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Child Composers in the Old ConservatoriesHow Orphans Became Elite Musicians$
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Robert O. Gjerdingen

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190653590

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190653590.001.0001

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Predicting Creativity within a Tradition

Predicting Creativity within a Tradition

(p.221) 16 Predicting Creativity within a Tradition
Child Composers in the Old Conservatories

Robert O. Gjerdingen

Oxford University Press

Creativity, in the context of traditional arts, is more about finding inventive combinations of well-known elements than about coming up with something entirely new. Within conservatories, the masters used annual contests to reward or weed out students who were good or bad at combining various learned schemas in artistic ways. The chapter examines some harmony assignments completed by Claude Debussy. While he was one of the most original composers in music history, he was also very good at combining traditional schemas in response to a given melody or bass. Two of his assignments for the class of Émile Durand are among his earliest known musical expressions.

Keywords:   Creativity, Claude Debussy, Gabriel Pierné, Indugio schema, Émile Durand, Émile Paladilhe, Scaletta, Psyché

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