What makes a piece of music great? (Part 3 of 3)

The final one on this topic, this post probably involves more of my opinions than the first two. Just a warning. We have looked at how the composer of a piece can affect its reception and fame, as well as how innovation in a piece can give it value and prominence in the world's eyes. I would like to argue a third point in what makes a piece of music great, and that is whether it communicates something and moves a listener in some way. Yes, I realize this is a broad issue, but hang with me here. Think about it for a minute. What pieces of music do you qualify as being great? Why are they great? I will bet that there is something about each of the works you're thinking of that moves you, t

What makes a piece of music great? (Part 2 of 3)

A few weeks back I had the privilege of sharing some great conversation with percussionist Colin Currie, his violinist friend, and my wife. Among the many topics of discussion was the topic of what percussionists value in a piece of music (they must have known I was blogging about this!). Colin commissions and premieres new percussion works like it's his job. In fact...it IS his job. That's nearly all he does. So one can imagine how much new music he encounters, while also occasionally playing works that have had a few birthdays. As Colin described to me the concerto he was playing that weekend with the Indianapolis Symphony (Rautavaara's Incantations), the violinist friend sensed an impli

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© 2019 by Brian Blume