance a theme
;::t.;.'T.-rc.J';ttht; {t637
u62)
Theme HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
Exauprn 4: Kanmersymphonie, Adagio

xfc.

llr.r.
in F.

athr artdrtcLtvoll
r.vl
l.vl. l

rrr. D.
2.\. l.
m. D.

Br
u.D.
8r.
m.D'

Vlc.
lr.D.
\'lc.
m.D'
Kb.
D.
ru.
Kb.
E'D'

u64) [16r]
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AfiID BRAIN IN MUSIC
increase the con-
There are other cases which might.even share of heart or
oJ-the
fusion and make tf't i"t"t-tnatioi
or labor' more difficuit'
;;il of inspirution comPosrng String
Some forty years ago I .*utmorilng^walks'
-1Y -a:f:jrn
I cornPosed
N;;"d;:'i.'uturri taking in almost every
my mind forty to eigt'ty *"-u'o"'
complete
hours tn copv down these
aetalt. I needed o"fio*to ot tntt"
such a
larse sections from'#;";'-f; ib|-'
not"lcoPy'rn
'"ttiott
'"tgfit;;;.t^l*nitrt tu* ^ fast writer could
comPose them) I want t". P-1],"
Iess time than tt took -" to
some of the intricate comPlexl-
some illustrations u"J t*pluitt And again in 4o-4i (p. e):
ties involved'
The first violin PlaYs a Passage
m Ineasures 100-103 (p'
46 in the score) ' rurllctbal"
'tvar

These three statements differ in their accompaniment and


harmonization and lead to different endings: the first to D
in 107-10 (P' a6): rninor, the second to D major, the third to D major chords.
This il rePeated
The pizzicato in 103-4 b. qQ is part of the Scherzo theme,
and is used in many transformations. In measures 1"-L1, after
t{ (pp. 46-47), it accompanies a transformation of the main
theme:

[166] 1167 ]

TL
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
Note also the independent voice leading In 19-26 @. l):
Scnlgcr bcrcgt all luvor

and in a3- 6 (p. aa) a variant of it is used similarlY:


Sohr rurUclhrltcnil. Ebrar

And a similar example will be found in 63-70 (pp. a9-5o).


Besides the examples given here, there are numerous other
contrapuntal combinations; and doubtless the entire section is
of a texture which one must call complicated.
One who assumes that counterpoint is cerebral while melo-
dy is spontaneous would be forced, in the face of these two
cxamples, to conclude that cerebral products can be written
faster than those of spontaneous feeling. But nothing could
be more erfoneous; the one as well as the other may require
rnuch or little work. lVhether much or little labor is necessary
clepends on circumstances ovet which we have no control.
Only one thing is certain, at least to me: without inspiration
aeither could be accomplished.

[168] ll6e l

,.f
HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
STYLE AND IDEA
There are times when I am unable to write a single
exarn-
ole of simple counterpoint in two voices, such as I ask sopho-
il;;; ill; ;i
;; cllrres. And, in order to write a good ex'
ffii; or ittit ,ori, I must receive the cooperation :1T:ry'
tioi. I am in this respect much weaker than some ot my-kind Pu:
*ft"'*tit. gooa^o, poo' counterpoint without any
iiit
of
"-H;;;,
inspiration.
nuuing been educated in the sphere of Brahmsian
influence (i was 6nly a little over twenry-hvo *.*,?, l-t^iT:
died), likemany others I followed his example l*ltl,jr::
not ieel like composing,
-destroyed
I write some countrPom'' 'll?1.
tunately, Brahms e-ver{P1irL,he did not consrder
*ffi'of publication b.fote he died':Ihis"issuch r,eSreliai]1;
to be aUo#ed to look into the workshop of a conscrentl-
-f.o,r

oot t""" would be extremely instructivt' Otte would see how


ofi.n tt. had worked hard to PrePare his basic ideas for those
.or.ioriottt he foresaw. "A g6oittteme is a gift of"Deserve -God"' rt
h3
said; and he concluded witli a word of Goethe:
in order to possess it."
wer
One thini seems certain: Brahms' mental gymnastics ExauprE 5: Mirror Canon
certainly noi of an easygoing sort'.\il7e.know that it was hrs
habit on his Sunday exiursions in the \Tienerwald to PrePare
"enismatic .-onr't whose solutions occupied his companions
for ieveral hours. Subsequently I was stimulated to try also
the difficult types of ca.tons. There were some which required
*o.tt *ott , ut, fot instance, the following example' Perhaps
this mirror canon required such a painful effort because my
heart refused to cooperate (Example 5)'

[171]
[170]

}L
STYLE AND IDEA Exauprn 7: Adagi<t'fheme, Op. 7
Even though the purpose of such things is not music but amer ate vorher dio J
only gymnastics, must have been inspired, or at least in a
I
good mood, when I wrote the Mirror Canon for String Quar-
iet in about an hour (ExamPle 6).

Exaltpre 6: Mirror Canon for String Quartet


But what assisted me in writing these canons could never
have been inspiration of the same kind which produced melo-
dies like that of the Adagio section of my String Quartet No. etwae zuriickhaltenil rit.
1, Op. 7 (Example 7).

11721

[173]

[
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
It is perhaps necessary to show also some melodies of my
later pe?iod, ispecially of the composition with twelve tones,
which has earned me the title of constructionist, engineer,
mathematician, etc., meaning that these compositions are Pro-
duced exclusively by the brain without the slightest participa-
tion of something like a human heart. As an example from
my later period, I quote here the beginning of my Piano Con-
certo, Op. 42 (Example 8').
Exai'lpr.n 8: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra,
Op. 42
(Reproduction of Orchestra for a Second Piano
by Edward Steuermann)
Andaalc 1J.. g; ).rm)

Anitanto (J.'u; j.

[174] [17r]
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC

An unprejudiced musician will easily find many more such


melodies-in my latest work. See, for instance, the Intermezzo
from my String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30, and the Andante
Grazioso of the Violin Concerto, Op. 36.

ExaMpre 9: Third String Quartet, Intermezzo

[176] rL771
STYLE AND IDEA HEART AND BRAIN IN MUSIC
finished work gives no indication of whether the
emotional
or the cerebral constituents have been determinant.
,r necessary
_.ttunaccompaniedto remcmber that frequently the elaboration
ot themes and melodies in the examples I
have shown required from three to seven ,k"t.h.r,
ffiiI;;;.
:t the contrapuntal sections were composed in a very short
trme.
It to me that I.anticifated the solution to this prob-
seems

l:at:the vellbeginning
trom,Salzac:
of this essay with tt. quotition
"The heart must be within the domaiir
neao.
of the
It is not the heart alone which creates all that is beautiful,
pathetic, affectionare, and. charming; nor is it the
:T?!iol"l,
brarn alone which is able- to produce the well_Ionstructed, the
soundly organized, the logiial, and the complicated.
h First,
everything of supreme value in art must sho#
heart *.fi
Exaupre 10: Andante, Violin Concerto as brarn. Second, the real creative genius has ", in
no difficulty
controlling his feelings mentally; n"or must the
Assuming that a comPoser is at least entitled to like his brain proiu*
only the dry.and unappealing *iril" .o.r..ntrating
themes (ev-en though it may not be his duty to publish only orr^.orr".t_
ness and logic.
what he himself likes), I dare say that I have shown here on-
ly melodies, themes, and sections from my works which I 3:l 1". might become suspicious of the sincerity of works
extribit theii heart;
deemed to be good if not beautiful. Some of them were pro- :i::l f:::{-,tl
wnlcn invite u.s
yhi.l rnvrte to dream with them of"r,i.r,
us io
de-^ni
lrugu" *a
a vague ";r t,r,
and undefinej
duced with ease; others are complicated' But one cannot pre- beauty and of unfounded, baseless "
tend that the complicated ones required hard work or that which exasse_
rate because of the absence of reliabre "-otionq
y"rarli.tr;-*io,.*3i;
the simple ones were always easily produced. Also' one can- pti:iy. is wart,-meagerness, and drynes's; whose sweetness
not pretind that it makes any difference whether the examples irrrrrrclal and whose appeal attains only to
is
derive from a spontaneous emotion or from a cerebral effort. the surface of the
sq>erficial. Such worki only demonstrite
the co-pietfu;;;;
Unfortunately, there is no record that classic masters made ,f a brain and show that this se'timentality trs'its o;ii;;
much ado about the greater or lesser efforts needed for dif- a very poor heart.
ferent tasks. Perhaps they wrote -everything_with the sam
ease, or, as one might suspect in the case of Beethoven, with
the same great effort, as Beethoven's sketch books Prove.
But one thing seems to be clear: whether its final aspect is
that of simplicity or of complexity, whether it was composed
swiftly and easily or required hard work and much time, the
[178] [ 17e :l
CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
ple are bound to know prices in advance. All the same, wheth-
er we buy a house, a pafu of shoes, ot an automobile-we
must know their value and whether it justifies the price. \We
must know whether the house has the desired n-umber of
rooms, whether the neighborhood is good, how high the taxes
the valuation- of 'f,tusrc
frheria' t'or are, whether there is a chance of selling it witho;t too great
ago there frequently a loss after some years, and so forth. Similar questions wi-il be
IN rHE BEST SELLERS of f'O or 200 years asked about the shoes. They must fit, they should not be of
a character-an old cavalilr' generallv no less
than
"fp""..a and astounded an obsolete fashion, the material should be adequate, etc. \il7e
a marquis, whose extreme generosity peiplexed would also refuse to pay more for an automobile than it is
both his fellow .t^r^.-t"r, ?"J tf,. i.iai"g
public
"f ,ll-T *: worth, even if we possessed the money, because, of course,
\Whether or not such a character ever reallv exlsteq' tils
he met with our revenues are not inexhaustible. Moreover, we hate to pay
qrandeur of his g"r,.,o'lly *u' i-p"tsive' \7hin
to himielf, to his horse' or onlv.to more for a. thing than it is worth-if possible, we prefei to
:';ii;;;;;.tj.",3-*i.nJr p])'less. This is-on the average-humin natur., unl people
;,t'J:il6;;.j. *""rJ reward the person who came to his of all ranks behave similarly. They love to pay less than ii is
.
,.r.".'b| i'hro*irrg rti- his whole'purse' change which'
:f-t?::T:
hts hanos rvorth.
;;;ti nothing" but gold pieces-small
he might disperse u f"I If we justify such caution in the case of a house, a pair of
*""ia not touch."On otfier occasions was his generost-
.
shoes, and an automobile, merits or shortcomings of'which
fr"tai"ft louis d'or among a crowd' Such are no secret and do not require the judgment of an expert,
g "f
't in minor accidents' in case of a serious how much more is caution justified in thJ case of art obiects,
i;;;il-,rt." *rt"l he might have done rescuer to his c-astle where criteria of evaluation are really only within the domain
accident ! He then t"tui, ha3ve taken the
and title' or offered of the experts and where experts are as iure us a good judg-
an<l either m"de himttt.lt to ttit fortune
him his sister in Even if she were not the most ment.
^u,,iu'g' full of charm' and' True, the styles of houses, of shoes and of automobiles
beautiful woman ir, ttt. ?orld, she was chang,e, but at least, as they scrve a definite purpose, their
Lesides, would have a respectable dowry! Lrseability_ remains the samc, .and one who judges only that
on- paying a
At any rate, as a true nobleman he insistedrendered' and rvill not fail.
orice which ,orourrld,f,. value of the service But style in art changes approximaiely every ten to fifteen
to disappoint the faith of lower-
"#;";i;;".-t.""
-f."pre "trtamed ycars. And almost inevitably evaluation changes with style.
.l"s in the !"n.totity of..ttie. "StJrty-' 9n."t1"i** One of the safest methods of acquiring atte"ntion is to do
hand,'one must not Torget that, fictitious or
real' thls noDle-
fortune' was s,nething which differs from the usual,lnd few artists have
;;;;t convinced of tte inexhaustibility of- his lhc stamina to escape this temptation. I must confess that I
he pard.' and was
.o"ui"..a that he need not care what price -rank bclo,nged to those who did not-care much about originality. I
required'
o.rfy ,f*ia to Pay less than his social rrscd to say: "I attempted to produce ,orrr.ttiirrg qoit.
Wt'tut u *uni tlyh"t people! \fhat times! t onventional, but "l-1y:.
I failed, and it always, against ,"y #ttj U_
of what
\7hile the noblem""^"oi only did not ask the price t;rrne something unusual!" How right, then, is a music lover
he bought, but, rather, did not want to know
it' we Poor Peo-
[180] [181]

&
CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
STYLE AND IDEA
great number of painters who have already been aclmitted in-
who refuses to appreciate music which even the composer did
not want to write!
t: ,hj Academy of Immortals: the El Grecos, the Van Goghs,
the Gauguins, the Kandinskys, the Kokoschkas, the Matiies,
And is it unreasonable that one who commissions his por- the Picassos.
trait hates to look as an exPressionist painter, whose idea is Since changes of style in the arts do not always mean de-
based on psychoanalysis, thinks it should look ? Others, again,
velopment, it might be extremely difficult to establish criteria
do not *utti to aPPear as victims of a candid camera's sinceri-
^morals, which remain valid in every period of art. But the futility of
ty. It may be thi the phitosophy, the political view-
evaluation deriving from eiternal criteria remains eviient
point of a *riter to which yo,i opposed. It m-ay be old-
iashioned for an author to cbme "re
personllly to the foreground throughout the centuries.
as Goethe did in Die lYanderiahte, when at a certain point . At least a _wrong evaluation can be based on superficial
judgment in the aforementioned arts. No such thing ls possi_
he inserts a story without any'coherence with the preceding,
". ble in music. There is no- story, no subject, no objeJt, ,rj
saying . . because we *atti to prove that we are not lack- -o-
i"b i" inventiveness"-the inveniiveness to produce a l^l: r? philosophy or politics which one might like or hate.
.nice Rejection of musical works in the last one ani a half centuries
litlle story. Strindberg would not have done this; perhaps
has been based primarily on features which obstructed compre-
Balzac would have, oi perhaps Shaw-in one of his prefaces
hensibility: too rich modulaiion, use of dissonances, conipli_
but not in the text. cated formulation of ideas. It was the time when towns were
One may wonder, if the great Goethe did it, can it be en-
growing into cities, when the development of industrialism
tirely wrong? And should such a procedure be entirely ex- was bringing fresh but uninitiated people into the cities. It
cluded frori art? And, if so, only bicause it is oldfashioned?
was the time when concert halls hid io become larger and
Or perhaps because "to show inventiveness" is_ no ProPer larger, because more people becryne participants in tli'e audi_
,.^16r, foi inclusion in a work of art, because there should
ences.
appear only that which derives from and is related to the sub-
Before this time audiences had been small and had
ject, at least indirectly? con_
sisted solely_ of_ music lovers most of whom were able to play
But what if the continuation were to disclose the relation
rvhat they liked, many of whom had at least semi-professiini
of this story with the subject? knowledge, if not more. Their judgment was then io some de-
There might still remain the objection to the rnanner in
gree based on terms which today Jnly the experts are entitled
which it is lntroduced-"in order to show inventiveness"-
to use-though also others do. Musicianship ^of such high de_
which is one of the personal interests of an author, but should
gree enables.recognition of evaluating criteiia. Knowing"music
manifest itself silenlly. Then the reader, with enthusiastic ad-
rneant knowing it-at least partly-From memory. Miy per-
miration, might exclaim: "What richness of imagination and
sons were able to remembei a piece after a single heurirrg.
inventiveness."
It that the man in the street and other uninitiated
l)o not forget that Mozart wrot-e down the forbldden
seems
of Allegri's Miserere after hearing it only once. -uri"i.
people have still some access to the evaluation offered by the Yes, the role of memory in muiic evaluation is more impor_
subject, or the object, or the story of works of literature,
tant than most people reaJize.It is perhaps true that one sfarts
painting, sculpture, architecture and other arts. How inade-
to understand a piece only when on. .- remember it at least
quate sirih vi&points are can best be seen in the case of the
[182] [183]

14
CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
STYLE AND IDEA
oartiallv. But memory must be nursed and\War given an oPPor-
i"rir" io function. Before the first \World I met a man
*fr"'r"ia me that he had seen The Merry l\iQw.twenty
times. And during the war' when I conducted 'Seethoven
s

Ninth Svmphony, a man came into the artists' room to tell me

;#;;i;;' ii'L-ririi.th performance of the work he had


ft.ria from beginning tt eni. Imagine.how well these people
every note of iheir favorite music!
*';i;.';;Jli-nt1,-or
knew
.ourse, exPect such capacities of freshly
acouired devotees of the arts. Vhile J' S' Bach
was allowed
only the ex- ExaIuptE 1: Melodies of Schubert and Schumann
,"t*rii. -"ri. of a kind which in its real valuescompostt: tl a. Schubert, Scherzo, Piano Sonata in D Major
oert is capable of understanding, very soon the b. Schumann, Arabetque
that their
in.'.i!ft":*n und nineteenth cJnturies came to feel democratic. as
;;; fia;p.ndence had gone' Even a Beethoven'
after the first Accommodations to the popular demands became even more
;;;;;;st have felt It. But Mozart was told'
imperative when \Wagt rcr's evolution of harmony expanded
Derformance of his Don Giouanni in Vienna, fy I!9-
Emperor
"No mustc into a revolution of form. \While preceding composers and
Joseph II:
"This is no music for our Viennese"' even his contemporary, Johannes Brahms, repeated phrases,
io, lo, Viennese?" At that time already it was not the high-
was supposed motives and other structural ingredients of themes only in
est qualiW of artft'for"tt should produce, but he varied forms, if possible in the form of what I call deaelop-
il..6;& himself as broadly as popular understanding re- ing aariation, Vagner, in order to make his themes suitable
quired. for memorability, had to use sequences and semi-sequences,
Iwould not contend that later comPosers consciously gave that is, unvaried or slightly varied repetitions differing in
in to ih.r. popular demands for comprehensibility-demands nothing essential from first apPearances, excePt that they are
which do not correspond entirely to ihe demands of high-er exactly transposed to other degrees.
art.Butthereisno'do.rbtthatmuchinSchubert'smelodic
constrrrction-his juxtaposition of motives, which are only
melodically varied, buf rhythmically very similar-accommo-
J"t.a, protably initinctively, to.the popular feeling',As u.t11:
child o? his time, he reflected involuntarily the feeling ot-hts
;;6;;;ries. i.obert Schumann's style is a further proof of
the sanie kind of accommodation; his extremely frequent rep-
etitions of a rhythmic character indicate this'

[184]
[18t]
STYLE AND IDEA
CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
produce compositions which become longer and
loqi.lby nrunerous
only
broader
unvaried repetitions of a fJw phrases.
I have made here.the gravi mistake of callinj a
.rit.rion
of compositotial techniqtl ,.destructive', as if it *.r.
**
Prgven for all time to come that such a procedure is worthless.
How can a house differ frorn elery oin., fro,rr. il-;;;;,
a definite architectural idea, if there ir rittr.
material-bricks-as there is in the unvaried 'ilt'il;;
", repetitiois-of'a
phrase? Need it be disadvantageous to use
motives, phrases,
and other units in a manner as uninfluenti"i
as bricks on a building?
o;-;;;ilffi;;
Could not the case-of Beethoven's pastorale Sympbony
be
considered as one where harmonies are comparrbi.
because harmonies of only one kinJ
io UrLk,
uied ? It was
surprising to_me, when, Jistening to the "reradio recentiy,-f very
air_
covered-and later found confirired in the score-thai'ir
first three movements Beethoven uses almost no trr.
minor chords,
nuqbgr of cases, when it i; ,-d;i;,
::::P::llery,small
wrtn respect to the natural laws of harmony,
to omit minor
triads. Even then he uses an_ escape by leaving
Exair.rprs 2: Wagner Sequences rn"ny ,*iorr
unaccompanied, when tire nielody iJura.irt"njuUf
SThy there is a lesser merit in such procedure than in vari-
T,.ylit:l,
wrtnout harmony. Here the intention is clear: .
in Beethoven's
ation is obvious, because variation requires a new and special muslca,l vocabulary a minor chord expresses
sadness. But he
effort. But the damage of this inferior method of construc- wanted to prcture "the awakening of
gay feelings on the arri_
tion to the art of composing was considerable. With very few val in the countrv."
exceptions, all followers and even opponents of \Wagner be- I ready. to iorget this hypothesis in favor
of a different
came addicts of this more primitive technique: Bruckner, - "T
one, the result of a changed standpoint in regard
to evalua_
Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss, and even Debussy and Puccini. A,,_ll. beginning of-rny ."r..i, still unde? tn. inffu.nJ.
li.on
o.r Poluwagnerianism, I wrote sequences
A new technique had to be created, and in this develop- like my contemporu-
ment Max Reger, Gustav Mahler, and also I myself played a ries. This seemed justified to me'bt ;; ;;;i ;ili'fiJ;
role. But the destructive consequences did not cease because Precedmg composers:. Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, \il/agner"and
of that. And unfortunately many of today's composers, instead even Brahms, who did not avoid true
sequences or" slightly
of connecting ideas through developing variation, thus show- varied repetitions. Moreover, since a
young composer in this
ing consequences derived from the basic idea and remaining period was intent not only on illustrati'ng
the mood and all of
its.changes, but also on.iescribing
within the boundaries of human thinking and its demands of ;;;f bit of *ii"r, ;';;
cial formulation, the Leitmotiv, #..J'"bl,g;";;:^;1.'ifi_
[186]
[187]

-.5. I

I
CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
STYLE AND IDEA
Quartet" and still another- the ,,Hunting_euartet.', It is pcr
motiv, usually a small Phrase, did-not.consume much-space hup..r tlo merit to include drums in a str"ini quartet
or to'.ii-
il..uor. d.uefop-ent, aiposltlon .of varied.phrases' cadential scribe hunting pleasures. And it does not cJntiib,.rte a thing t.
U--i,*io"t utb other'establishing technical requirements' their evaluation.
which demanded the space of eight to sixteen measures'
be-

came superfluous. A ihrus" tf.Iryg measures


followed by a .certainly calling it the "Dissonance" quartet incrudes a
of one or crlttcrsm on which an evaluation can be parily based. My
,"ol,.*J ordinarily req''-rired a liquidating addition could be experience proves this. A viennese society iefused thJ first
own
twb measures' Thus i littt" independent segment performance- of my String Sextet, Verkliite Nacbt, beca.rsc
;;;;;J;hi.h ulro did not r"qoire an elaborate continua- of the "revolutionary" use of one-that is one single uncata-
tion, and was, so to speak, oPen'on all four sides'
Properly
using no more sPace logued dissonance.
an esthetic merit is gained by
"-pioved,
than t'he ideas demand, and this is why this techntque rather
-itt.
oroved a stimulant
t^;;-;; to the Neud'eatsche Schule'
ntuft-sian school which at this time fought {-t{
a
uioi.ttiy against the sequences of the.Neud'eutsche Schule'
Their aititride was based on the opposite viewpoint that
un- )K
varied repetition is cheap. And, in. fact, to many comPosers l- - r,

,"qrr"rr..r' were a technique to make short stories long-to ffi


*ut . o,rt of four m""sut"s eight and out of eight measures
,i"t."n or even thirty-two. It iJ especially the Russian comPo- . The "Ip"_r! is in no position to forget what his education
sers, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Tschaikovsky, who . must be has taught him. His code of honor which, for instance, for_
blamed for ihis improper application of an otherwise
accept- bids some dissonances, but tolerates others, demands numer_
uUt. t".t-tttlq.,e. Arri it'coold have happened that this misuse ous merits as the basis for evaluation. Thus he values a com-
have'eradicated every higher technical ambition'
-
r"igfr, position more highly only if its themes and melodies are sig_
ft".r, depends upon the viewpoint whether criteria are nttrcantly formulated and well organized; if they are interesi-
iudqed as merits or'as shortcomings' When Schumann-speaks ing-enough to hold the attentioi of a listeneri if there is a
;a?il ;t.uu"ttty length" of Schribert's music, one might But
be sufficiently great number of ideas; if they are welr connected
a merit' one
led to consider iengtf,,-i.utttheavenly or earthly,
\Wagner's oPPonent'
so as not to offend m.u;icaf logic; if they are restricted by sub_
is disappointed to that Hanslick, . division to a conceivable size;"if monotony is avoided by'goocl
blames"Bruck.ter for the length of his symphonies'
\7hen contrasts; if all ideas, however contrasting, can be prou.l to
Bruh-s demanded that one hind of the pianist play twos or be only-variations of the basic idea, thuslecuring rinity; if a
fours while the other played threes, ptopte.distiked this and thorough
of -elaboration proves that their inner mlrit, J*p"r,
said it made them t.uti.k. But this was probably the start 'fhere their incidental advantiges.
the polyrhythmic structure of many contemPorary scores'
Having evaluated the ideas from these viewpoints, the ex_
those who called Mozart's String Qyut-
.u' t" no'doubt that.,Dissonance_Quartet,, pert migh,t proceed to problems of style: ts ihe time_space
i.i i" c maior the intended merely a adequate for the importance or the unimportance of the ideas
chancterization, just as they called another quartet the "Drum- ?

[188] [18e]
STYLE AND IDEA CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
Are main ideas distinctly differentiated from subordinate ideas the necessity- of the work-that it was forced upon him by an
in space by adequate proportions as well as in emphasis, so as fger ulge for creation ? Has he been able to prod.rce ,o-.-
alwiys to secure the piedominance of the object ? Is the thing which fills a gap in the knowledge and .ilt.rr. of man_
breadth of the presentation justified ? Is it admissible because kind, or, if not that, which at least satiifies a desire for enter-
of the number of ideas, because of their inescapable conse- tainment ? In other words, does his product, through novelty,
quences, or because of comprehensibility? Is every detail pre- prove to be a desirable contribution?'Is this novelty"one of ei-
sented in as brief and as condensed a manner as possible ? sential or subordinate qualities ? If derived from essentials,
Does the profundity of the real meaning interfere with the is it of a nature like Beeihoven's dramatization of the elabora-
elegance of lhe presentation and the polish of the surface? Is tion, or comparable to the novelty of the structural, emotional
the material adequate with respect to the medium, and vice- and descriptive qualities of Schubert's songs ? Oi is it like
versa ? Are heroic themes ascribed to unheroic instruments, rVagner's entirely.
new way of building, expiessing, harmoniz_
such as flute, guitar or mandolin ? Is a violin sonata supposed ing and orchestrating, thui revolutioniiing husic In arl its as-
to express passionate emotions adequate for a symphony? Is pects ?

an initrument as immobile as a contrabassoon required to play Has this novelty been.produced through a new personality
a gracious barcarolle ? Is musical description stylized tonally rather than through revolutionary change"s, through' evolution-
and technically to fit the nature of the instruments, as the dgl.lopments rather
calls of the nightingale, quail and cuckoo in the Pastorale 3lI. _than through"frightenirig outbursts?
novelty come from a perionaliiy ,o^{ur^ble to a
Symphony are suited to the flute, oboe and clarinet respective- Pjd Fjr
Mendelssohn, a Schumann, a Go,inod, a Debussy,'etc.,_artists
Iy? Is the descriptive element incorporated formally and mo- whose ambition was not that of the reformer,'though their
tivally within the basic conditions of the piece ? Are states or originality was rich and distinct enough ?
situations illustrated whose nature is opposed to that of music Though originality is. inseparable from personality, there
for instance, expressing repose by slight movement, or exists also a kind of originality which does not deriue from
-as,
silence by sounds, or abstract philosophy by concrete tones? profound personality. products of such artists are often
dis_
Does the piece elaborate its ideas and material in a technique tinguished by a unique appearance which resembles true or[_
inappropriate to its style ? Are contrapuntal ideas accompanied tnality. certainly there wis inventiveness at work when tlie
in a quasi-contrapuntal manner, scarcely producing more than striking changes of some subordinate elements were accom_
a harmonization ? Is the natural phrasing of a homophonic pltshed for the first time. Subsequently, used consciously, they
melody confused by the addition of sophisticated counter- achieved of novelty
"ot originarity.profoundly''f;;;
deriued
melodies, as often happens in popular music? Are dissonances basrc rdeas."L311"5t
This is mannerism, not
which are not inherent in the tonal content added to simple rne difierence
is that mannerism is originality ln suboidinate matters.
folk-tunes ?
There are.many, and even respectable, artists whose success
Nor could the expert renounce an examination of the value
and reputation are based on this minor kind of
of the thematic material. He would also have to question the
inventiveness of a composer. 'Was he able to bring forth as
Unfortunately, the tendency to arouse interest by"rrgi;;li;t.
tEchnicil
peculiarities, which are simply added to the nothingness of
much variety as unity and comprehensibility will tolerate and an
idea, is now more frequent than it was in former"times.
the stimulation of interest demands ? \Was he able to Prove The
[leo] [lel]
STYLE AND IDEA CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
moral ak of. such products is rather for success and publicity for the evaluation of what they like or dislike. It is not ob-
than for enriching mankind's thoughts. vious whether a technical or theoretical knowledge is re-
Some values derive from causes or reasons to which influ- quired; probably instinct as judge. Certainli a well_
-serves
functioning instinct can offer
ence on creation should not be credited. Creation to an artist a basii fJr correct judgment.
should be as natural and inescapable as the growth of apples But most of the aforementioned criteria for the evaluation
to an apple tree. Even if it tried to produce alPles in response of higher music are accessible only to the expert, and many of
to the i.m-dt of a fashion or of the market, it could not' them only to highly competent ixperts.
Thus artists who want to "go back to a period," who try -to _
T!9ugh-lhere is no that every creator creates only to
-d9ubt
obey the laws of an obsolete esthetic or of a novel one, who free himself from the high pressure oi the urge to create,'and
enjoy themselves in eclecticism or in the imitation of a style, though he thus creates in-
alienzte themselves from nature. The product shows it-no
+; first place for hls own pleasure,
every artist who delivers his works to the general public alms,
such product survives its time. at least unconsciously, to tell his audience! something of val-
There is no essential difference between the criteria of this ue to them.
type of music and the aforementioned. Popular music.speaks Ambition or the desire for money stimulates creation only
to'the unsophisticated, to people who love the beauty of music in the lower ranks of artists. "Money! How can you expect to
but are not^ inclined to stiengthen their minds. But what they be paid for something which gives you so m.rch pleai,rre ?"
like is not triviality or vulgirity or unoriginality, but a more From the lives of truly great men it can be deduced that
comprehensible way of presentation. People who have not the urge for creation r_espor,ds to an instinctive feeling of liv-
acquired the ability of drawing all the consequences ot a prob- ing only in order to deliver a message to mankind.
lem at once must be treated with respect to thetr mental ca-
pacities; rapid solutions, leaps from-assumptions to conclu- - Just as obvious as that music is not created to please, is the
fact that music does pl9ase; that it has an undiniably grr^t
iions would endanger poPularitY. "know naught of the 1"51"1u1s';--:v/he
This does not mean that in popular music such melodies' lPPeal to people who
do not know the rules of the garrie.
rhythms and harmonies as on. -;gttt exPect in higher music
*course
m,lst .recessarily be excluded' Of no such structur:l On the other hand, to depend on the expert-and on those
probl..rrr, ,to srrch developments and- elaborations as one finds' yh9. us_urq the role of expeit-may prove iisastrous. \fagner
in. his Beckmesser portraybd on. ru.h living expert who k"new
?o, .*ample, in Brahms" symphonies, no such contrapuntal
combinatilns like those of Bach can be the object of a popu-
all of the tablature but failed miserably in a'pplying his knowl-
"what doth not with your tol.s ugr...""And when
lar composer. Nevertheless, listening to popular American !4ge to
Hans Sachs confides more in those who "kn-ow nought of the
music, one is often surprised at what these composers venture
;iil;p;.t to traditioial standards' However, for the sake of tablature," his confidence is justified.
the popllar understanding manifold..repetitions, the "P.Pli:i- It is a well known fact that abeady in the culture of even
tio"tf'only slight variatiJns and well employed' even if only primordial- peoples music's mysterioui appeal to men adorns
conventional, connectives are provided' worship of the divinity, to sanctify cultisir acts. \With primi-
It seems that friends of popular music have their own code tive peoples it is perhaps even rhythm or sound alone which

Lre2) [1e3]

J
CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF MUSIC
STYLE AND IDEA
casts enchantment. But even the culturally high-ranking Ti yha't. yill happen if such an authority makes mistakes.
Mistakes like his own, when he, disregarding Beethoven and
ot
Gr"eks ascribed mysterious effects to simple successtons
't (:re- Mozart, called Bellini's "Norma" the
he
tones, such as expressing ?irtues and their contrary' My-accusation of Schopenhau.r
lreatesl opera.
the meaning of -uy b. .*.or.'d by offering
sorian Chant ao"t noi i,ofit as much from myself to the same condemnation: I confess to be guilty o?
if," *ord, as does the Protestant chorale; it lives on muslc
similar crimes. For a long time I had scorned. the irusic of
alone. Gustav Mahler before learning to understand and admire it.
the sub'
Considering these facts, one might wonder whether f once said: "If what Reger writes is counterpoint, then mine
t.q";;lhlghZr art forms were indispensable for religious cer-
is not." I was wrong-botb were.
higher kind en-
.rriony. V"hether or not art of u pti-itiut or On the other hand, in favor of Sibelius and Shostakovitch,
fr*.." the enchanting effect of irusic, one conclusion seems I said something which did not require the knowledge of an
inescapable: there is a mYstery' expert. Every amateur, every music lover could have"said: ,,I
My personal feeling is-that T":i: conveys, " P,i?th"jt:-fl: feel they have the breath of symphonists.,,
saqe revealing a hilh"er form of life towards
which mankind
Experts are also human-but this is not the fault of us
a"J"iiir-f,..^,*. of this message that music appeals
composers !
""?i""r.
to men of all races and cultures'
Searching fot citeria for the evaluation of rnusic'
it seems
influence to all kinds of
danserous to ascribe this mysterious
ilt? t.g^;Jl;;i their standard and value' It would be dan-
is a lover of music and sensitive
;;, ;; "dmit that one who judge-its
to its charms has aiquired the right and capacity to
values. How dangerous the consequences of such
concluslons
can be was recentlY Proved'
broad-
The results of tit. voting for the Metropolitan Opera
oPeras a f tdetxo'
casts did not include among the six chosen
i nloglt Flate, a Maniage-of FlSalo, a Mastersxnger'- an

E;S;;t Onegin:, a Fra DiaTolo,' a Birbet. of ,Seu.ille,"Jt:.|,:--


ocr?tic as it is, there is one decisive mistake
in such votlng'
political par-
Ii;; gti;g ,o iu, ^ lo off"t only-one-candidate'candidates-the
ties woulcl not go so far as to offer fgtty-:I ot
,r,r-b.t of oper"as offered' In -practical politics the chotce
candidates is made bY the leaders'
that the
This is perhaps similar to Schopenhauer's demand
evaluation of works of art ca., only be based
on authority'
who authority nor how
Unfortunately he do., say bestows
"ot it will
;;;^; u.qoir. i,; "ot
whether remain uncontested'

lre4) [1e5]

AT
FOLKLORISTIC SYMPHONIES
songs and dances are often overwhelmingly
deep in expression
and attractive in their melodic confilur,rtron;
they are beauti.
ful and one must love them. Thtpi":;; ,rt uiigin'otii*.
ferences, however, are of. interest'rath'cr
air"
to the specialist tha.
folkhrisric Symphonies' to the undiscriminating music_lover.
Pracr after the First \ilorld \Var granted political indepen- appreciation for thesc clifferences, one
to l1:p,ir:,"i
.^ aomrl that ljgh
they are negligible in comparison to the
hls
dence to nations which culturally were far from ready for it. diffcr..
ences between folklore ani irtistic
Nevertheless even small nations of six to ten million people *url.. l'hey differ perhars
expected to be regarded as cultural units, nations whose na- perroleum and otive oil, o, orJln^i/*^["r^",i,f
11:::-..lhan
noly 'water, but they-mix
tional characteristics expressed themselves in many ways: in as poorly as oil and *^t.r. Even rr
their applied arts, weaving, ceramics, painting, singing and could apply onty u' f.rgito_iik", rather simple
l:..r1?"."
ment to a given rheme in the Rairmovsky String
ticrt
playing and, finally, even composing music. Of course, X- a;"'ri;;^C;i;
59, No. 2. And when he marks this theme ..Thdme
Town might have developed individual habits differing con- Russc,,
one is inclined to believe that on the
siderably from those of Y-Town, from which it was separated one hand it is a homace
to his aristocratic Maecenas, but on th;;;h.,
by 3,000 feet of mountains. But both demanded general rec-
to musical- experts, who would understand theh"; ilil,:"
ognition, and attempted to acquire a "place in the sun," seek- obstacie; ;;;,.
nected with commissions. fn order
ing the opportunity to sell their national products with profit. to compreh".rd this pi,,i,
lem it is useful to compare this treatment
The balance of trade was the real idea behind their mock- scherzo of the Ninth Symphony.
with that of trre
ideals. H"re ulro a semi_contronr.,,,
r::lr:*t, is applied; l"t tr," r.-rA rrU;;l;;ilffiii;
Isolation alone does not guarantee fertility. On the con- ll
the contrnuation of the first. The seconi subjects
to ti,i.
trary, contact, even with inferiority, can be stimulating. On ThEme Russe are only incidental ,.m-p*i-ents
the other hand, inescapable necessities of life, those emotions withorrl
combinatory value. Obviously, this theme
of love, mourning, nostalgia, etc., will find individual and is founded on l
primitive harmonic progression, which is contrary
perhaps original expression. \Whether people live in seclusion quirements of contripuital combinations. Furthermore,
to thc re
or not, they may find their own vrords, their own tunes, and unpretentious constitution there is no
in ilr,
create their own songs. And if those from X-Town differ no development into a theme.
probr.-
- r-- -rri.ir-*ggt.ri.
more from those of Y-Town than Dorian differs from Aeo- As a folk dance, the Thme Russe is certainrv verv
lian-there will be enough to be proud of. ant. But that there now exists Russian music L
rrrr.;rs
If songs of the Southern section of West-Parinoxia show al. a'ril.. ,,.i
r":T.,gt""t composers. $[ere this not the casc,
Lydian traits in their otherwise Phrygian texture, dances of I-::: :1 ,rtr.(.;rt
symphonies should have been created, Ir"i.,,,,n,.
the neighboring Northern part of Franimonti may display the l,:trl?l,S.otch
the tolklore of these p-eoples is of an unsurpassed
opposite: Phrygian influence in Lydian melodies. Such differ- bcauty rrn,l
full of striking and ihaiacteristic traits. on the othcr iurrr,r,
ences constitute individuality to the local connoisseur. There some smaller nations whose fork music is
exist such differences, for instance, in the Balkans. Their not as extra.rrrirrrrry
have s.ucceeded in placing in the history
of music arrtl intr,
I IvLrsical America, February, 1947. tne mrnds of music lovers representatives such as
Srncl;rrr;r,
[1e6] [1e7]
STYLE AND IDEA FOLKLORISTIC SYMPHONIES
Grieg, Chopin, Liszt, Dvorak and Sibelius' Characteristically potpourris, forms of a looser construction than what classic
.-"irr, Sidetus coniends that his music is notis based on na- masters from Bach to Brahms call ,,phantasies."
tionaT folk music, and I guess that Grieg's also not'
Chopin's Much beauty may be credited to natural folklore. No cred_
ihuthms are often derivei from Polish dances, but harmonic- it is deservgd by those "man-made" pseudo-folksongs, whose
that of Liszt
;eit putt melodically n-either his. music nor \Testern popularity is ac.quired the mass appeal unf6riunately
^tlrrough
j"i -".ft Jf Smetana's; diffet essentially
^ri; from and exerted by triviality. silcher, Abt, Nesslei'and their like in
Central European styles of their day' other countries falsified simplicity by substituting sentimental-
ity for artlessness and sentiment-lhey present o"nly tne white-
Evidently iolklore based on extraordinary or exotic scales
displays rriore ch"ructeristics, and .perhaps even too many'
It collar man's concept of the man in the itreet. so aiso do high-
wliat miglt have become of standard composers, who never forget their aristocratic Iu-
,.J-r'a nightmare to imagine lng- periority when they descend to theii .,Im Volkston,' songs.
music if Jlpan had succeeded in conquering Amertca'.
"
land and finally Germany. The Japanese idea of mustc has They are always at least structurally correct. If one's left iig
no resemblance to o.trr. Th.it stul& "t" not based on a har- is too short, one's-right.leg compeniates in that it is too long'.
of East' tsut in most of these imitationi, there always occur phrasls
;";i. concept, or, if so, at least it is not ours' Friends
is capable,.of one o.r more steps too long for which other phrases which are
ern isiatic irosic'cl"i* that this monodic music
such variety as to exPress every nuance of human
feeling- This too short cannot compensate. Natural folk music is always
perfect, because it stems from improvisation-that is, from'a
U. tr..e, bot to ihe \Testern ear it sounds-ah-different'
"r"y lightning flash of inspiration.
ii it it not completely impossible -to. add a harmonic accom-

o""i-*, to meiodies'of ihis kind, it is certainly impossible The discrepancy belween the requirements of larger forms
and the simple construction of foU< tunes has nJver been
i;;r;;; ii rogi.urry or natura[y from these scales.ourFormusic this
solved and cannot be solved. A simple idea must not use the
reason alone it ,..io, they would rather destroy
than comply with its conditions' ?"g"3g: of . profundity, or it can never become popular.
Everybody will understand the statement that paraliel^ lines
Even Gypsy music, whose characteristic scales have
become
nations in the Balkans' are "in all parts equally distant" (webster). But the scientific
influentiaf u-orrg several surrounding formulation that "th_ey meet only at infinity" requires too
to
though it is not-as foreign to- -o.ot ears, has been -u-n-able mrrch thinking and imagination io be generally understood
the wall sepa'atling folk music from art' \Thenever
fttt?t"tt
'Br"hms incorporates i,',ch a irelody in a composition the struc- and to become popular.
of. a,set of Genuine folk tunes remain within the narrowest compass
trl ordinurily wili not surpass tire imp.licaiions he of a scale and are based on simple harmonic progr.rriirrrr.
*"irr., or of a quadrille. In works of higher organization
But he Changes of the harmony and figuration of the melody such
the flavor, the perfume to his own themes'
as, for instance, Bach applies to ihorales do not produie new
is not""fy
"Jat forced to enter into foreign territory to express -unusual
material, contrasts, subordinate themes, etc. Struclurally, there
melodic types, as is proved by"the last movement of
the G
struc- never remains in popular tunes an unsolveJ problem, the con-
tutulo, String Quintet. Liszt's Hungarian- Rhapsodiesare sequences of which will show up only later. The segments of
torutty moie profoundly organized than those Romanian
which it consists do not need much of a connective; they can
itrr"p*ai.t uni zigrooerweiin. However, they are chiefly be added by juxtaposition, because of the absence of varlancc
[1e8] [lee]

4
STYLE AND IDEA FOLKLORISTIC SYMPHONIES
in them. There is nothing in them that asks for expansion. Thus. nothing has been said that was not said in the first pres_
The small form holds the contents firmly, constituting thus a entation of the tune.
small expansion but an independent structure. .
A composer-a rezl creator--composes only if he has some-
thing.to say- which has not yet been said ani *rri.rr
Etr
must be said: a musical
i,.-i..rt
-"rr"g. to music-lovers. Under what
circumstances can he feel th9 uISe to write
,o*.tfrirrl tt ut t u,
il:r?4y been said, as it has in tf,e case of the static"tr."i-*,
of folksongs ?

.,
A t.^l composer does not compose merely one or more
themes, but a whol! piece. In an apple tree's
blossoms, even
in the bud, the whole-future apple is'present in all its
details
have only to mature, to gro*, to become the apple
-they
the apple tree, and iis power of reproduction. Si;ila;l;,;I;i
A motive, in contrast to this, is incomplete and depends on composer's musical conception, like the physical,
is orre sinsle
continuations: explanations, clarifications, conclusions, conse- act,..comprising the totality of the produ.i. The "its
form in
quences, etc. The opening motives of Beethoven's Fifth Sym- outline, characteristics of tempo, dynamics, moods
of the main
phony, Example la, can be understood as E flat without the and subordinate ideas, theii relaiion, derivation, tir.i, ."r_
clarifying harmony in measures 1ff., and a melodic continua- trasts and deviations-all these are there at once,
though in
tion by which the third in a is transposed in a' to complete embryonic state. The ultimate formulation of the
mel8di.s,
themes-, rhythms and many details wiil subsel"";,t
the C minor triad. J;;;i;;
Example 2 shows how the motive of the transition is de- through the generating power of the germs.
rived from a reinterpretation of the two main notes E flat and Put a hundred chicken eggs under in eagle and
even she
F (marked by *)2 as tonic and dominant of E flat maior, will not be able to hatch ui-eugle from thele eggs.
surrounded by B flats. Defenders of the use of foft tunes as them"el for
large
Example 3 shows how the subordinate theme is related to fotms gigtrt see an analogy in the utilization of chorales
a-tid
that and to the first statement of the motive (Example 1a). :l*: f"1k songs as themeJ-for variations by classic ."-p;;
This is what I call the "method of developing variation." \7hile Bach often derives the voices *t i.h
I cannot remember a single case of deriving subordinate accompany the main voice in his chorale preludes -ntopi,rrtutty
fiom thl
ideas from a folksong by this method. Generally some method melody itself, there is no possibility or oi
thorfe
developmg growth. One can admit on the other ".."rrit/
is used to make a short story long: numerous rePetitions of a hand that, in"
short phrase, varied only by transpositions to other degrees, primordial specimens, sets of variations serve rather the
vir-
changes of instrumentation, more recently by addition of dis- tuoso who wants to be brilliant through his technique.
In soch
sonant harmonies and by what Hollywood arrangers call variations there is seldom any other d"evelopment
than velocitv
counterpoints, i, e., "unsolicited gifts" of unrelated voices. and no.other change than tire figuration ir ir,"
il;;;i
t?,:. T1" of the variation is adequate to the sim-
l96ff in the .timplicity
plrcity of the
2 See measures and measures 409-415 same movement. folk melody. In the artistically^superior compo_
[200] [201]
STYLE AND IDEA FOLKLORISTIC SYMPHONIES
sitions of this kind the "motive of the vafiation," as I called It seems that nations which have not yet acquired a place
it, is derived through "developing variations" of basic features in the sun will have to wair until it pieases lt; Al,"ilil;
oi the theme and iis motive. thos, in fact, the same composi- to.plant a musical g.enius in their midst.'As lo.rg ,hil3;;l
torial procedure can be observed here as anywhere else in our not occur, music will remain the expression of"those"s nations
establiihed \Testern music, producing the thematic material ylr:T composing. is not merely an attempt to conquer a
:market,
for forms of all sizes: the melodies, main and subordinate but an emotional necessity of the soul.
themes, transitions, codettas, elaborations, etc', with all the Of course, a soul you have to have!
necessary contrasts.
A real comPoser who is accustomed to produce.his. material
in this logical manner-be it by spontaneous, inspiration or by
hard labor-will onty occasionally voluntarily fenounce staft-
ing his composition-in his own way'. with his own themes'
Tfiey will contain muny a" provocative problem, . requiring
treaiment. There would not be a larger form, were it not that
this urgency is present, even in the embryonic state, and, can-
not be"escaped.'Thus t rcaI composition is n9t composed.but
conceived, and its details need not be added. As a child re-
sembles his parents, so do they correspond- entirely to the ini-
tial conception. And they break forth in the same mannef ln
which thJ child's first and second teeth break forth, like all
those inconceivable but natural miracles by which creation is
marked.
Real folk music could not exist, or survive, were it not Pro-
duced similarly: spontaneously, as an inspired- improvisation'
It is well known that Franz schubert liked to improvise
waltzes and other dances when his friends danced' It seems
improbable that real folk music has been composed- b{ Pain-
fuiy adding tones to tones and little segments to little seg-
or playing
-.rrtr. Folk tunes have been improvised singing
by bards, troubadours and other gifted Persons' Knowing that
some photographers are capable-of foicing better people to
pose ir, ch"eap manner-thi left hand on the P1a1o, trying to
iind th." tones or harmonies which the pencil in the right
hand preserves for eternity-I am always inclined to doubt
whether one like this is a rcal comPoser, a teal creator'
l2o2) [2o3]
HUMAN RIGHTS
a) Human rights should strive to improve the balance be-
tween claims and resistance, even in cases where the civil law
has not as yet discovered a solution.
b) A certain minimum of rights unchangeably valid for all
Human- Rigbts' peoples and races should be searched for.
- The authority to make a declaration of human rights be-
I longs to an organization which views itself as the avant-
it their garde for the development of civil rights.
Ir ls sao to have to admit that most men consider
hum11 rigtrts
the
i"m* tigttt to dispute, even to overpower, the world today' il
of their fellows. nuen sadder is the aipect of fu- Law is only in the slightest degree an attempt to secure
-reality,
which offers no hope of improvem""i itt the foreseeable balance. In it ii nearly always an expression of
tufe.
of affairs power. True, the right of the feeble has enforced recognition
But this should not stifle our longing for a state up to a point, but it has enforced it in the manner a Power en-
intangibly
in which the sanctity tf .uch rnan's f,otiu". rights ,is forces ils ends. Disagreement arises, if unforeseen conse-
self-evident. Humanity has been benefited by
all suclt bl:::-
quences had to be accepted because one had been overwhelmed
inss onlv because an ever-increasing number of people,nave
it was granted' -tll by pity; reaction then is provoked.
until
;"fi#'t";rr"."Lr, r"r redempriori which eliminated fric- ff
ffiilfi ,"ii"i-li,r"ting and'feeling
tion in communrty tif. ftu! come aboul only through the force
The difficulty of establishing right lies in the mutual op-
of such longing. -Galileo, of those
position interests which are entitled to protection.
\7e must never give uP our longing' who cast doubt upon the credibility of the story of
Let heathen, .otiii"".'to di'pttit lhe immortality
of the Creation, and the Church, which could not permit attacks up-
,oJ, tn. faithful rnust never ciase to feel its self-evidence'
the force.of
on the inviolability of the Scriptures, were equally in need of
For even if the h.;;;t were right at pr-esent' an rrn-
protection-and equally entitled to it.
generate
tt. tottging of the faithful would eventually In our much-vaunted civilization burning at the stake is out
mortal soul. of custom. To a certain degree, at least, one can say what
rights' if only one likes (though let us noi forget the "third degree"). Af-
And the same thing will happen with human
they are as yet
*; d" not stop beli&ing itt ihem-atthough.
or defined'
ter all, Paiteur-and Zola. had not to suffer physically-but
f.a.r fuom being univerr^ily mentally only. And hardly anything (except some annoyance)
"tognized
happened to the doctor who propounded a new theory about
il diabetes, ten years too early.
Should the rights of the general-law, i' e' the civil law' dif- \[ar, the father of all things, has again furnished to the
fer from the human iiittrir".t differences should be desig-
world new models, recommended for imitation. Troublesome
nated as follows: expressions of all-too-free thinkin I Me eradicated together
wiih their originators. Their books are burned, their authors
I Los Angeles, lulY 2l' 1941'

l2o4) [205]
STYLE AND IDEA HUMAN RIGHTS
\\'hen will human rights_well, not prevent
hanged, fulldressed generals without trial; they have no spe- having to undergo sucli experi;;.;;'but a man from
cial rights, and feelings of shame are ignored because right is others to be infoimed that ii;;;.ful
at least cause the
what benefits the German, and only remotely related to hu- to have occasioned
such suffering?
man right.
V VII
Fifty-one percent could hardly be sure of winning a battle . Every-scientist, technician, discoverer, poet, painter, or mu_
sician who has profited from the
against forty-nine percent. But by an election, they gain the acquisitions of one of his
predecessors contribures.somerhing
ascendancy over a minority, subjugate them, and turn them to ihe d*.6;;; i,i,
profession-whether this one
into slaves. ,;"; one be an original
"?
"; o;'"rd;;.r:bf.'#;il",
thinket, or merely one who imitates
The claim of protection is acknowledged even if the rela- underestimate the honest .r"rirr*n"oJio
tion is two percent to ninety-eight percent. But the forty-nine reworks familiar ma-
terials, and one should arso not
percent minority has lost all its rights-oftentimes even some overestimate the orisinar
thinker. No one owes everything
to il;;#;n'..'' """"'
of its civil rights. \fhether or not
But let us also not forget that microscopic one-man-minori- -it_must be 6ler;;l trrrl i"fri"gement is
more. highly rewarded. than the from which it
ty, not more than five to ten of whom are to be found, even "lien lroperty
in \festern civilization, in each century. y11lrrowed (though ,,.u., ,.p"iJ;
nate inrportance. But, often en'ougli,
L urt., alt of subordi_
-i,
the ,.ut orilir,rl-
VI taken for the imitator, when the reZI
imitator is a clever oro_
pagandist. Thar is a farsificati"r
A progressive development of civilization and culture, based or trr. rrirt"ly;i#;.fi.:_
upon scientific knowledge alone, would eventually have to tuals-but who cares, except the victim ?
a-complish equilibrium of conflicting interests. This might not VIII
take place for several centuries, for powerful opponents are A gold mine, an oil well, a_ store, a bank,
struggling, and all such interests are recognized. But the more painting cannot be taken ui^y 7ro^
a factory,or even
refined the methods of testing rights might become, the more il "lt the remotest de_
their possessor by anyo.,e. But rhe p-,.*""lf
numerous will become the demands. The Archbishop could ::::111,t1,?f
owner-rights on inteilectuar works
dare to cuff Mozart without so much as suspecting that there- is restricted 11" i;-."ri*it
\Who could during which it is a punishable crime
to steal
by he had won his place in the history of music. ot creator, not because such a theft is immoralfrom the author
know, in these daysf to what an extent the artist's sense of his able, but because it would-impi;g;,;;
and dishonoi-
own dignity would develop ? \7ho could foresee in these days the interests of belli_
gerent powers. Because, after-this p.iiod
tion will force the publisher to-.iff --ore fupr.J, .;;;;;
that a ire"ior might lose lust for life if he faced suddenly a f,",
thought contradictory to his dignity? cheaply, but will
still leave him suffiiient p.rofit,
But, on the other hand, who could foresee that the contu- author any more. Supposeily tf,. *ort
n..a'rio, p", ;;
mely which was heaped upon the heads of Wlgt:1, Ilt.:' '".""r.'fr"
the commonwealth, bu.t i" iealrty;t-U"tong,
of art then b"6;;r-;
Strindberg, Mahler and ottiers by the critics wouJd finally be to the exploiters.
Afterthis period has tapsed, irrJ i^r""g;?;;';r;il .*;
looked .rpott a code of honor? No one could be a rcally own property ceases to be a punishabl!
"s
great man without such enemies. crime, tt orgh it h",
r2o7 7
f 206\
STYLE AND IDEA HUMAN RIGHTS
has only that
not ceased to be a theft' The commonwealth
This is senseless XIV
li f. possession gtu"i"a to it by its power' tl'il:-":::',^?-f
"i,
"f *orully,
""ri
il; il" economicuilv; i:l
is far too slight to. ,usilty t",'uT
"How can I truly love the good without hating the bad?,,
the pubiic in the work of aft asks Strindberg. Consequentlyl he wants to combat evil_in
i.rs lrpon itself the responsibility of exposing
the descendants fact, he ttust. This is why on" rnun has to fight againsi.L*_
himself'
;"il5;;;t lo,rt. s"'m" *isety as the genius geois art," while another must fight againit th! palestinian
style of architecture because it is qialifiei foreign to the race,
IX
though, however, it stems from
tire great Adoii Loos.
is tragic that a code of human rights lacks the
capacity
It
^a.i"Ji"! He who fights will and must conquer, will and must
of itself against attacks an?. annihilation to the press the conquered.
op_
one,migh1
,u*. "*t"nt-as does d".-ot'uty' Everything which rlghts or But what are the human rights of those who still believe in
undertake in their name would violate the human
which might defeated aft, in defeated idei's?
the attackers-just as everything is undemocratic
orotect democracY. XV
' Th.i, last resort is only persuasion' Music speaks in its own language of purely musical matters
x ;-or, pgrhaps, as most estheticianJ befieve, oi matters of feel_
to limit ing and fantasy. One can-pass over Richard Strauss' good joke:
It looks as if the code of numan rights will have "I can
lhan its in music thi moving of a pencil fro-"orr. plu."
itself to a smaller ,r,r-l.t of claims high-sounding :xpress
to another." That is not the language ln which a musician
title would imPIY. unconsciously gives himself
XI ^*ay,
as- he does when he for-
mulates ideas which might even'frighten him he did not if
Most forms of faith are exclusive, and antagonistic .:u:n know that no one can find out what ie hides while he says it.
militant, challenging, and quarrelsome' It would be selt-de' But one. day the children's children of our psychologists and
"tolerant' Think, for example' of Commu-
siroction were th"ey psychoanalysts will have deciphered the laiguage oT m.rsic.
as an instru-
nistic or Fascistic itut"r, in which faith functions \7oe, then, to the incautious who thought hls ilnnermost se_
ment of government crets carefully hidden and who must nJw allow tactless men
XII to besmirch his most personal possessions with their own im_
to be'
Is it the duty of man to believe in truth? Is the ;'ight purities. Woe, then, to Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann and all
lieve what is false worthy of protection ? other "unknown"2 composers, when they falr into such hands
XIII men who used. their human right of free speech only
-these
in order to conceal their true thoughtsi-
Surely, the Ten Commandments represent one
of the first
in word and script' Is the right to keep silent not worthy of prote<tion?
d.ailorloi;'on, d'es droits humaines set forth
i;;;;;;t; the right to live and to have posselTll:-i1?
protect maffrage, vows, and work, but deny from the very-be' z C[. Tbe [Jnanoun Braltms.
ruitt,, b".u.'se there is'onlv oNE God'
Under this titre an author undertakes to pol-
;i;"&l;;;ff; "i lute the image of the composer.

[208] l2oe)
STYLE AND IDEA
XVI
One must also recognize the rights of cannibals'
Their
.fui-, are based on instinctive iecognition that blood be-
thl
;;; blood, flesh becomes flesh. In view of the primitive On- Reyimt- Toujours
devices used to establish this as a scientific
fact' one must
nrurrt a hieh rank to such an instinct' It functions more te- I nrMrlrsrn with great pleasure a ride in a Viennese fiacre
humanitv
fffii;;;i;t;;;;; o" tt'" basis of which suffering throi'gh the renowned Hollenthal. The fiacre went very slow-
medicines the deleterious effects of which
are
;;JJ;ith ly and we could discuss and admire all the beauty and, even
abeady after one Year observable' more, the frightening aspects which gave the name to this
Valley of the Hell. I always regret thal one might never pos-
XVII sess nerves calm enough to endure such a slow ride.
Is it human right to be born or is birth control a human
to let At least, when only twenty years later I made a trip by auto
risht? Is birth.ontroi permissible, or is it tolerable do re- through one of the most renowned valleys in Switierland, I
iriirar"""a.A * if they were surplus? \{hat attitude
saw almost nothing and my companion on this occasion rather
ligions take ? mentioned some of the commercial and industrial aspects this
XVIII valley offered. In twenty years people had lost the interest to
Let us think of the Hindus' They die, millions
of them' in a take an eyeful of these beautiei and enjoy them.
cow'
f"-i"., y.t it would never occur io them to slaughter-a Of these two cases I had to think, when recently a German
a sacred cow. How l* *" explain to people of such
faith
former pupil and assistant of mine-asked me what he
what is the right of men and, in spite of that' expect Jni:,:i:l
-a
should answer when people demanded from him whether I
believe in huilan rights-these men vrho
would dle rn sllence had abandoned twelve-tone composing, as at present I so of-
to the sanctity- of their
rather than act in a manner contrary ten compose tonal music: the Band Variations, Op. 43b, the
i;ht Compare this attitude to that of the"oldl"t,:l:::li: Second Kammersyrnphonie, the Suite for String Orihestra and
one of her'favorite hens was designated for the suPPer taDte' several others.
'When she then turned
first stroked and f""af.a it tendlrly' My answer was tuned to the pitch of the two true stories
ti;;;; to her cook for the necessary PreParations' she said' aforementioned, founded upon some historic facts. I said:
l'poor-t.nt But you'll taste so good in wine sauce"'
_should be surprised to find that the classic composers-
One
XIX Haydn, Mozaft, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schu-
become pes- mann) Brahms and even S7'agner-after Bach's contrapuntal
These are real problems, and one could easily climax, in spite of their in essence homophonic style, so- often
simistic about them. interpolate strict counterpoint, differing from Bach's counter-
Nevertheless' one rnust never give up the
longing for the
point only by such features as the progress in music hacl
universal sanctity of human rights' brought about; that is, a more elaborated developmcnt
In our soul there lies the p"o*"' of longing with creative through variations of the motive.
intensity.
[210] [211]
STYLE AND IDEA ON REVIENT TOUJOURS
of these two struc- in the manner of Transfigured Night or Gwreliedel or even
One cannot deny that the combination Pell|as and. Milisand,e. The Supreml Commander had ordered
tural methods is surprising; because they are contradicto,ll,
is practically unchangeaote me on a harder road.
In contrapuntal style the theme by. the addition But a longing to return to the older style was always vigor-
and all the necessary contrasts are produced ous in me; and from time to time I had to yield to that uige.
all its contrasts
;;" or rnore',roicls' Homophony-produces -great This is how and why I sometimes write tonal music. To me
;; ;;.l"Ping variation' But these and masters possessed
esthetical require- stylistic differences of this nature are not of special impor-
such an eminent s.,',. of the ethicaf tance. I do not know which of my compositions-are bettei; I
art that the problem whether this is wrong
can
-."it "f lheir like them all, because I liked them when I wrote them.
simpty be disregarded'
I had not tor.r.." that my explanation of this stylistic de-
ti"ti""--igttt also explain m-y oin.deviations'ofIthe used to say:
works of
The classic -urt.r,''5i"t"t"d in admiration
of co"oterpoint, from Palestrina to Bach' must
;;r;;is of their-prede-
have been tempted lo 'Jto"t often to
the art
cessors, which th.y t;;eered superior
to their own' Such is
the modesty of p*nit who cot'ld venture
to act haughtily;
ili^;pp*liut. ^.rti.uements ofOnly others' thoush thev them-
selves are not a*"ia J-ltiJe' L man w"ho himself de-
resDect to another rnan'
;;";; i.rp.a is capable'of paying the merits of other
Only one who knows merits ian recogni'ze
might have develoPed in a longing once
-.ri. S*.t feelings they were surc
,o try to aciieveln the older style' what
"n"i"
;i;;;;il'u.ni.u" in their own more advanced style'
'^';1 would,give
;r";i;G ti*il"i-to that which leisurely fiacre,;. *ni:l
-Pitf:'.:lt'
over the fust uoto*obiie,1o the slow'
a.tit.t occasionally' to dwell in the old' rather Prrmltrve rrv-
ins circumstances oi ot" predecessors' It is nothas.elim- that - we
machinerv
*:",:l';';;1il; ur1 p'ogi.'s, though Iabinet making' calligra-
inated so many ..ui*''loJttUi,'ai"g,
;U.:t..filTfJil:t_T?:Fie*:;:;,ymphonie,ep;e,r
told my friends: tt'ubtishei my style' I know
"N;;'i-'t'u"t
now how I have to comPose'"
from this style;
But my next wo"rL-sit"';J a great deviation
it was a first step toward my lresent style' dtttlll'l"d
.My to conttnue
i"tl.a me in thii direction-I was not destined
lzr2) l2t3)
THE BLESSING OF THE DRESSING
structed superficially and used their commonplace
talenrs to
compete successfully with hard_working, serious
composers.
To this increase in the number of
-ir;.i-, *n. lJ-"r*a
corresponded proportionaily an increase of those
*r.o ti,""rrt
Ibe. Elessrng of tbe Dresing composing. And to the lowering of the standard
of th" lu'_
Posers corresponded that of the standard of their teachers.
PnonBssroNALISM in music had made great Progress in the However, one must state that there were many
who had thern_
nineteenth century. But in the last quarter of this century selves been instructed competentry and who were
able to com-
there were great numbers of amateurs still alive-amateurs municate their own knowlidge; ih.r. were also
.o-por"r, nf
of all grades, rznging from violin players who could only talent and experien.., ro^.-of whom might fr"u"'""!"1"a
play in the first position to those who could compete with ex- themselves in research of the past or even"the
pr.r"rrt,"ffi,l_
leilent concert virtuosi. Maty people had their weekly cham- tllrl:"; to,problems, describing compositorll techniq.,es
ber music in their homes. They played all kinds of combina- ilgr
and rmprovrng teaching methods; there were also speciaiists
tions: piano duets, violin and cello sonatas, piano trios and who could not or did not want to teach more than a lirnitecl
even sfring quartets. And also professional musicians played field of theory-for instance, only, or .""rr.rp"irri,
in string quaitets or other combinations solely for their love or both, but not compositorial-harmony
techniques.'Unfortu""t.ly d"
of music, without aiming at another profit than this pleasure. great majority helped th.rough their own incompetence
io i,r_
I myself have participated very frequently in such groups and crease the number of ignoramuses who kne# only
a few
my profit from thisworkwas arathet comprehensive acquaint- tricks.
, On th: average, teaching was not bad. Really harmful was
ance with classical chamber music.
The abolition of amateurism stems from the ambition of the condition that these ieachers were professitnars ancl rracr
amateurs who wanted to compete with the professionals' to make their Iiving teaching. Accordingty, they had to accom_
The result was extremely destructive to the art of music. The lod."t:.to-the pressure of competition und this meant
,,teach_
necessities of competition now forced rivals to use improper ing individually"-that is, making it easier for those wrro
hacr
means in order to make a success, and what is even worse is less talent, without making it d"ifficult enough for
the tar-
that those who as amateurs had formerly been impartial and ented.
unselfish, and ready to support needy or unfortunate artists, It was not true, as it is in sports, that you had to accomplish
promoters of the arts, weri now in the market themselves. something surpassing the avirage. A teacher *to *untJ.l
t.,
instead of buying music, instead of attending concerts, instead have a sufficient number of weil-paying pupirs had
to rcducc
of enjoying music, they themselves demanded support. his demands on talent, skill and i.rdurity. Did the tarent nor
\7hile the rank of an artist, of a performer, of a virtuoso suffice for symphonies or operas, a pupil could write songs or
could stiil easily and speedily be determined, it became more short piano pieces and finally even only popular musicl Al_
difficult and demanded more time to do the same when a ways a private teacher had to lead his pnpilr^to a certain
suc-
multitude of composers, of newly made-up geniuses began to cess.
appear on the horizon. Some of them had learned the craft I must admit that I never made such accommodations.
thoroughty and at least knew something; others had been in- \7hen I said in my Harnzonielehre that I taught incliviclually,
l2t4l l2r5 l
STYLE AND IDEA THE BLESSING OF THE DRESSING

it was not to sPare my pupils the effort to do the best'


I hand for every possible deta.il. This is the manner in which a
*o"fa change nothing'else
"a
iut the order of the course' but man builds his house, organizes his affairs, and prepares for
musician must know. You could post- his wars. The other manner is the feminine
did not omit matters -"rr.rJr, which
takes into account with good understanding the nearest con-
Done some problems which were too difficult in the beginning
i;;^il;.-t';1o"td give exercises preliminary to the harder sequences of a problem, but misses preparing for the more rc_
task. But I had never"given in with my main demands' mote events. This is.the way of the dressmaker, who might
"students who iid not intend writing use the most valuable material without thinking whethei it
There existed also
serious music. They only planned to write popular
music- will last long, if only it makes the desired effecl now-right
enough to now. It need not last longer than the fashion will last. Ii is
operettas and the tit e. Many of them were sincere
;il;;;;-o*" ri_itations and conceded their restricted the manner of some cooks who prepare a salad without ques_
tioning whether every ingredient is the right thing and fits
aims. *m*
Ionce had a pupil who had started. harmony *iF l' well with every other, whether they will ,"t-irfactorily.
About two months iater he stopped taking lessons'
He had There will be a French dressing-or perhaps a French-Russian
second music critic on a gteat news- dressing-p rt on top of it, and this will connect everything.
been offered a position as
too- much knowledge n"l: Composing then, in harmony with such advice, is a maiter ,if
;;;. "nd *as'afraid iighl
judgment' T- He
?uiorubl" influence upon the spontaneity of his producing a certain style.
made a careet as a ctiic and even as a pedagogue'
I consider it as one of my merits that I did not encourage
As a teacher I never taught only what I knew' but composing. I rather treated most of the hundreds of pupils In
rather
*f,", if," pupil needed. Thirs I have never taught a.student a manner that showed them I did not think too much ol their
;;" tiyf.,; init it, the technical.peculiarities of tP*il1: creative ability.
.a ::,T- I do not mean to say that I made it intentionally difficult
oor"i. desraded to tricks, which to the master ln questlon
;t"hi #;;; in. ,ot.riiot' of a torturing problem'.And.if for my pupils-rather, that I had no control over it. This can
I #v in the preface to my Hatmonielehre that I trted to rn' be proved by the following fact.
For many lfars I had tried in vain to teach my pupils some
;# t;;;;itii r"t .u.ry ,tod"nt to serve his for personat
:::t::t-
one ot tnem'
..
discoveries I had made in the field of multiple'counterpoint.
that does-not mean that I made it easier
'lt;;i"ily
ties,
not, b..^or. I was insisting on one main demand: I worked hard to formulate this advice in a manner conceiv-
able- for a pupil, but I did not succeed. Only once, in one of
that a comPoser must not comPose two or eight..or *:tk
sixteen
until the best classes I ever had, I considered the presentation of
."^r"r.t ,o'aay and again tomorrow and so oncomPosltlo," .11-"
this problem and its solution as final, and I asked the class
seemed to be iinished, but should conceive a ":hls.u
of inspiration' Intoxtcated by to. compose for the next lesson something applying the meth-
totality, in one single act
i;;;. it; should *r-i'*-do*" as much asorhecarried could' not caring ods emerging from my solution
for little details. They could be added, out later' It was-on-e of Ty greatest disappointments. Only one of my
i ,tr"d to say that the comPoser m-ust be able to look very students had tried to use my advi-e, and he had misunderstood
It to me this is the me as much as the rest of the class.
f^, uirud,in the foio," of his'music' seems
of whole fu- This experience taught me a lesson: secret science is not
;;;u". way of ti.i;dg' thinking and preparing before-
at once the
what an alchemist would have refused to teach you; it is a
,;;;,;i in. *not.-a.tli"! of the iiea,
l2t6) l2t7l
STYLE AND IDEA
science which cannot be taught at all.It is inborn or it is not
there.
This is also the reason why Thomas Mann's Adrian Lever-
kiihn does not know the essentials of composing with twelve
tones. All he knows has been told him by Mr. Adorno, who %is is ny fauk-
knows only the little I was able to tell my pupils. The real
facts will probably remain secret science until there is one Iu rnr rREFAcE to Pierrot Lunaire I had demanded that per-
who inherits it by virtue of an unsolicited gift. formers ought not to add illustrations and moods of their
The harshness of my requirements is also the reason why, own derived from the text. In the epoch after the First \7orld
\War, it was customary fot composers to surpass me radically,
of the hundreds of my pupils, only a few have become com-
posers: \(ebern, Berg, Eisler, Rankl, Zillig, Gerhart, Skalkot- even if they did not like my music. Thus when I had asked
tas, Hannenheim, Strang, \Weiss. At least I have heard only not to add external expression and illustration, they under-
of these. stood that expression and illustration were out, and that therc
One more effect derived from it: all my pupils differ from should be no relation whatsoever to the text. There were now
one another extremely and though perhaps the majority com- composed songs, ballets, operas and oratorios in which the
pose twelve-tone music, one could not speak of a school. They achievement of the composer consisted in a strict aversion
all had to find their way alone, for themselves. And that is against all that his text presented.
exactly what they did; everyone has his own manner of obey- \fhat nonsense!
ing rules derived from the treatment of twelve tones. \What is the purpose of adding music to a text ?
\7hile I was not able to teach my students a style-I admit In the ballet, music should hide the noise of the steps.
I was not able to do it, even if I would have overcome my In radio it is a substitute for a curtain, when the writers of
dislike of so doing-there are other teachers who can do this murder stories are not capable of marking a change of thc
and only this. scenery otherwise. They still could use a bell.
Thus we see a great number of composers of various coun- In the movies, besides also serving as a curtain, it is sup-
tries and nationalities who compose about the same kind of posed to underscore moods and actions.
music-music, at least, of such a similarity that it would be But songs, operas and oratorios would not exist if music
difficult to distinguish them from one another, quite aside were not added to heighten the expression of their text.
from the question of their nationality. Advice for composing Besides, how do you make sure that your music does not
is delivered in the manner in which a cook would deliver rec- express something---or rnore: that it does not express somc-
ipes. You cannot fail; the recipe is perfectly dependable. thing provoked by the text?
The result is: nobody fails. One makes it as well as all the You cannot prevent your fingerprints from expressing you.
others. But your handwriting unveils very much to the graphologist.
Astonishingly, each considers it his national style, though I remember how Busoni was the first to claim that music
different nationalities write the same. in opera must not express what is expressed by the action.
It is the true internationalism of music in our time. The opera is principally the product of four factors; thc
text, the music, the stage and the singer. If one of these corr-
[218] l2te 7
STYLE AND IDEA
stituentsis allowed to disregard what the others do, why
should they not also enjoy the same privilege ? For instance'
the singer ?
Couft not Monostatos ask Sarastro to dance a "pas de
deux" with Pamina? Or could not Lohengrin immediately To rbe WbarJs
after his arrival sell the swan to a butcher and start auction-
Evenvnooy in town had relatives on one of the four boats.
ing his gondola? Or would King Mark not better- sing his
"Di"s, Tlistan, mir?" (This, Tristan, to me?) as if he were Everybody, whether he was fearing for the life of a relative,
surprised over a beautiful Christmas present offered by Tris-
a friend, or only a member of the little community-every-
tan?
body was waiting with great apprehension for news of the
The greatest incongruity with what the text exPresses is its fate of the boats, now missing for ten days. Other boats,
contrarf, \7hy not pl^y pianissimo song to the ride of the smaller and larger ones, which had escaped the terrific storm,
^
Valkyries ? \7hy nof play Jboogie-woogie when Wotan walks
sailors and passengers they had picked up, reported about the
a rainbow in Vahalla ? This at least would make sure great tragedy of the ocean that had cost the lives of so great
".tott
that you did not fail and that your music might fit quite well a number of people and had caused enormous losses to ship
owners and insurance companies.
to another oPera, but not to your own.
I will gladly admit that your tonal and modal products .Ygp: had almost entirely vanished. Only a few people
are as exp*ressionless as a poker-face-but why are you trying
still believed in the safe return of their relatives. All irayed
your bluffs on music ?
in churches for the unfortunate victims of the sea.
In the near future there will be machines like the lie-detec- It was late in the afternoon, the sun already half down,
tor, and the craft of the graphologists will be developed and when an elderly man, running down Main Street, cried in
French with all his power:
supported by similar devices and gadgets. They will accurate-
"The boats, I see them, they are coming home!"
ly'ieveal wirat you hide and tell what you exPressed-your
bluff will then be called. In a few seconds the streets were crowded with people, all
running in one direction, to the ports, to the wharfs. They all
cried aloud in French: "Aux quais! Les vaisseaux sont retour-
n6s. Ils se trouvent aux quais!" Or in English: "To thc
wharfs ! The boats are returning. They are aheady at thc
wharfs-aux quais!"-O. K.

l22oJ f22Lf
INDEX
"Kammersyrnphonie"-112, ll), I5g, "On the Spiritual in Art" (Kandin-
161, 161,164 skv)-:
Kandinsky, ITassily-5, 183
"Kapellmeistermusik"-46 Palestrina-2l2
Index Keyser-4l, 43, 6) Pasteur-205
Abt-19e Dionysius-71 Kokoschka, Oskar-t, lg3 "Pastorale Symphony" (Beetlxrven)._-
Allegri-181 "Don Giovanni" (Mozart)-l84 Kraus, Karl-5 187, 190
Apollo-71 Dvorak-198 "Kultur-Bo.lschcwismus"-14J Petrarch-l7
Picasso-183
Bach, J. S.-19, 23, )9, 4r, 42, 4), Leverkiihn, Adrian-218
45, 60, 64, 65, 70, r41, 184, 187, Eisler-218 "Pierrot lu-naire" (Schoenberg)_S5,
"Lied von der Erde" (Mahler)-S3 r55, 218
199,2O1, 271, 272 El Greco-181
Liszt-198 Poe--146
"emancipation of the dissonance"
E.-41, 4t, 7r 104, 105
- "Lohengrin" (!Tagner)-29 des Pr6s,Josquin-lp
Bach, Ph.
*r55 Loos, Adolf-209 Puccini-l05, 186
Balzac-Lll, 1t5, 179, L82 "Erwartung" (Schoenberg)
"Barber of Seville"-l94 "Eugene Onegin"-l94 "Magic Flute" (Mozaft)-7z, 194 Rameau-41
basic set-I34, 141, lO7, 109, 1.1t, Mahler, Gustav-/, B, 12, t?,, 14, t:., Rankl-218
116, 117, lt8, t22, 125, 127, 129, "Fidelio" (Beethoven)-100, 194
16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 2), 24, 25, 26, Ravel-44
rtl "Fra Diavolo"-l94 27, 28, 29, )0, 32, t3, 34, t5, )8, Max-44, j1,
Becthoven-2, 20, 23, t4, 40, 41, 48,
Reger, 84, t0t, lg6
44, 53, 56,82, 83, 105, 186, 206 Rimsky-Korsakoff-tg8
5t, 60, 6t, 66, 80, 97, 100, 110, Galileo-205 Mann, Thomas-2l8
Ltr, 149, lto, 178, t84, 187, 195, Gauguin-l8J "Manon"-146 Sachs, Hans-193
L97, 200,209, 2rt George, Stefan-t "Marriage of Figaro" (Mozart)-68, Schauffler, Robert Haven (note)-.J2
Bellini-r9J Gerhart-218 194 Schopenhauer-l, 17, 19, 3g, 194
Berg-218 Gershwin-51 Massenet-146 Schubert, Flanz-4, 5, 59, 6:.,70, 72,
Billroth--47 Goethe-146, 170, 182 Matisse-18] 184, 185, 188, 191, 202,2tL
"Blue Danube \Valtz"-t4 Gounod-191 Mattheson-65 Schumann-37, 38, 40,70, 184, t8J.
Brahms-16, 40, 46, 52, 53, 56, 57, Gregorian Chant-l94 "Meistersinger" (Ifagner)-17, tg4 188, 191, 20g,ztL
,8, 60, 61, 62, 64, 71, 74, 75, 85, Grieg-198 Mendelssohn-Lgt, 2lI Schweitzer-70
87, 89, 90, 94, 97, 98, 99, roo, "Gurre-Lieder"-48 "The Merry !7idow"-184 Shalkottas-218
101, 149, 15r, 170, 18r, 187, 188, "Moses and Aaron"-I14 Shaw-182
t92, t98, 199, 209,2r1 Handel-42, 4) Moussorgsky-105 Shostakovitch-19t
Bruckner, Anton-34, 82, 186, 188 Hannenheim-218 Mozaft-2), 40, 41, 6j, 66, 67, Sibelius-l95,
68, 198
"Buch der hdngenden gerten"-l55 Hanslick-47, 18E
70, 77, 72, 75, 85, 91, 95, g7, gg, Silcher-199
Busoni-218 Haydn-)9, 40, 65, 66, 61, 85, Lll, 149, 183, r84, 187, tg}, Lgl, 206, Smetana-197
211 217 "Sorrows of \7erther"-146
Chopin-198 Heine, H.-75 "Music Appreciation"-l47 Speidel-47
Composition with twelve tooes-L01 Heuberger---47 Steuermann, Edward-t74
(See table of contents) Nessler-199 Strang-218
Couperin--41 Ibsen-205 "Neue Sachlichkeit" -46 Strauss, Johatn-51., 72
Nietzsche-71. Strauss, Richard-38, 44, tl, t6, 70,
Debussy--44, 104, 10r, 186, r91 Joseph II-184 "Norma" (Bellini)-195 84, 104, to5, 186,209
Developing Variation 19, 41, 4t, strindbefg-l82, 206, 2(y)
t85,2O0, 212
- Kalbeck-47 Offenbach-51 Swedenborg-t l3

1222) {223)
STYLE AND IDEA
"Syrnphonia Domestica" (R. Strauss) "Vier Ernste Ges?inge" (Brahms)
-
87
-84 "Von Heute Auf Morgen" (Scboen-
Telemann-4l, 41, 65 berg)-t43
Ten Crommandments-208
tonality-lo3, 116 'Wagner, Richard-2, i, 4, 12, 16, 20,
tonality, extended-l03 21,29, )0, 37, 40, 52, ti, J6, t8,
"Tosca"-8 60, 61, 63, 70, 7t, 72, 100, 104,
"Tristan und Isolde" (!Tagner)-58 to', L4r, L45, L8), 186, 187, 188,
"Il Trovatore" (Verdi)-54 L9t, 19t,206, 2rr
Tschaikovsky-188 \Tebern-218
Ifeiss-218
Van Gogh-181 Ifolf, Hugo--2l, L86
verdi-t4, 72, too
"Yerkldrte Nacht" (Schoenberg) von Zemlinskn Alexander-lJ5
48, Lrt,
L56, L62, t89
-
Vienna-24, 28, 29, 52, 99, 184 Zillig-2t8
Vienna Opera-28 7-nla--20J

1224)