04 March 2007

In Between, But Not On Top Of

The imitation of another musician's personal style is often considered to be an act of reverence. If the imitation is too close, it may cross over into the realm of plagiarism. But more often than either of these, it is an act of vanity.

When John Q. Composer writes a new work that is significantly indebted to a previous one yet is of lesser quality, the most important thing about the new work is that he is the one who created it. It fills no particular void or need, for the work he has imitated does so already, and in fact does so more effectively.

Even within the confines of an antiquated musical style, there is always room for expansion in between extant masterpieces. However, there is no room for stacking new works on top of them.

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