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What Drives Creativity In Compositions?

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atonality for the sake of it
"For the sake of it"...

I cannot think of a more damaging way of viewing Schoenberg's legacy than to view his music as composed with the goal of satisfying some theoretical requirement, say atonality or serialism, for nothing more than the sake of it. As if he merely wrote his music as some abstract intellectual challenge to fulfill some structural-syntactical game for the sake of the theoretical requirement, and not to make art.

ArtMusic, you do realize that there is artistic expression in Schoenberg's music, and creating that artistic expression was his primary objective, as it was or is for many other composers. Schoenberg admittedly may not be widely popular among the wide classical music public, and unfortunately he may never will be - probably global warming or nuclear proliferation will kill us all before Schoenberg becomes popular. Hell, even without those existential threats to humanity he still wouldn't likely make it to popularity.

But for those listeners Schoenberg does reach, and we are (!) there, the value of Schoenberg is 100% in the music as sound, and the expressive and emotional journey it takes us along. He was able to provide a kind of highly lyrical, angular, stark, developmental, metrically complex, contrapuntal, emotional, overwhelmingly concentrated music. His music overflows with melodies, melodies unlike anyone wrote before. And THAT is what we value Schoenberg for.

The theory is important in the music's construction, and it's perhaps interesting to those who would be interested in theory, but the theory is NOT the point of Schoenberg, and there wouldn't be any value in the theory without the actual musical experience.

"For the sake of it"... as if Schoenberg's goal was to create atonality rather than to create music.
 
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