Our Growing List of No-Nos

Speaking of harmonies that draw specific sources to mind, my friend Bob Gilmore thinks that Morton Feldman ruined the interval of the falling minor seventh – not that it is no longer beautiful, but that using it has become an instant signal of Feldman influence.

Personally, I tell all my students to steal what they want and not worry about their influences showing through. For all they know, their music may be better known a hundred years from now than that of the people they’re stealing from, so they might as well plan for that optimistic eventuality.


  1. says

    What’s wrong with your influences showing through in the first place. Perhaps the greatest failing of late 20th century classical music is the slavish insistence on novelty.

  2. says

    I was planning to copyright the falling minor third followed by two rising major seconds. If any of you play more than three of them in a three-hour period I’m coming after you.