Music: Obstacles & Accidents

No one has yet made a movie showing Igor Stravinsky (played by Robert Walker) sitting at the piano and getting inspiration for a symphony by looking into a pair of pretty blue eyes. Stravinsky was never inspired that way.

In a book out last week, called Poetics of Music (Harvard; $2.50), Igor Stravinsky tried to explain how he does write music. He found it hard to be explicit, but he did succeed in being unromantic. Wrote he: "This appetite [for composing] is not at all a fortuitous thing like inspiration, but as habitual and periodic ... as a natural need." Stravinsky prefers...

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