Motivation Monday: Craftmanship Is a Comfort to the Writer

Have you ever felt that, despite being a gifted wordsmith, you simply had nothing to write about?

Johannes Brahms has a soft spot in my heart, because as a composer, he is known for his skill in arranging and composing parts for the least-regarded string instrument in the entire orchestra: the viola. Viola players tend to be technically skilled but, unless they’re exposed to a wide range of playing opportunities early on in their training, seem to lack a lot of the flourish and inspiration that characterizes gifted violinists and other classically trained musicians.

Ask any violist: Under most composers: the alto part is drudgery. But under Brahms, the craftsmanship and skill of the violist can be showcased and its unique, bittersweet-chocolate voice can finally be heard above the elegant din.

Wihtout craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. -Johannes Brahms

So when you feel your inspiration lacking, work on building your technical ability in the realm of writing. When a part to play finally comes your way, you’ll crush it. Just ask Johannes Brahms.

And, really. Enough out of the violins.

Yours truly,

A violist for over 14 years.

Enjoy some Brahms here: