The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Did opera composer Puccini find inspiration – or even steal melodies – for his famous Asian stories from a Swiss music box? | June 24, 2012

By Jacob Stockinger

Composers have long been known for finding inspiration in all sorts of places. Sometimes they rework the material; sometimes they just appropriate it outright.

The sources range from folk songs and folk dances to borrowings from their own works, which Bach and Handel did often.

Now research suggests that perhaps the popular Puccini (below), who along with Verdi and Wagner makes up the Holy Trinity of opera – found inspiration for “Madama Butterfly” and even the unfinished ‘Turandot” in a Swiss music box.

The 1877 music box has Chinese tunes that Puccini might have listened to. It is located in the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey. Here is a view of one of the tune sheets:

Take a look and read the story from The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/arts/music/puccini-opera-echoes-a-music-box-at-the-morris-museum.html?pagewanted=all

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3 Comments »

  1. […] Classical music news: Did opera composer Puccini find inspiration – or even steal melodies &#8… (welltempered.wordpress.com) […]

    Pingback by G Roald Smeets Top 10 Classical Composers – Help Write the List – NYTimes.com « G Roald Smeets — July 31, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  2. That is truly fascinating!

    Comment by AnnB. — June 24, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  3. […] By Jacob Stockinger Composers have long been known for finding inspiration in all sorts of places. Sometimes they rework the material; sometimes they just appropriate it outright. The sources range from folk songs and folk …  […]

    Pingback by Classical music news: Did opera composer Puccini find inspiration ... | Music House | Scoop.it — June 24, 2012 @ 10:45 am


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