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A less known composer such as Dvorak should be considered as great as a composer such as Mozart

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/5/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 863 times Debate No: 51697
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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Hello, I am for this argument. The majority of people in the world (excluding the countries of Africa) have most likely heard of one of the great composers and one of their pieces e.g. W.A.Mozart- Symphony no.40 in G Minor. Mozart is someone who is considered a musical genius who was a prodigy and had wrote over 500 pieces of music. This is the reason why someone like this is considered a Great Composer.

I believe that someone such as Dvorak should receive more credit for his works which I consider to be highly influential to early modern Classical music. In my opinion, you are not a great composer for writing 500 pieces of music, but for the quality of that music.

To compare these two example composers. I emplore that you listen to a piece of music from each of these composer e.g symphony no.40(Mozart) - scherzo cappriciouso/ Slavonic Dance no.2 ( Dvorak).



I will argue that Mozart rightfully deserves more recognition than Dvorak

1) Mozart is not considered great because he wrote a lot of music. He is considered great because he was able to write everything and most everything he wrote is great. He wrote symphonies, concertos, piano works, chamber music, masses, serious opera, humorous opera, and so on. He wielded a wide array of compositional assets in his arsenal. He could create catchy Italianate melodies that seemed to progress in an inevitable fashion. He was a pioneer in using a variety of "topics" into single movements, such as the learned style or fanfare, or alla turca. He was able to create multiple themes and motifs in a single piece of music and layer them in ingenious ways. His music may seem old fashioned at times because he wrote in the galant-style, but that's a testament to the era he lived in, not his ability. He was escaping the baroque era's highly ornamented style with an enlightenment-inspired simplicity. The amazing thing about Mozart is how much Mozart you know without realizing it. I recommend the following pieces:

Laudate Pueri:
Queen of the Night:
Symphony 40 in G minor:
Requiem in D minor:

2) Dvorak is a well known composer. However, his influence is largely questionable. He was known as the first American composer, but his music failed to escape the trends of European music. Also, directly comparing the two is not an indication of their greatness, but a comparison of musical eras. Mozart wrote in the classical era. Dvorak wrote in the late romantic era and was able to study the music of great composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Berlioz, Mendelsson, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, etc. And those composers studied Mozart!
Debate Round No. 1


Well, I can see that I am against a very strong opponent. This is not a bad thing. Quite the opposite indeed.

Anyhoo... I would to justify my statement by saying that some of the greatest people in whatever they were/are great in, had learnt from the people before that person. For example Dvorak had learnt from many great composers such as Berlioz, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven (who was between the transition of the classical and romantic era) etc. Because of this, dvorak had incorporated many things into his compositions which was developed by composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. Practically everybody has of the motif in symphony no.40, which is even used in cheap ringtones.

I have been doing some research on Dvorak. It seems that Dvorak had a very prominent role in the development of American music during the late 19th/early 20th century. Pieces such as the Festival March has been said to be a great influence towards the development of some of America's later marches as well as many other countries. Dvorak also have much more successful and influential pieces e.g. scherzo Capriciouso which contained several techniques such as motifs which was somewhat developed by Mozart and others. Just like Beethoven, Dvorak wrote 9 symphonies, many of which are well known (especially the 'new world symphony'). Dvorak was born as a Roman-Catholic and was raised to be religious and because of this, he wrote many pieces of work such as his requiem which had affected many later religious based works.

Scherzo Capriciouso-
Slavonic dance no.2-


Leaving this response to the last minute, gotta type fast.

Dvorak was great at incorporating things like you said. however, he was not unique in this. incorporating folk tunes into one's work was very in vogue at the time.

To think of using of motif as a compositional technique is pretty weird. It's akin to think of using phrases to write a novel. I'm curious what you mean by motif as a technique.

If Dvorak was so great, why couldn't he get past his 9th symphony?

When you make the consideration of who to study in music history, you have to consider how much that figure stands out. Dvorak had such a wide array of capable contemporaries across the globe. Mozart had a handful of decent composers who wrote at the same time. You don't see people talking about Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf much these days.
Debate Round No. 2


Hello again,

Before I begin my round argument, I would like to answer some questions: I looked up Dvorak’s life just after the time of his ninth symphony. It seems that Dvorak was in a slight financial problem and had decided to return to Bohemia and he decided that from 1895- he only compose chamber and operatic music. No harm in that. I must say that the 'curse of the ninth' myth you linked to, is quite interesting in which it makes me wonder whether Beethoven was 'staying safe'. It also makes me think whether Mozart was a believer of this until the time of his ninth symphony. After this, he was probably like: 'Bitch, I'm going up to 41!’.

Anyway, back to topic. I would like to point out that I have only been using Dvorak as an example, because I find that he is a good example. Please note that I do not dislike Mozart, in fact he is one of my favourite composers amongst others such as Tchaikovsky and Faure. Recently, I have been learning about Mozart and I have been analysing his pieces as part of my coursework. One of the pieces includes the Requiem in D which made make think about if Mozart knew he was going to die, and was like:”Better work on my requiem”... then doesn’t finish it.

To PSYDUCK, I ask you who your favourite composers are and what pieces you enjoy the most?



The curse of the ninth is pretty interesting, but it was something that was noticed after these guys. They weren't aware of the curse.

My favorites...tough to say. Mostly I just like the popular guys. Not a fan of serialism though

Random pieces I like--well-known variety:
Beethoven's pathetique
Beethoven's pastoral:
Debussy's Clair de Lune
Chopin's Nocturnes
Tchaikivsky's 1812 Overture
Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain
Wagner's Tristan und Isolde
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

more obscure variety:
Schumann's Ziguerleben:
Yuquijiro Yocoh's arrangement of sakura:
variations on a Korean folk song:

I was kind of hesitant to start a list because I knew I'd never be complete. I'm stopping here simply because I have to stop. So much great music left out... Maybe, if you ask me a more specified question, I can better answer you.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 2 years ago
What about lesser-known composers like Roslavets? You can't say he was mostly just good at incorporating material from previous composers. Although he was heavily influenced by Scriabin, his works were very innovative. However, he had pretty much no influence.
Posted by psyduck 2 years ago
forgot to mention ave verum corpus. Definately one of my favorite of Mozart
Posted by psyduck 2 years ago
Bad etiquette to use comment section like this, but let me just clarify one of my points about the contemporaries.

What can we get out of studying/ listening to Dvorak that we can't get out of listening to Brahms and Wagner? Don't get me wrong, he's a good listen. But to get Mozart, you have to study/listen to Mozart. He stands out more.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by WilliamofOckham 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Very interesting debate, but it seemed to turn into a conversation by the third round. Overall, pro had the burden of proof and did not fulfill it as much as he should.