Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Role Model

From the German Wikipedia article on the musicologist Hugo Riemann:

"Until 1905 [when, at the age of 56 he was finally appointed to a professorship], in order to support his family, Riemann, in addition to the small income from his lecturing, had to work as a private piano, voice, and theory teacher. [Earlier passages also refer to his activities as a conductor and composer]. In addition, there were countless and wide-reaching publications in the form of reviews, brief articles, glossaries, lexicon articles, music guides, arrangements, translations of the musicological works of other authors, and musical editions. It is impossible today to reconstruct the full extent of this quantitative enormous and unprecedented productivity. This was made possible by an 18-hour working day that began mornings at 4:00 and demanded a high amount of self-discipline from Riemann, forcing him into the role of an outsider with a distance from the everyday life which had denied him an academic career. Riemann compensated for this though an exacting historical study of his subject and, moreover, through his humorous sarcastic commentary and idiosyncrasies. For example, in 1898, Riemann published a fictitious medieval treatise complete with psesudo-scholarly commentary."

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