Musical Taste Referenced by 3 Composers. Obviously, the feature picture is a gag photo and from the 1930’s. Bing Crosby was not a violinist. Here, Rubinoff let him play his Stradivarius violin. Back then, like now, people needed laughter and fun; anything to raise the spirits. My connection with this photo: I both arranged for and accompanied Rubinoff and His Violin over a fifteen year period. Below is a picture of me with “Ruby” from the 1980’s.
Musical Taste as per Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughn Williams and Arnold Schoenberg
- Edward Elgar: Believed that being common place is worse than being vulgar. Even a University education cannot replace a commonplace mind. All white for rooms in a house does not show exquisite taste. It merely shows want of taste.
- Ralph Vaughn Williams stated: “If a composer is naturally vulgar, let him be frank and write vulgar music, instead of hedging himself about with an artificial barrier of good taste.”
- Arnold Schoenberg went even further: “In my vocabulary (taste) stands for arrogance and superiority-complex of mediocrity. And taste is sterile. It cannot produce. Taste applies only to the lower zones of human feeling.”
The above notations and quotes are reference in Michael Steinberg’s The Symphony, A Listener’s Guide , p.156 Oxford University Press 1995.
To sample Rubinoff’s musical taste click on the link below: