Likes Likes:  0

View Poll Results: What should I do for my sonata in A major?

Voters
3. You may not vote on this poll
  • Go with my heart and imitate Mozart

    0 0%
  • Try to get drama into the key of A

    0 0%
  • Both Mozart and Beethoven approaches

    0 0%
  • Listen to sonatas by other composers before I decide

    3 100.00%
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Feels like I am stuck in a tug of war, what to do?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Feels like I am stuck in a tug of war, what to do?

    Tug of war between composers

    So I am back to writing piano sonatas. Figured I might as well write some sonatas as well as orchestral works, quartets, and fugues.

    But I run into 1 major problem whenever I write a sonata or even a symphony. That is being pulled in 2 creative directions. It feels like I am right in the center of a tug of war between Beethoven and Mozart and have no idea where I am going to get pulled to.

    Beethoven's side



    My brain is more on Beethoven's side. Beethoven inspired me to become a composer and is my favorite composer so it would make sense that at least some of my works would sound like they are clearly inspired by Beethoven. To make a work sound like it was inspired by Beethoven requires more thinking about things like:

    Where am I going to make that jump from piano to forte? Where am I going to do a creschendo? Where am I going to change tempo? How can I get the angst of Beethoven into a major key?
    Also, his style is harder to replicate so I find that even if I do what I can to make it sound like a Beethoven piece, it still sounds individual to me and not like Beethoven.

    Mozart's side



    My heart leads me towards Mozart, my second favorite composer. It seems to be fixed there. If I compose with just my heart and don't think much, my music becomes very Mozartian(Mozart's style is very easy for me to replicate). I am more afraid that if I go with my heart, people will mistake me for Mozart than I am about anything else. Yes I could put my name on all my compositions. And yes I could put the composition date on there too. But some people still might mistake it for Mozart and that would lead to centuries of lies about my works being those of Mozart.

    There have already been centuries of debate as to who composed some of the works attributed to Mozart, we don't need more of it just because I composed Mozart style pieces. But at the same time, my heart pulls me towards Mozart, towards the risk that I will be mistaken for Mozart despite my efforts to clarify that this is my work, not Mozart's.

    I have been told that I might be overthinking it and that it would be easy for others in this digital age to know that it is my piece, no matter how Mozartian it is. I have also been told to write a sonata inspired by Beethoven and another inspired by Mozart so that I don't have to choose. But I feel like that just delays my choice instead of making me not have to choose.

    Thinking about my second piano sonata

    I am thinking of writing my second piano sonata in A major. To me, A major feels bouncy, like you are skipping along to the beat, even if the piece is legato. Allegro fits in perfectly with that as do staccato and grace notes. I mean I feel a bounce in the melody in the first movement this A major sonata by Mozart despite it being mostly legato:



    Yes a staccato left hand and grace notes is partly why but even when I just listen to the melody, it feels bouncy to me in the variations that are clearly in A major, especially the first few variations. 1 unusual thing about this sonata is that every movement has A minor and A major sections. It doesn't stray at all from the tonic of A except in small sections and even then, the keys it diverts to are closely related.

    I feel as though Mozart might be a better example of what A major feels like, at least when it comes to piano sonatas.

    So should I just go with my heart and write a Mozart style sonata no matter how much I prefer Beethoven over Mozart(don't get me wrong, I love them both, but Beethoven is very emotional, even in major keys and does a lot more complex notation than Mozart whereas a lot of the complexity of a Mozart piece comes more from where the notes are placed and the fast rhythm and melody rather than the notation itself and Mozart sounds very happy, even in minor keys and is balanced so much that 1 note off and you lose the feel of Mozart, even if it is just for a moment)? I mean A major is a key that to me fits Mozart's style very well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Ford Nation
    Posts
    3,225
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I suggest you try all 3 first options. Nobody can make the decision for you, and know what is best for you.
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

  3. #3
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    1,733
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    It ’s fine to model after one of your favorite composers as a learning experience, but really, what about your own style? Where does that come in? Otherwise, you’ll always be in competition with one of your heroes, and listeners will be highly inclined to prefer the originals.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-23-2018 at 22:03.
    ”Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.”

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    48
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    It ’s fine to model after one of your favorite composers as a learning experience, but really, what about your own style? Where does that come in? Otherwise, you’ll always be in competition with one of your heroes, and listeners will be highly inclined to prefer the originals.
    But it would probably take at least a year or 2 for me to establish my own style of composing. I mean for example, Beethoven wrote his flute sonata in Bb somewhere in between 1790 and 1792. About halfway between those 2 years is Mozart's death at 35 years old. Beethoven was somewhere in between 20 and 22 years old, a bit more than a decade younger than Mozart. But Beethoven started composing in 1782. Just 12 years old. And a decade later, his music still hasn't blossomed into his own style and is still very much like that of Mozart. Yes, Mozart had his own style pretty much right from the get go when he was 5 years old but he could also read music before he could even read words and started playing the piano at 3 years old.

    I am a fast learner but I never had the luxuries Mozart had and for a lot of my life, didn't have the time Beethoven had to even think about composing a piece or the inspiration to do so. Also, it wasn't until I was 9 years old that I started playing the piano. Of course, I have a much longer life expectancy than the lifespan of either Beethoven or Mozart but that still doesn't negate the fact that it might be 10 years or more before I establish my own style. And then are people even going to listen to my early works at all if it is all experimental and like the great composers in terms of style to see how I developed my own style years down the line? Are people going to listen to my first symphony if there is clear Beethoven influence? Are people going to listen to my second piano sonata if it sounds so much like Mozart?

    And then this leads to me asking what the point of composing something like a piano sonata is if I would be constantly in this tug of war between myself and the great composers as I compose it. This question could potentially stop me in my tracks as a composer and then I would have no chance of being remembered as a composer, not even by my family most likely. But being a composer fits me so well so I wouldn't want to lose it, especially since it has become a frequent hobby, about as frequent as I knit or more(which is pretty frequent).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    1,733
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    When in doubt or faced with a dilemma, always consider a third alternative: finding your own unmistakable voice that can’t be mistaken for anyone else.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Oct-09-2018 at 02:54.
    ”Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.”

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •