Thursday, March 19, 2009

Great composers steal ...

Igor Stravinsky was reported to have said, "Good composer borrow (ideas from other composers), great composers steal."
Here's proof: Beboppers Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, along with Miles Davis and others, gave us great jazz classics as "Koko," "Groovin' High," and "Donna Lee" by using the chord progressions to popular tunes of the day ("Koko" shares the same progression as "Cherokee," for example).
The new melodies were taken from solos they played to the originals.
Of course, Stravinsky's comment fails us a little when we consider Thelonious Monk, who as far as I can tell, was completely original.

1 comment:

  1. Well, just because somebody writes something completely original, doesn't make stravinsky's quote false. He isn't condemming all original composers to be bad ones, he is just relating that when composers draw off one another, the great ones always steal.