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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Good Taste

Good Taste

(p.22) (p.23) Chapter 4 Good Taste
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

Good taste is, without doubt, the stumbling block in the path of the “young English school of composers.” These “rising young musicians” lack neither good teachers, good models, good concerts, nor good opportunities of bringing their works to a hearing; nevertheless, all their promise seems to be nipped in the bud by the blighting influence of “good taste.” Because good taste is a purely artificial restriction which a composer imposes on himself when he imagines that his inspiration is not enough to guide him. A genius has no time to consider the claims of good taste; he is hurried blindly forward by the power of his own invention, and it is only when that fails that he feels the absence of that prop on which the weak-kneed habitually stay themselves. If a composer is naturally vulgar, let him be frank and write vulgar music, instead of hedging himself about with an artificial barrier of good taste.

Keywords:   good taste, English school, musicians, inspiration, composer, vulgar music

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