henry copeland: Beethoven's greatest works were born from 'almost unusable simplicity' pllqt.it/J3bpkb #innovation[…]Beethoven cunningly derived pieces from a single, simple idea. This is not news — but it’s worth meditating on. Beethoven preferred musical ideas of almost unusable simplicity, things that seem pre-musical, or ur-musical, like chords, or scales — not music, but the stuff music is made of. Imagine a building constructed of blueprints, or a novel based on the word “the.” […]Swafford focuses on a magical aha moment: Beethoven has just figured out how he’ll begin the Fifth Symphony, with a motif we know all too well. “Then something struck him,” Swafford says. “He jotted down an idea in G major . . . the melodic line, virtually intact, of the opening piano soliloquy of the Fourth Piano Concerto.” This other melody is built on the same rhythmic DNA, the same da-da-da-dum, but in place of agitation, you have the most gorgeous benediction, a melody of unbelievable tenderness. […]two of the greatest musical works of all time, born from the same piece of Morse code, a single unit of rhythm that was turned in Beethoven’s mind (at the moment of creation!) to utterly opposing ends.