Amfion pro musica classica

Vastaa aiheeseen: Museomusiikki

Etusivu Foorumit Amfion Museomusiikki Vastaa aiheeseen: Museomusiikki


Moi, jos maltat odottaa, koputan tämän ”my dear dead fetishes”- kotimuseosi ovelle parin viikon kuluttua…

sillä välin ote keskustelusta, joka sivunnee havaintoasi:
(osa puhelinkeskustelusta Bruce Duffien ja Elliott Carterin kesken vuonna 1986)

BD: [I hope so too.] You’ve been involved in the teaching of composition most of your life, have you not?

EC: Yes, I have.

BD: How has the teaching of composition changed over thirty or forty years?

EC: Oh, it’s changed enormously in a very unpleasant way. When I first started to teach, contemporary music was something that the teacher had to teach the student because generally the students were not terribly interested in it, or, one felt, didn’t know much about it. And in truth, generally they were interested in older music but were trained comparatively little in harmony and counterpoint. There’s been lots of books that taught them how to write contemporary music without knowing anything about harmony and counterpoint, and at a certain point you have students that don’t know anything at all, who can’t recognize the opening of Tristan und Isolde or who write music like Stockhausen. I began to feel that they just had absolutely no knowledge of the fundamental things that would be taught in a simple manner by harmony and counterpoint, and it became harder and harder for me to deal with this. And then finally, the last straw was when the composers decided that modern music was all finished and they wanted to write old music, but they had no idea of harmony and counterpoint. So they began to write this mess that they thought sounded like Brahms because they couldn’t hear Brahms anymore in an intelligent way. I was trying to write like Brahms and Mendelssohn when I began, and now I find that students who want to write that way haven’t had the faintest idea of what they’re trying to do. They do it the most inept and stupid way. Finally I got sick of the whole thing, so I quit.

BD: You have stopped teaching completely?

EC: Yes, mainly because of this dilemma. It’s all very understandable in terms of the historical development of music, but it’s very hard as a teacher, especially when you’re brought up in my old-fashioned way, to find students who want to go back to this old fashioned way without knowing what it’s all about. To them it is very new and fresh because they were brought up on how to write serial, 12-tone music. This problem bothered me a great deal I gave it up, in any case. It was one of these things that began to worry me more and more as time went on.

BD: Were any of your students quite promising?

EC: Well, there are, yes. I’ve had some students who were very fine. Many of my students have become very avant-garde in an old-fashioned sense. One even wrote a piece for fog horn. [laughs] It sounds funny too.


Composer  Elliott  Carter
A Conversation with Bruce Duffie
© 1986 Bruce Duffie