Thursday, June 24, 2010

A (Top Secret) Letter to Mozart

Dear Mozart,

I respect you ever so much as a musician. You have turned out some of the best music in our tradition. Your name is recognizable to even the least educated musician, at least in the Western Hemisphere. Your achievements are numerous: writing an overture the night before the opening of the opera to which it belonged (and this was long before the advent of computer notation), writing the current record-holder for most lines able to be used in invertible counterpoint (5 lines total!), six hundred and twenty-five pieces to your name, and above all that, you proved to all musicians that we can do that on the free market rather than having to find a rich aristocrat to fund our lifestyle.

That being said, I do have a bone to pick with you. With musical talent at such a premium these days, it leads me to wonder whether you were a little... overzealous, perhaps, with your use of "the muse." Now, few people know this, but the muse will come to us musicians at unexpected times and grant us certain amounts of inspiration. I am a little suspicious of how very much "the muse" gave to you, seeing as no one before or after has been quite so prodigious OR impeccable in their music creation. This, therefore has led me to the following conclusion:

You bribed the muse. It's the only explanation. I cannot figure out how or when, but you have to have trapped her and coerced her into bestowing upon you such a spontaneous creative ability. This is reinforced by the fact that you had no other real competition at the time other than Haydn (who was very mechanical in his treatment of music) and Salieri (who was clearly uninspired). I suspect that what you did was to distract either them or the muse herself when she was bestowing her gifts so as to take their rations for yourself. I'm on to you, Wolfy!

This is what I propose, therefore. Seeing as your music at the time of your death was even more inspired than the music of your early years, there was surely an increasing supply, causing a surplus, of the muse's gifts. All I ask is that you tell us classically trained musicians where your stock is so that we can distribute it evenly among deserving musicians everywhere. Or, if you want to keep this quiet, drop an extra life's worth of muse in that box on the corner--you know the one. I'll keep my lips sealed as long as I get my share. I look forward to your response.

Yours musically,
Stephen Johnson

Sleep: X
German: X
Clarinet: X
Exercise: OBLF (I realized I wasn't taking account of flexibility training, so I'm adding that as "F")
Blogging: X


  1. Maybe he bribed her with his life expectancy. Traded years for songs?

  2. Wolfy? Ha! That's awesome. If you ever need to write one to Bach, I know (some of) his descendants.

    Also, I would tell Beethoven to stay away from the darn led! That's what killed him, poor messy haired fellow.

  3. This blog made me smile so much. Mozart the muse hogger.