<< -- 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
'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.
Copyright © 25 October 2002
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada