Think you have it tough? At a scary point in your music career?
George Frederic Handel is of course known for his amazing works like Messiah, Water Music, etc., but do you think it was all gravy?
See if this sounds familiar…
Money trouble. Once one of the top paid musicians for Kings and Queens of England, later in life Handel was facing debtor’s prison since his audiences (and patrons paying the tab) had faded.
Competition. Other goofballs, with obviously less talent were getting all the accolades.
Fickle audiences. Opera was fading from the London scene, and Handel was trying to push his new “oratorio” style, which mixed religious passion plays with opera style production. Churches and ministers were not pleased by this new “outrageous music”.
Health issues. Rheumatism, strokes, and eventually eyesight issues plagued him his last decade.
We current day composers, artists, and musicians live with all these, and so did Handel. In fact, at the very time he was facing debtor’s prison, and in bad health, he was approached to compose the great work Messiah. And even that now-beloved masterpiece was not a hit in England immediately. It took years to win mass audience approval.
He died England’s most beloved composer, and left a hefty inheritance. But like any musician, there were some serious highs and some pretty bad lows.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
Those who make it in art are those who keep working harder than the rest. They believe in themselves, not just in the good times, but the bad also.
When it seems that it’s getting pretty hard to compete in your particular part of the music industry, then maybe it’s time to redefine yourself. Look for new interests, perhaps a new branch of study, a new instrument, or a new job.
It’s a great big music world out there, and maybe you’ve been hiding in your hole too long, or stuck in a rut. Time to pick yourself up and attack again in a new way.
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is not a musicologist (yet), but does play one on the Internet. For more on his unique twist on Music History and why it matters today, check out http://www.MusicHistoryMatters.com