Sometimes we can get the notion that genius composers spring up from the ground without any previous training or influences. That they work in a solitary, secluded place which doesn't see any interaction with the outside world.
But it's far from true.
Sweelinck combined English figurative writing with Italian counterpoint techniques. Bach used polyphony to the highest degree in his writing. Mozart was famous for beautiful and elegant melodies juxtaposed with various kinds of accompanimental figures, Brahms and Wagner - for their seemingly endless melodies. Franck embraced the chromatic harmony which led into a new era of French symphonic school. Durufle was a modal genius par excellence. Messiaen took up the ancient Hindu rhythmic system and created a highly authentic style. The list goes on and on.
The thing is that none of these achievements happened in a vacuum. Every one of these masters kept their eyes open and learned from a wide variety of sources.
And what about you? Do you also want to learn from the masters?
Steal their techniques and combine them into a new whole.
That's how you become original.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.