Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Fiction

Dr. Bob Prescribes: Anne Rice

Given all of its terminological pitfalls, referencing music is notoriously difficult for non-musicians. I read a lot, both fiction and non-fiction, and far more often than not music references are bungled by both authors and their editors (who allow those bungles to slip through).   (It has only just now occurred to me that I should have been keeping a list of such musical miscues; we’d have some real boners to discuss about had I done so. Things like referring to a Beethoven symphony as a “song”; assertions that Mozart “waltzed through the night” at a time when the waltz was not yet danced in urban areas; references to Frank Sinatra’s “scintillating tenor voice”; he was a baritone, etc.) If the occasional music reference can be problematic for non-musicians, then actually writing about music can be a downright disaster. In correspondence with my Patreon patron, the professional writer (and musical patron) Howard Jay Smith (whose own historical novel – Beethoven in Love; Opus 139 – I, pathetically, have yet to read), we discussed how ripe for literary depiction was the Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms ménage a trois. In the course of our correspondence I mentioned two books that […]

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