Chopin photograph

How Chopin’s Music and Passion are mirrored in his Handwriting

by / 17 Comments / 64 View / August 20, 2010

Chopin photographI’ve always loved Chopin’s music – there is something appealing about it that speaks directly to me.

It’s sensitive, melodic and so highly refined.

Now this year happens to be the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth and while I was listening to his second piano concerto – 2nd movement (I love that) I thought I would check out his handwriting too.

So off I went to find a sample of Chopin’s handwriting.

As soon as I saw this particular handwriting sample I laughed out loud. I really couldn’t help myself.

There I was thinking that he was this gentle, cultured, ascetic, highly sensitive soul. But what did I see in his handwriting?

Passion!

It would have been the last word I’d have used to describe him.  But one look at his handwriting and I did a complete turn around.

Because passion steamed off the page!

Let me show you what I mean:

 

Chopin’s Handwriting

Chopin's handwriting

 

Now let me explain how I see passion in the sample.

The first thing that hits you between the eyes is the rich stroke or ductus. It’s dark and steamy and compressed with emotion.

Then there are those dynamic lower loops that are so full and rich they can’t but help reinforce your impression of passion.

Also look at those heavy underlinings, the forward slant and the many heavy strokes. Emotion and passion!

 

But there’s also discipline.

Where do I see that?

In those small, fine, even letters. Which incidentally make me stand by my earlier impression of cultured sensitivity too.

There’s the unpredictability of inspiration too. The rhythm and consistency is broken up here and there by innumerable surprises and flashes of inspiration.

So on reflection, – I think that “disciplined passion” is probably the best way I can describe his handwriting. And yes, that’s the exact phrase I would use to describe his exquisitely beautiful music too.

It’s interesting that in doing my research for The Mark of Genius, I discovered that so many brilliant and talented people were passionate too.

I remarked on this several times throughout the book because I was amazed to find that they all had this one particular trait in common.

Can you feel that disciplined passion too? If not, go and listen to one of his concertos and come back here and tell me what you think.  I’m sure you’ll appreciate what I mean – how well his handwriting reflects his temperament as well as his music.

Interesting isn’t it?  Do let me know what you think. Agree or disagree – I would love to hear your opinion.

What do you think?

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