Constraints for Creativity
What can we learn from Debussy? What can we
learn from Stravinsky? What can we learn from
Schoenberg? What can we learn from Copland?
What can we learn from Ives? What can we learn
What constraints structure the creativity problem in music? Specialized task constraints that turn sounds into music, which—as Leonard Bernstein (1976, p. 15) pointed out—can be thought of as heightened speech. Why? Because like speech, music consists of a limited set of elements (tones instead of words), organized into patterns (measures instead of sentences) by structural constraints on rhythm, melody, and harmony.
Since some, many, probably most of you, are not musicians, this chapter starts with a section (fundamental to musicians) to help you [hear] the differences between rhythm, melody, and harmony. Much of this material is modeled after Copland (1953).
RHYTHM, MELODY, HARMONY
Rhythm is the most basic constraint. With two legs, you walk in a two-step: the rhythm goes one-two, one-two, one-two. If you march, the first step is