What Makes It Great?

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Rob Kapilow dissect a piece of classical music, run, do not walk, to the place he’s appearing and buy a ticket. The guy is flat out amazing. Not only does he have an encylcopedic knowledge of music (he’s also a composer and conductor), but he has a wry, funny style of teaching that would make him the most popular faculty member of any school in the country.

Today he dissected a fairly difficult piece, Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, which has not much melody, multiple tone scales, and was considered pretty hard to follow when it debuted in 1893. Of course, after Kapilow’s lecture, we all understood it perfectly.

But what stood out to me was a couple of observations Kapilow made about the early modernists, a club of which Debussy would be considered a member. He said that they “valued originality above all else,” which sounds like a virtue until you think through its implications. Pressed to come up with a slogan for 20th century music (in which Kapilow placed this late 19th century piece), Rob said he came up with two short lines: “Make it new. Make it mine.”

Again, a pretty catchy slogan until you begin to think through all the implications.

About David Greusel

David Greusel is founding principal of Convergence Design. He has more than 30 years' experience in the architectural profession, having worked as a designer, manager, and principal in charge of projects ranging from closet remodels to new Major League ballparks.
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One Response to What Makes It Great?

  1. Mr.Greusel,

    Your a man of culture and it is appreciated. I look forward to your blog on the Enid Renaissance Project.

    One of the problems in Enid would be the town mall, which has sucked business away from the town square.

    When people come from all over the region, they drive to that area specifically and shop. As you know the place is way out west of town.

    It would be a valuable asset if a sky trolley connected the mall, college and airport to the downtown region.
    Sky trolleys ahve been around for about 100 years and no weather or road condition stops them from going to each destination.
    Everyone could park at the mall and shop downtown via the sky trolley.
    The downtown could be closed to specifically pedestrian traffic.
    It could be set up like a mall with moving sidewalks similar to the airports which help the elderly and mothers with small children.
    The sidewalks could be protected from the harsh elements making the area very user friendly.

    This would be a huge asset for the people on the west and east side.

    I congratulate you on your winning the project in Enid.

    L’chaim tov meod

    Tim Lang on July 20, 2011 at 12:32 am

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