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  • Better than Mozart?

    His ear that is! I have never in my days ever seen or heard of skills like these. I would consider killing for that quality of inner ear; and remember, the piano is a relatively poorly tuned instrument!...

  • Very impressive and inspiring. Thank you for sharing. This kid has a future and hope it is realized.

    Although, I wouldnt bring comparisons to Mozart. Ear training is great but can he write music like Mozart is the question. Maybe he can, I am not doubting that.

    It is quite likely that Mozart did not have this kid's precocious ear training skills, but I dont think he needed it.

    I am reminded of an incident I read about. After hearing a rehearsal of a Schoenberg atonal piece, Mahler asked the ochstra to be play a C major chord, and said Thank you and walked out with relief. And that was Mahler !


    P.S. wanted to add...this kid is better "equipped" (in a musicianship sense) to write music than most people. (definitely far more than me!)

  • Mozart's prodigy is of less significance than his mature work. 

  • I do consent with William, how ever astonishing, lovable and sweet childrens are especially when they seriously play good music. I always saw also a problem in exaggerating the significance of musical accomplishment of those who still are far from having fully developped their potential.

    How cruel must it be to be forced to compare all one is dooing his whole live with the appreciation one has received being a infant prodigy.

    Thinking about how desperatly Mozart struggeld in his last years to be accepted as Chirchmusician and composer even offering working for no salary at all (and being nevertheless refused to do so) I always have had the impression, that Mozart has some difficulties to be take serious as Adult musician (What Haydn obviously never has had).

    How much more cruel must it be today to be compared his whole life with one or the other youtube video being release before the musical personality has developped exactly what it really wants to do in music.  That s why I hope and wish those prodigy childs very very much good luck, not to be disturbed in their own personal and musical developpedment by to early public recognition how ever gifted they might appeare for the moment. What finaly counts in my opinion is what one do really wants to do and to find out that every child must have the same time.

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    @William said:

    Mozart's prodigy is of less significance than his mature work. 

    Now William, me thinks you went back and edited this😈

    Actually, I agree with you, just maybe not quite as passionately as you originaly put it.

    Prodigies, whether child or adult, are like brilliant actors; they're interesting to watch but that's about it.  Think about some of your favorite actors for a moment.  Have any of them actually wrote, and produced a successful screenplay?  Yes. some have but only when they were older and more experienced and mature.  Most actors have not done this or failed at it miserably.

    There are two schools of thought in science with regards to child prodigies: nature or nurture.  The nurture side believes that it depends on a child's upbringing or surroundings.  They say that Mozart was a prodigy because his father gave him personal lessons perhaps before he could even walk.  This is complete crap.  Nurture doesn't explain why Mozart's older sister Maria recieved the same lessons but it would take her weeks to master the same keyboard exercises that little Wolfgang could bang out in minutes.  Some people are just born with a gift.  And that's the Nature school of thought.  Even better, Mozart could compose as well so he had more than one gift perhaps? 

    So why can some prodigies master an instrument (technical prodigies) while others have an ear for composition and others still can do both (very rare)?  Some scientists believe that technical prodigies are actually savants.  They can play anything that you give them but are completely lost when asked to make their own.  Some even become flustered and angry.   

  • I am personally not that interested how to explain astonishing abilities that do occur always in a certain percantage (still rare enough to be astonishing).

    What I am interested in is, what someone do want to do.

    Even very gifted childs do need experiences to be sure in what they think must be done.

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    I would be the last to compare the whole of the miracle that Mozart was to any child. Misunderstandings can easily be avoided with a barely more careful reading of my two-lines post, i.e. "his ear that is", not Mozart's divine and unique inspiration and musical brain, let alone his keyboard virtuosity etc.

    For all I know this child with the incredible inner ear will grow up to be a garbage or tax collector. However, as a composer with only a relative ear (and not the best one at that), I am green-envious that I don't possess this child's ability - consider what he could do at age 20 if he continued developing it - which would cut my composing time 50-fold. There would be no price too expensive that I would not pay to have this ability.

    On the other hand, there are titans of composition that also did not possess perfect pitch or that ability to immediately (bloody immediately...) notate piano polychords, like Wagner, Prokofiev, etc. Of course I'd rather be them than this kid. But that facility... 😢

  • That is a good point fahl5 made about Mozart's later years - as soon he was no longer the prodigy he started being ignored, and ended up in a pauper's grave.    Even though his music got better and better.  It is inconceivable what he would have done if he had lived to be 80.  

    Before I edited my post I had said that Korngold was an example of a prodigy at least as amazing as Mozart, but unlike Mozart he went on to great success later in life, becoming perhaps the greatest film composer and having similar success in opera.    

    What irritates me about prodigies is that everyone is astounded by them and seems to think that what they have is needed for creating great music.  That is not true in fact.  Many of the greatest compositions of all time were created with great difficulty and struggle by the composers involved.  It seems that the prodigy is something of a "stunt" of nature.  I have seen this in a certain composer I met whose music always was rather mediocre to me, but who could improvise a complete elaborate piano composition in front of an audience just by being given a simple motif.  Everyone in the audience sat oohing and ahhing as he strutted about to the applause, but I could't care less about such stunts, especially when his "serious" compositions were banal and forgettable.    

  • Mozart faced a lot of political opposition during his brief life, and he was not the best diplomat, having repeatedly failed to win favour at crucial points of his career, and I admire him for his integrity. He was the first rebel/freelancer but Beethoven was the most effective. He also had a simple, spendthrift wife, and they both wanted to live it out, something they would eventually have achieved had Mozart lived into his forties and fifties.

    I too of course am rather painfully aware about the immense technique, concentration, and struggle necessary to produce noteworthy (literally) music. I should point out however - and hence my envy for this child's gifts - that I am one of the very few people who believe that it is the destination that is important, not the journey. Apart from the finished work, I only enjoy those momentary flashes of inspiration, and I take but the slightest pleasure, if any, in the struggle, the working-out, the revisions, etc., etc. It is a personal thing of course, but I only care about the achievement, not the engineering which of course is what makes one improve with time, but that I nonetheless see only as a ncessary evil.

    Let me just add for the younger people here that may be reading this, that developing technique (musical, not software technique) makes up some for that elusive perfect ear, and it reduces the necessary time to write a demanding work proportionately. This kid however is playing with a marked musical deck. I wish him genius to boot.

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    @William said:

     Many of the greatest compositions of all time were created with great difficulty and struggle by the composers involved

    Sorry Errik, I don't mean to use your thread as a segue to my thread about Beethoven's 5th but it is exactly what the video I referenced talks about.

    For anybody who has listened to enough Classical music in their time Mozart's work is almost instaneously recognizable even if you're not familiar with the individual piece.  His style is so distinct because he just took what came into his head and ran with it.  If it didn't work he made it work.

    Beethoven, on the other hand, took a more methodical approach.  He tried different themes and variations with various arrangements until whatever he was after found him instead of the other way around. 

    BTW wasn't Beethoven a child prodigy too?

  • Hi Errikos,

    My God, that's incredible, but you are right in that it takes more than that to write music. Although that kids ability is staggering, fortunately an ear like that is not a prerequisite to compose....but oh boy I wish my relative pitch could be upgraded to that.

    Let's hope he goes on to learn and develp compositional skill and create some masterpieces, otherwise what a waste of a gift.

  • Jasen: You're right of course. Beethoven also was a child prodigy - desperately groomed by his Mozart admiring father - and what an ear he possessed as well; one of the very finest in history, and his compositional "struggles" are in no way related to the natural ability discussed herein, one that he possessed to a very high degree himself. His creative onus was born out of a number of compositional aspects, including the nature of his thematic material, his expansion of the forms, the 'weight' of his intended message, etc.

    Mike: I knew that you would understand and appreciate my sentiments on this subject. We that deal in real harmony, polyphony, and voicing, can fully evaluate what this kid is endowed with.

  • Beethoven was prodigious, but his particular struggles in composition were due to the fact that he was expanding music far beyond what it had been.  He was doing, at the time, things that simply had never been done before and was alone in his art.  

  • PaulP Paul moved this topic from Orchestration & Composition on