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<<  -- 2 --  Gordon Rumson    I'VE GOT THE MUSIC IN ME ...


This vanity can be summed up in a simple phrase which I am quite sure lurks at the back of every musicians mind when they are near any other musician performing :

'I've got the music in me, so what the @#%!&# are you doing on stage?'

I believe, after much contact with many musicians, and a great deal of soul searching, that many musicians believe that they alone are good, knowledgeable and valuable, while anyone else is a fool, primitive, not good, badly trained, or sick. There are a variety of insults leveled at musicians by their colleagues. For a particularly repulsive example, consider the comments of Clara Schumann and Brahms to each other about Anton Rubinstein in the collected letters. It makes for gruesome reading.

Sadly, this very fault is encouraged by education. Students are taught to compete, and teachers advise students gleefully 'Unless you want to be the best, pick another profession.' It does not mean be the best you can be. Being the best is exclusionary. It means being better than anyone else and making them unnecessary. It means vanquishing ones enemies on the field of musical combat.

Arnold Schoenberg was a musical warrior for his ideals and very clearly viewed his mission in terms of battle. Personally, though I value his music, I find Schoenberg's evident hatred of other composers alarming.

Sometimes, the struggle for recognition leads to mere bitterness, but such a state is clearly associated with vanity. 'I was robbed!' implies that one had something of great value that was taken away. And someone else took it. Someone else is famous. Someone else is rich.

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Copyright © 25 October 2002 Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


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