Day 22: The uncreative creative industry [Part 3 of 4]
If today’s culturally dominant commercial music industry is rooted so deeply in the creation and distribution of multimedia content, why hasn’t the classical music industry followed their model of using creative content? I see training as the major influence in the current multimedia output of classical music.
As dedicated musicians, the great majority of us are trained from early ages to play our instruments or sing with a focus on bringing the composers ideas and thoughts back to life through our reinterpreted performances. During the 10,000 hours of practice and studying on our way to the expert level, many musicians develop an inferiority complex to the very composers who we perform. “Bach is the greatest composer” “Mozart was the greatest musical prodigy” ““Beethoven composed some of the greatest music ever written – deaf.” “Mendelssohn was the world’s greatest prodigy” “Schubert was the most prolific composer ever” “Liszt was the greatest pianist.” “Stravinsky was the most important composer of the 20th century”
I even agree with the sentiment of most of these common blanket statements about our rich history of composers, but what I don’t agree with is that they are any better than today’s musicians and composers. The reason why they may be better composers or musicians is simply because we believe that they are. Giving recognition and praise that they deserve is fine, but to worship these composers as most of today’s musicians do is not only overdone, but it’s counter productive. It puts anyone who believes that already at a great disadvantage in growth. Whether you believe in it or not, the first step to achieving anything is believing that you can actually do it.
The initial heroic stance that most legendary composers took was their open gate to the city of immortality. This doesn’t mean a narcissistic approach would be the best way to will your way to the top as a composer. Just starting your journey by believing that you have the mind which can create music as refined as Mozart or as colorful as Rachmaninov will propel you that much further closer to achieving this than if you don’t believe.