Rules in the arts

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Posted by Yon Bard on January 29, 1999 at 09:21:47:

The idea of artistic creation being governed by a set of rules is hardly novel. In every stylitic period of every art form a set of rules springs up within which the artists are more or less constrained to work. Eventually, some artists rebel against the rules, and after some struggles against the establishment they succeed in overthrowing the rules (or at least some of them) and launch a new style, whose rules again become codified in due time, and the cycle repeats. Thus, in music for example, we have the progression from baroque to rococo to classical to romantic to modern etc. This struggle between the upholders of the rules and the innovators who try to break them is most eloquently depicted in Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger.'
It appears that the rules are useful in saving the audience from always having to cope with totally undisciplined creations; in fact it is just the ingenuity of a Mozart or a Tekke weaver in infusing life into the framework of the rules that is so appealing; but one thing the rules fail to do is tell us how to distinguish between the genius and the also ran.

Regards, Yon

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