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Thread: Who was the most productive composer?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    The question was about amounts of compositions (number of pieces of music), not their combined duration.
    Yes, and that way of measuring productivity is quite dubious: Take Bach's WTC I and II and his St. Matthew's Passion:
    Each set of Preludes and fugues in the WTC counts as a separate work in the BWV catalog - that adds up to 48 numbers whereas Bach's longest work the St. Metthew's Passion only takes up one number in the BWV catalog. So measuring a composer's productivity just by adding up the opus/Bwv/Twv/Deutsch or Kochel numbers is dubious: if the musicologist who made those lists included a whole lot of short pieces as separate works it will look as if that composer produced a whole lot of music - but in fact he didn't!

    My conclusion is: if you want to measure a composers productivity you will have to measure his lifespan measured in days against the amount of music he composed measured either as hours of music or against the number of measures in the score. (Of course if you choose a Celibidache-recording to determine the hours of music produced you would have double up the numbers!)
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

  2. #17
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Just counting the catalog numbers doesn't tell the whole story.

    Is WTC just one work, or is it 24 pairs of Ps & Fs, or is it 48 pieces?

    Is Wagner's Ring ONE work or FOUR operas, or bunches and bunches of songs?

    When one is counting, do Beethoven's 9th and Debussey's Clair de Lune really get and equal ONE vote?

    How does one measure the volume of music?

    Should a string quartet get 4 votes for each instrument?

    Shouldn't we be counting by minutes, or notes?

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  4. #18
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    I wouldn't really be interested of the quantity of composition but mostly the quality of it and the genius part behind this...on that I would believe Chopin is probably ahead of everyone else (ok I am a pianist and huge fan of Chopin so my opinion may be highly biaised...

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  6. #19
    Senior Member Ras's Avatar
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    I never heard any of his music, but Christoph Graupner was more prolific than his contemporaries Bach and Telemann - from Wiki:

    >>>Graupner was hardworking and prolific. There are about 2,000 surviving works in his catalog, including 113 sinfonias, 85 ouvertures (suites), 44 concertos, 8 operas, 1,418 religious and 24 secular cantatas, 66 sonatas and 57 harpsichord partitas.[2] Nearly all of Graupner's manuscripts are housed in the ULB (Technical University Library) in Darmstadt, Germany. <<<
    "I only have a hunch in what I've become expert." - Leonard Cohen

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