Tag: classical music

Joseph Haydn and The Value of the Steady Gig

I remember one of the first things early in my Music History study was the stunning output of Franz Joseph Haydn. Drink this in:

108 symphonies; 68 string quartets; 32 divertimenti for small orchestra; 126 trios for baryton, viola, and cello; 29 trios for piano, violin, and cello; 21 trios for two violins and cello; 47 piano sonatas; about 20 operas; 14 masses; 6 oratorios; and 2 cello concerti. And this is pared down from a larger number! I went through several sources and the number averages around 800 total pieces!

So, how did he write so much? The answer is…he had a gig.

haydn_esterhazy
Haydn directing an opera at the Esterhazy Theatre in 1775.

Franz Joseph Haydn’s life was like many of ours. He started with many musical pursuits, including singing in a choir, then picking up odd music jobs where could find them. He eventually found himself though leading the musical affairs for a large estate of the very rich and powerful Esterhazy famîly.

This steady gig, while sometimes taxing and demeaning, brought something to Haydn’s life that only a few of us get to enjoy. He had time. He was given funds and authority. And he had also deadlines.

Anyone who knows the pressure of putting together a church service or lesson plan every single week, knows how it also spurs creativity. Many times just the act of having to write a new song, arrange a song for your group, or come up with ideas on how to teach a subject can bring new works from your mind that wouldn’t have ever existed otherwise.

He had to write symphonies, and quartets, and operas, and even specialty trios and works when his benefactor took up the baryton (similar to a viol) and wanted music written for it. Kind of like when your pastor who is also a singer wants that perfect song to sing and has you write it. Or an amazing wunderkind on flute wanders into your orchestra. You need music, and if you are a composer, you write for that!

Haydn had weekly things he had to prepare for and since they lived out in the country, it was just easier to write it himself.

“I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original.” – Joseph Haydn

Nevertheless, Haydn flourished and grew through these years and eventually became known throughout all of Europe as he defined the symphony style.

Why This Matters

Sometimes it’s easy to think of our music jobs as a hassle, or a step towards something else, or perhaps we have found ourselves in a staid job we have been doing for years, if not decades. But this gig you have had, that you were blessed to find, could be the way the sum total of your output is measured.

Like Haydn, you may move past your “Esterhazy” phase into a “Vienna” or “London” phase where you bloom even more. But without the season of work and growth, the next season of opportunity might now ever present itself.

Got a steady gig? Have some autonomy? Maybe it’s time to take more advantage of it. Haydn the heck out of your position, and write, write, write. Sometimes we forget when we are the boss, we have the opportunity to actually do what we love.

Have a great week!


John Eric Copeland is not a musicologist, but he is studying to be, and for now he plays one on the Internet. Be sure and join this blog to receive more writings like this, as well as our Facebook and Twitter followings for daily inspiration and news.

The Story of Music, by Howard Goodall

Story-of-Music_3DA Book Review by John Eric Copeland, MusicHistoryMatters.org

So, it’s not often I read a whole music history book from cover to cover. To be honest, most I start, or skim, or read parts that interest me. But The Story of Music, by Howard Goodall, got my attention from the start and kept it until the very last page.

In fact, I don’t often write book reviews but felt this book would benefit the readers of this blog as well as any folks who may be interested in music history from a sociological point of view like I am.

The subtitle for the book is “From Babylon to the Beatles, How Music has Shaped Civilization.” While this may be a tad hyperbolic, Goodall does a good job making sure this book clings tightly to what’s going on in the world and how each period relates to the people at that time. In fact, the book wastes no time getting to that very thing in its first paragraph.

“You may think that music is a luxury, a plug-in to make human life more enjoyable. That would be a fair supposition in the twenty-first century, but our hunter-gatherer ancestors wouldn’t have agreed. To them, music was much more than mere entertainment.” (pg 6)

And from here we are off. Starting with early civilizations of cavemen, Goodall begins The Story of Music. From there we traverse through time, eventually touching on the first known composer, “a spectacularly clever and imaginative German woman, Hildegard of Bingen, who was born in 1098.”

“Instead of handing on the tried and tested chants, as had been the norm in earlier centuries, Hildegard made up her own chant tunes. This seems to us an obvious thing to do, but in the twelfth century it was both daring and unexpected.” (pg 27)

One of the things I love about this book is how accessible it makes music history to us who are living and working in music now. This is something I think is crucial to keeping the history of music relatable and helpful in ours and students’ future professional music lives. Almost every important point is correlated to how we deal with music today and that makes this book relevant, even though many are stories we already have heard or know well.

“The distance in form, intention, mood and expression between Schubert’s songs for voice and piano and those of, say, Adele is remarkably short, considering they are separated by two hundred years. The only thing that would shock Schubert about ‘Someone like you’ is the fact that a young woman is the song’s creator, not its object.” (pg 221)

One important aspect this book brings up several times is how the advent and subsequent accessibility of recordings brought about something that continues to plague music to this day.

“At a concert in February 1814, for example, Beethoven presented the première of his eighth symphony alongside a performance of his seventh, which itself was only two months old. No one at the time thought this unusual. By the mid-twentieth century, however, the tables had been turned: old favourites became the bread and butter of live concerts, with new works squeezed in between them apologetically.” (pg 313)

Goodall speaks extensively in several different points in the book about the early glut of classical recordings and how audiences began to prefer to hear their old favorites in concert, rather than new music. This isn’t only a classical music problem, as pop music audiences often prefer the songs they know and love to new music at concerts. More on this in a future article.

The books ends with a very optimistic flair and, as is the case with the whole book, Goodall brings the history of music to a close with our current music situation.

“J. S. Bach was probably the cleverest composer who ever lived, but he gave his performers almost no detailed instructions as to how they might play his sublime music. He hastily scribbled down the notes and left them to it. It is as if he is saying, ‘trust me, and play’.

We, more than any previous generation, can readily identify with Bach’s request. We press ‘play’ and a million styles, sounds, aural colours, echoes and voices breeze in towards us as if through an opened window. We are like children with a thousand games at our fingertips. We have, at last, reached a point where there are no wrong or right decisions about what music we may or may not enjoy – just one gratifyingly simple instruction: ‘play’.”

Review by John Eric Copeland, MusicHistoryMatters.org

 

Excerpts From: Goodall, Howard. “The Story of Music.” Open Road Integrated Media, 2013-12-04T16:43-06:00. iBooks.

This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/WI8YU.l

Or at Amazon here.

Rivals

“One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities. One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities.” – Abraham Maslow

rivals
I learned something recently, and that was I shared a birthday with Antonio Salieri. Most know this name as the supposed “rival” to Mozart in Vienna, and of course from the movie Amadeus which suggests he was a jealous rival composer to the heroic and uber-talented Mozart.

Now, I will tell you unequivocally that Mozart is my favorite composer, so don’t take my comments in this post as critical of Wolfgang. However, after some time as a student of music history, hearing from professors and others on the subject, reading Mozarts letters, and the surprising small amount written on Salieri, I am starting to think we may have had it backwards.

Mozart seems much more perturbed and bothered by Salieri (and other Italian composers at the time) than Salieri felt about Mozart. Witness this quote from a letter to Leopold from Wolfgang.

“These Italian gentlemen are very civil to your face. Enough—we know them!” – Mozart

Wolfgang was complaining that Italians got more operas produced than his own German ones. This gives us much more evidence of consternation on Mozart’s part than Salieri’s. In fact, Salieri was already quite a celebrity as a composer, especially of Italian opera both before and after Mozart came to Vienna. Mozart also complains that Salieri was the local favorite saying, “the only one who counts in [the Emperor’s] eyes is Salieri”.

As current music listeners, and with the benefit of time, we are able to look back and weigh the output of each composer. I’d say most of us would choose Mozart’s amazing repertoire. But at the time, he was certainly not the only game in town.

“From a pretty wide examination of the annual reports of the principal German theaters of those days, I draw the conclusion that in the original Italian or in German translations, the more important works of Salieri were far more popular and much oftener given than those of Mozart, while the Grotta di Trofonio was at least as much performed as Mozart’s EntführungIn other words, with the exception of the Entführung, Mozart’s operas were less to the taste of the monarch and the public in Vienna than those of Salieri, and it was the same way all through Germany. Whatever the appreciative few may have thought of The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni, to the general operatic public Salieri was certainly the greatest of then living composers!” – Alexander Wheelock Thayer, Salieri: Rival of Mozart

Why This Matters

We all have to deal with people who we may feel are rivals to our musical success. We could be like Mozart, whose output was heralded is his own time and has become legendary through the centuries. Or we are like Salieri, who was a well-respected composer in his time, teacher of such greats as Schubert, Liszt, and Beethoven, and (much to Mozart’s chagrin) the big cheese locally (Kapellmeister).

In the movie Amadeus, Salieri is portrayed as a much less talented and envious man. It’s easy to see someone we work with who is more talented than we ever will be, and we want to hate them. But their talent is so beautiful that all we can hope for is to be close to them and work with them.

“Rivalry” or not, there are also plenty of letters of Mozart’s that talk of supporting Salieri, as well as examples of Salieri using Mozart pieces at functions instead of his own.

The truth is that rivals can serve to make us better at what we do. They can challenge us and spurn us towards greater works than we would have done without them.

So when you meet someone better than you, maybe better than you ever could be, relax and know your place. There’s no use in bitterness in such a short life, especially when we have such a beautiful job in music to do.

Have a great week!

EC

Eric Copeland is not a real musicologist but plays one on the Internet. He actually is a busy producer and is currently preparing to work on his masters in music with a focus in Musicology. For more on Eric, go to http://www.EricCopelandMusic.com

Pay for Play (Music History Repeating)

“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.” – George Bernard Shaw

Those who deride, denounce, and generally decry the new music business world of streaming and single downloads should know we’ve been here before. I won’t go into 45 “singles”, and in fact this particular story predates even those years by almost 70 years.

0dca9-cowboysIn the book “Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry”, by Gareth Murphy, he tells an early story of the first (and only) recording industry monopoly. Around 1895, business tycoon Jesse Lippincott bought into Thomas Edison’s phonograph (at that time the prevailing “talking machine” technology was still a wax cylinder machine.)

He exclusively licensed the technology across the nation to dealers who in turn leased the machines to users. His partner in this business was Edward Easton, the industry’s first record producer, and the grandfather of Columbia Records.

“Despite a moderately promising start, Lippincott’s company and all of its affiliated distributors began hemorrhaging money. Wisely, Edward Easton went out to investigate what was happening on the ground. Throughout March 1890, in what would be the first nationwide study of the nascent record industry, Easton traveled coast to coast, visiting thirty-one of Lippincott’s regional branches.

“To his amazement, Easton observed something nobody saw coming. A San Francisco distributor had transformed the phonograph into “pay to play” jukeboxes. Custom-built, in beautifully decorated wooden cases and fitted with coin slots, they were placed in arcades, saloons, drugstores, and various strategic places of passage.

“The fashion spread from California to other cities. Although the average take for most of these nickel phonographs was about $50 a week, the most popular jukebox was believed to be in a drugstore in New Orleans. It averaged $500 a month. Within a year, Lippincott’s monopoly began to collapse.” – Gareth Murphy, Cowboys and Indies

It would seem throughout music history, consumers choose to pay for one song as they want it. I’m sure if they could have come into a music hall and demanded orchestras play just the piece they wanted, they would have.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

The plain truth that all current musicians have to live with now is that we are moving away from recorded music in general as a commodity. Until the late 1880’s the only way to even experience music on demand outside a music event was playing from sheet music, and that had only flourished since the widespread availability of the printing press.

Now, technology has freed music from such primitive constructs as cylinders, wax discs, tapes, and even digital discs. Music is everywhere, on every portable player, phone, tablet, laptop, and other device. It’s even available over the air in every restaurant or store, or on music channels in our cable package.

Just as jukeboxes transformed the first early record business, Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Beats, Rhapsody, and others offer users the ability to hear any song any time, and it is rocking the recording business just like it did 150 years ago in it’s infancy.

It’s just music history, repeating.

John Eric Copeland isn’t a real musicologist but plays one on the Internet. Be sure to sign up to get this blog when it posts, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkenIn for daily tidbits.

The Curious Case of Fanny J. Crosby

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” – Albert Einstein

fdabd-fanny-crosbyI work with songwriters all the time, especially songwriters who are writing Christian or gospel songs, hymns, or worship songs. Many start after a conversion, or a significant faith change in their life. And many start later in life to try to get their songs out to the world.

Fanny J. Crosby, was no different, except that she was very different!

She is most likely the most prolific hymn writer in history. She didn’t start writing hymns until she was in her thirties, and didn’t get started really publishing them in a big way until her forties! She was also blind almost since birth.

Many of us grew up with hymns in church, and if you didn’t, you recognize them as different and many times more endearing than today’s standard worship fare. If you’re not a churchgoer, you likely still know Amazing Grace or some other hymns very well.

Well, Fanny was the grandmamma of the hymn. She wrote more than 8,000 of them, including well known songs like “Blessed Assurance”, “To God Be the Glory”, “Jesus is Tenderly Calling You Home”, and “Praise Him, Praise Him”.

When she was six weeks old she caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. According to her, mustard poultices were applied and this damaged the optic nerves. Doctors today say it was more likely congenital. Either way, she was blind her entire life.

Even as a child, though she “saw” through her condition, even writing about her blindness in her first poem at the age of 8.

One blog could not even get close to letting you know about this lady’s vast works, from poetry, to the hymns, to cantatas, to popular songs, and more. It’s kind of staggering.

To get a better idea of the incredible life of Fanny J. Crosby check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Crosby

WHY THIS MATTERS:

Can you apply the life of this lady in the kind of scary looking pictures to your life as a songwriter?

Likely you won’t write almost 9,000 hymns, but the story of Fanny J. Crosby shows it’s never too late for God to use your songs at any stage of your life. She lived to be 95 and was inspiring presidents and church leaders long after her writing decreased in her later years.

She was a household name in America as a songwriter, and she was a blind woman in the late 1800s from humble beginnings. Oh yeah, and she had nary an internet connection, Facebook nor Twitter to build an audience.

So what’s your excuse?

“The human mind will not be confined to any limits.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

EC

Eric Copeland is not a real musicologist, but he plays one on the Internet. We invite you to comment and add to the understanding of music history.

Mrs. Poynter, Bernstein’s West Side Story, and the First Moments of my Music Maturity

94ff7-west-side-storyGod bless Mrs. Poynter! She was a perky young teacher that I had in ninth grade, and thank goodness she had some amount of artistic leanings.

One day, as part of our assignment on something, she told us we would be watching Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s West Side Story. Now, personally, I feel this is one of the great works of the 20th Century. Growing up, I had the album at home and I had listened to it many times with only the LP album art to clue me in on what the characters looked like.

But Mrs. Poynter changed all that.

The janitor wheeled the TV and VCR into our ninth grade room one afternoon, and the lights were turned out. Everyone was glad we weren’t doing some kind of silly work, even if it was a boring musical. For me however, it was a life-changing experience.

From the first moments of the film, the high whistles and the mysterious percussion bring a sense of mystery. To be honest, we all giggled when the tough guys started ballet dancing, but it was the music that hooked me. Still when I watch or listen to the first numbers before and during “When You’re a Jet” I love the flowing sax and string lines intertwining with larger orchestral melodies. It builds and flows, and carries the performers along like they are in a river.

Then later when an old style march transforms quickly into a tumultuous mambo, Bernstein really gets going. One minute the strings and woodwinds are plodding along in a very honky traditional fashion, then Bernstein somehow devolves into horns blaring the stabbing lines of the Latin number. Everyone yells “Mambo” and it’s off to the races.

But still the defining moment is coming. A moment that makes me realize I may be a little different from my fellow students.

The song “Maria” begins with a very 20th Century and now classic melody. Through the song, kind of like Tony knowing “Something’s Coming” earlier, I was hearing this genius melody (and lyric, “say it loud and there’s music playing, say it soft and it’s almost like praying”. Wow, nice Sondheim.) But towards the end, when the entire key changes for the tag (“The most beautiful sound I ever heard…”), then Bernstein writes the notes that forever changed me. “Mari-a.” Ending back on the third of the original key. Gasp.

A chill went up my spine that day. I might have cried, don’t remember. I hope not because that was the year I finally got that bully off my back.

But I DO remember looking around at all the other kids. They were sleeping, or pulling each other’s hair, or staring off into space bored. They were NOT having chills. They were NOT on the verge of tears. Those notes meant nothing to them. Those notes would not stop them in their tracks anytime they heard them the rest of their life.

That’s when I knew I was different. I wasn’t writing songs yet, or even singing (although I was playing trombone in band), but I knew “something was coming”. I was headed for a life that had to do with notes, chords, and orchestration like Bernstein wrote there.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

We all had a teacher, a parent, or someone that inspired us, or helped make a connection to something that drove us more into music. Mrs. Poynter was certainly not the only music influence, or maybe the most important music teacher in my life, but this incident I will always remember.

Do you have an incident like this? If so, share it below.

EC

John Eric Copeland is not a real musicologist, but he does play one on the Internet. For more on his unique twist on Music History and why it matters today, subscribe to this blog or join us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Dvořák and the Struggle for Success

It’s easy when you’re an artistic person, whether you’re a music composer, author, singer, painter, or anyone creative…sometimes you just feel tired of beating your head against the same wall.

Is it all really worth it? Will anyone ever take note of your hard work?

For the first 20 or so years of his professional career, Antonin Dvořák struggled to find widespread success. He managed to make a living as a musician, but he faced challenges including having an opera spurned as “unperformable”.

But somewhere along the way he caught the ear of Johannes Brahms, who Dvořák himself admired. Through Brahms he found a publisher and began to find a larger audience eventually receiving commissions by the Royal Philharmonic Society of London, and becoming the director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York City.

In an article he wrote for Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in February 1895, Dvořák had this to say about art and “making it”.

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly that art, as such, does not “pay,” to use an American expression – at least, not in the beginning – and that the art that has to pay its own way is apt to become vitiated and cheap.”

Wow, doesn’t that sound familiar? More than anything, Dvořák understood that the real value of being an artist is in mentoring and educating of younger artists, as Dvořák was mentored by Brahms.

“My own duty as a teacher, I conceive, is not so much to interpret Beethoven, Wagner, or other masters of the past, but to give what encouragement I can to the young musicians of America.”

WHY THIS MATTERS:

Perhaps you can find that mentor that can help you to the next level of your artistic success, or perhaps you can BE that mentor to someone you know who is struggling.

We all need it, especially in an age where the master/apprentice model has seemed to be harder to find.

Have a great week!

EC

John Eric Copeland is not a musicologist, but he does play one on the Internet. For more on his unique twist on Music History and why it matters today, subscribe to this blog or join us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Debussy vs. Atonality

18995-schoenberg-of-borg
Schoenberg of Borg

Subtitle 1: Resistance is Futile
Subtitle 2: Star Trek vs. The Berg

(It will really help if you have some kind of Trek background here.)

I have a theory about almost anything by Debussy. If you put his music behind the original Star Trek shows it works perfectly as the backdrop music when Kirk is spouting off some soliloquy, or when they are on a strange planet (which is much like the one they were on last week).

As I listen to The Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”, I swear I could see Captain Kirk with some green chick on a planet, where the fake plastic flowers are purple and green. The flute descending and rising with the shimmering strings behind…well it just puts me in the mood to see some bad acting.

See if I’m not right: 

The calm, flowing melodies beautifully paint the picture of an afternoon on a clearing (where alien deer roam perhaps?). Flute gives way to clarinet, as the score gets deeper, and more complex. It would be hard to imagine the composer of this piece moving totally into atonality, and in fact Debussy flirted with and came back from that direction. He was not assimilated by it.

Schoenberg and his drones, Webern and Berg however, were fully seduced by the dark side of atonality and the pure difference of it.

In a similar fashion to how Debussy would have fit so well in the classic, sixties Star Trek score, Berg’s Three Orchestral Pieces could be scored behind modern Star Trek’s most feared foe. The horror, the dissonance, the pure mechanical and obtuseness of it fits the evil robot Borg race, as they seek to take from what has been and use what they want for their own devices.

Almost scary as it gets going, with twists and turns chromatically, percussion slamming out of nowhere like a bad acid trip in a haunted house, The Berg come at you from all directions as seems typical with atonal pieces. Shields are not holding! There seems no defense (except to turn it off as one critic in his day stood and demanded.)

I’ve always felt atonal music seemed random, obtuse on purpose, as if the composer was drunk and just wrote whatever notes he fashioned. “Ha, let’s hear this together. That will freak them right out. Resistance is futile, helpless turn of the century earthlings! You will be assimilated to this new music, and like it!”

In the Three Orchestral Pieces third movement, Berg both paid tribute to and mocks Beethoven’s Fifth. You can almost hear Schoenberg, Webern and Berg speaking monotone as one to the previous Viennese School composer. “We take what we want, and will add your musical and technological distinctiveness to our own.”

While you can hear snippets of atonality with Debussy, it’s obvious that melody just won out. Like the malevolent Federation in Star Trek that only seeks to seek out new life and new civilizations in peace, Debussy was willing to explore the unknown. He just made sure he came back to Earth.

But Schoenberg (classical music’s equivalent of the Borg Queen) and his drones were not interested in beauty, peace, and easy harmony. They craved disharmony, all for various reasons probably. And like the Borg, once they got a taste of the power, the complete look of astonishment, and the sheer outrage of those who did not understand what they were doing, they knew they were doing something right.

In the end, they formed a new race of being, a new complete school of music.

And the galaxy of music would never be the same.

Kirk out.

John Eric Copeland loved Star Trek long before music history, but now sees the value in both. KAAAAAAAHN!

You Can Handel It

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!

EC

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

The Power of a Partner: Gilbert & Sullivan

“It takes two to tango.” – Pearl Bailey.

Sometimes we creative folk know we have something to offer, and we may even have modest success. But often times it takes someone else that can add quality and a special uniqueness, to make something extraordinary.

Such was the case with the famous team of librettist (lyricist) W.S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan, known for their comic operas such as The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, and H.M. S. Pinafore.

But before they met, they each experienced initial success, Gilbert as a playwright, and Sullivan as a promising young British composer. But together, they made masterpieces that still stand and are performed today.

Now there have been many great librettist/composer tandems through time from Bellini and Romani from the early 19th century, to Rodgers and Hammerstein of the 20th century. But Gilbert and Sullivan so perfectly and successfully paired to create hit after hit for the Savoy Theatre.

Not that the team was without conflict. Sullivan tired of the same “topsy turvy” comic operas that Gilbert wrote, longing to write more serious opera. They even quit speaking a few times before being talked into working together again.

But each had a crucial element that made the other better, and neither had as much success with any other partner or by themselves.

WHY THIS MATTERS:

If you are not having the success you are looking for, perhaps what you need is a partner? Someone to be the yin to your yang. Someone to fill in the spots where you are weak. And it can be as easy as asking someone, or Googling the kind of person you need (it’s worth a Google!).

You probably know someone who you would work well with, or would be a perfect partner. Get in touch!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Have a great week!
EC
Eric Copeland is not a real musicologist but he plays one on the Internet. He’s actually a producer, composer, and keyboardist. Find out more at http://www.EricCopelandMusic.com