Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Commonplace: Yates

A COMPOSER'S IDIOM is his own manner of speaking as creative thinker, original as the sound of his own voice. His content is his esthetic consistency, saying what he has to say. A composer is not uniformly aware of the forces which make him what he is; they are a part of him. The consistency he must achieve if he is to become a composer, instead of [merely] a practitioner of his art, will be under his control exactly to the degree that he is able to direct his intuitive conditioning to its creative purpose…

The consistency, as it is achieved, matures within the composer as his content, what he has to say. The subject, not yet married to content, grows within the composer as an irritant, putting him to work; his manner of disposing of it will be his style for that work or that period…

Style follows content, the outward sign of the composer's growing inner consistency; the achieved consistency of the artist extrudes the idiomatic consistency of his style. Together they evolve.
—Peter Yates, Twentieth Century Music, pp. 40-41 [re-paragraphed]

No comments: