The Composer As An Adjective
Digging into information for the tidbits you hear next to the classical music on NWPR, we run across some interesting phenomena. Like the use of a composer’s name as an adjective. What makes a piece Brahmsian? Or Beethovenian? Writers about music often take this shortcut to describe a sound. Steve Reeder discovered that the French are fond of the word “Ravelian.” And Mahlerian, but we have that one too. In fact, what adjectives are we missing? Is your favorite composer Copland? Do you find his music…Coplandian? Coplandish? Coplandy? Or how about Schumann: Schumannian? But if it’s Clara Wieck Schumann, then what? Wieck-Schumannian? Mark O’Connor: O’Connorian? Hovhaness: Hovhanessian? Mozartian, yes, but Haydnish? Haydnesque, eh? Oh, so how about Elgaresque? Or, to get really contemporary, Glassian? It’s clear that some names lend themselves to adjective-making more than others do. But with a little thought, maybe your favorite composer, too, can be an adjective! Add your suggestions in the comments below.