May 3, 2017

How would famous composers have used Twitter?

Depending on how you feel about Twitter, you're either profoundly grateful or wistfully regretful that Richard Wagner passed on and ascended to Valhalla generations prior to the advent of that particular media platform.
Mozart: jokes, GIF's and snark?

Just imagine if Wagner had been empowered to trumpet to the world his incendiary views on politics, Jews, and (naturally) how the world didn't appreciate his staggering genius -- in 144 characters. 


Naturally, Wagner would have employed the "thread" device you often encounter in the Twittersphere, where people's agendas can't be expressed in a single tweet, forcing them to make endless enumerated replies to the original post until they've finally run out of talking points.

Wagner's threads would have numbered in the hundreds; in the thousands.

This got me started thinking about how other composers might have employed Twitter. See if you agree.

VERDI: There is no chance Verdi would have used ANY social media. In fact, he'd have used email reluctantly, mainly for business arrangements or to open attachments containing the latest revisions from his current librettist. But Twitter? He would have held the whole enterprise in deepest scorn. "I have a farm to oversee and opera projects to complete."

That said, if I'm wrong and he did sign up for Twitter, he'd have used it exclusively for blunt, candid political statements with appropriate hashtags: #RISORGIMENTO 

MOZART: would have shared vulgar jokes and funny GIF's. Maybe the occasional snarky comment about Salieri, or some pianist or singer he didn't think much of.

PUCCINI: He'd have a P.R. person handle his account, using Twitter only to promote his latest opera or an important new production of another one about to open. "Really looking forward to working again with the beautiful Rosina Storchio in the new Tosca in Milan. Always a delight." That sort of thing. Nothing personal.

J. S. BACH: Daily inspirational quotes from the New Testament or Martin Luther. Possibly links to audio tracks of fave pieces by Telemann. Baby pictures. LOTS of baby pictures.

BEETHOVEN: I'm thinking he'd share photos he took on nature walks - pics of pretty landscapes, rolling hills, babbling brooks, etc. He would have weighed in on current events and politics, but less obsessively than Wagner. He was something of a "coffeephile" (i.e. a java connoisseur), so he might have tweeted about a new blend or dark roast he'd just discovered.

ROSSINI: Food porn! Links to recipes and photos of the most recent dinner he either was served or cooked himself. Also a fairly continuous stream of snark about the state of contemporary music. Actually, of all the composers, Rossini's personality seems the best-suited to commentary in 144 characters. Consider his famous remark "Wagner has lovely moments but awful quarters of an hour." I mean, how many retweets would THAT have gotten in the first 24 hours?! It's really a crying shame he missed out on Twitter...

JOHN CAGE: Pure guesswork here, but would it not be in character for him to composer a Tweet consisting of the phrase "144 characters" repeated until her ran out of space? Something like this:

John Cage @chanceman 144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters144 characters

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