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Thread: Classify Johannes Brahms

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    Classify Johannes Brahms

    Classify the Deutsch master of Romantic classical music, often said to be one of the "Three B's" of classical (with Bach and Beethoven). I'll include some younger photos of him without the beard, it definitely obscures his face.
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    "Classify Johannes Brahms by Schubert" very funny

    Predominantly Nordid with significant Alpinid influence, the latter becoming visible more clearly at an older age.

    According to Kretschmer, this is a most typical combination for composers: Nordid urge to create combined with Alpinid "Gemüthaftigkeit".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldstein View Post
    According to Kretschmer, this is a most typical combination for composers: Nordid urge to create combined with Alpinid "Gemüthaftigkeit".
    Kretschmer doesn't mention the equally prevalent Nordid-Dinaric combination, which i found a strange omission. BTW, what does Gemüthaftigkeit means?

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    Gemüthaftigkeit
    Could you give a rough explanation of this word?


    Kretschmer doesn't mention the equally prevalent Nordid-Dinaric combination, which i found a strange omission. BTW, what does Gemüthaftigkeit means?
    If I'm not mistake, in certain schemes, Dinarid is subsumed by Alpinid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey View Post
    Could you give a rough explanation of this word?




    If I'm not mistake, in certain schemes, Dinarid is subsumed by Alpinid.
    I understand the theory that Dinarics and Alpinids are connected but this does not mean they can simply be lumped together as a single group. A careful examination of the music of composers with a strong Dinaric element (Mozart, Chopin, Berlioz, Liszt ect.) viz a viz those with an Alpinid foundation (Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms ect.) demonstrate a completely different psychological and expressive profile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saxnot View Post
    I understand the theory that Dinarics and Alpinids are connected but this does not mean they can simply be lumped together as a single group. A careful examination of the music of composers with a strong Dinaric element (Mozart, Chopin, Berlioz, Liszt ect.) viz a viz those an Alpinid foundation (Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms ect.) demonstrate a completely different psychological and expressive profile.
    I agree; I was just trying to point out that certain anthropologists do not. perhaps Kretschmer is one of these?

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    I ignore the reason why Kretschmer did seemingly not take into account the -- in my view quite obvious importance of the Dinarid component in musical genius. I just remember that somewhere in his book "Geniale Menschen", he said something like the general knowledge regarding Dinarids was too unsure. I will try to find, look up said section and then post it here if it should in fact turn out to be of any relevance in this context.

    Possible that his personal taste was more in the direction of Bach, Beethoven and Schubert than for instance Liszt and Chopin. Maybe he also saw Mozart as a Nordid-Alpinid mixture as well rather than a Nordid-Dinarid one. But the most probable explanation for his omission in my opinion is that his statement was meant to be of a more general nature: He just said that the highest frequency of musical geniuses occurs in the territory of "Nordid-Alpinid" mixture which shows a big intersection with the central European Dinarid territory (namely Bavaria and some parts of Austria in the first place).

    Gemüthaftigkeit
    Could you give a rough explanation of this word?
    When I look up "Gemüt" on leo.org, I find "mind" as a translation, which is completely false in my opinion as "mind" brings into mind the latin "mens", which is a faculty of reason, of intellect. "Gemüt" is, in a very rough approximation: θυμός (thymos), but it's more (and a more diffuse term) than the greek one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thumos

    Associated with "Gemüt" is "Gemütlichkeit" (translations on leo.org: cosiness, snugness, sociability) and - with quite a different meaning - also "Gemüthaftigkeit". A person who shows much "Gemüt" can be described as "gemüthaft". A zyklothymic person will constantly be "gemüthaft", because it's the θυμός which is - as opposed to the schizothymic - unsplit in the zyklothymic, is his main driving force, the flowing of the "Gemüt", not ideas or abstract principles, but this "Gemüthaftigkeit" will make his mood change from time to time, from more or less hilarious to more or less sad or downright depressive. I think the best way to understand the meaning of "Gemüthaftigkeit" is to read the novels of writers such as Gottfried Keller or Adalbert Stifter and/or to listen to some music of Schubert and maybe Brahms to name only a few examples.

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    If my own observations are correct, Schubert is a bit more Nordic in his expression then Brahms. It is possible of course that Kretschmer believed that, despite their obvious natural affinity for music, and the fact that they make the best virtuosos, Dinarics are simply incapable of genius. The Nordic element being omnipresent, there is at least one case in which a full blooded Alpine musician was able to achieve genius, that is, Beethoven. Dvorak and Debussy might count as well. At the moment, i can't think of a Dinaric musician that has done the same. Berlioz certainly does not qualify, and neither does Liszt or Paganini. Mozart and Chopin both had Nordic blood if i'm not mistaken. I also remember reading that Kretschmer believed there were only two cultures in Europe, Nordic and Alpine. He then specifically stated that Dinarics did not in fact produce a culture of their own (though he is quick to add that there was no reason to believe they couldn't!), which in a way seems to indicate that he did separate Alpines from Dinarics. Of course, things get even more confusing when you consider other venues of genius. For instance, the Renaissance had an extraordinary abundance of Dinaric artists, starting from Michelangelo, who was perhaps the greatest of them all. Surely Kretschmer couldn't possibly have failed to take that into consideration, unless he credited the Renaissance on the Alpine strain alone.

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