Taking one’s time

It’s probably a newbie mistake to introduce a theme, work through it once, and then feel compelled to immediately move on and do something else. I know that it can feel tedious sometimes when composers will examine a theme from every damned angle, like a schizophrenic artist who has to go over every line a thousand times before they can move on. There have been times when I’ve wanted to yell at Brahms, “Okay, got it! Moving on now!”

Then, I listen to this again:

and I’m reminded that having the tenacity to stay in one place, turn something over in my hand a dozen times, and look at it from every angle has its benefits.

I have found that my best pieces are ones where I just sort of let the music write itself, and if that means that I take 32 measures just to end something, so be it. Or if I feel the need to repeat a theme before moving on, I do it. Those pieces sound more mature to me, more like properly developed music.

I just need to feel as if I’ve got the time to do that. It’s not a matter of being rushed, it’s a matter of feeling rushed. I’ve got to have the confidence to just take my time, and if that means that I keep the audience delayed for a second while I underline something again, then so be it. Beethoven was an egotistical bastard and pushy as all hell; he had no qualms about grabbing anyone by the ears and musically insisting, “I’m not done talking yet!” I sometimes wonder if his inability to engage in easy socializing due to his deafness didn’t make him so insistent and persistent with communicating via his music. He did not let up until you knew exactly what he was trying to say. I think this is what was behind Douglas Adams’ comment that Beethoven’s music tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven.

(The thing about Beethoven though, is that he doesn’t do it with the whole damned piece. Brahms will write an entire thing in AM, and then play the whole thing over again in DM. o_O Dude. Beethoven will just take one 8-measure riff and go over it a dozen times. It’s a bit less eyeroll worthy.)

BTW, this is immensely cool.

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