The Art of Composition

Leopold, the elder Mozart. “You must not
lose sight,” to his son, “of your main object
... to make money,” a composer himself,
understanding elegance. Notes are bricks,
then, building a living. Trade union music.
“Always plagued,” Haydn to Esterhazy.
“with much work,” complaints of the craftsman.
“very few hours of repose.” Who
needs it? And Beethoven, “The human brain
cannot be sold like coffee beans or cheese.”
And Rameau wants art that conceals
art, we have sugar with coffee, the future
dips swiftly through the present
and congeals into last night’s drippings
from the roast. And always the hunger.
All spend approximately the same amount
of time in the bathroom. “When I was young,”
Satie at 60, “they kept telling me to wait;
wait and you will see.” And, “Well, here I am,
and I have seen nothing.” The war was over, of course.
“Music,” said Stravinsky, “is powerless
to express anything at all!” So listen.
Karl Philipp Emanuel Bach advises
“Give more sugar.” For the general public
“you should be less ingenious.”