Friday, January 29, 2010

Ever since there has been a musical culture in Europe composers have incorporated sounds of everyday life into their works. I was fortunate to have lived in Europe before the postwar change of life-style to include automobiles and superhighways. I heard lots of things that are no longer part of the daily street scene, like bells--many, many bells. Also heavy hammering, a couple of drunks harmonizing maudlin melodies in the middle of the night, workmen singing as they made a wall--things that are pretty much gone. It is fun to imagine what kind of persistent, repetitive noise Mozart might have been recalling when he wrote those repeated, rather puzzling chords.