ABSTRACT

Balzac tended to categorize musicians with epithets of convenience; Rossini represented melody, Liszt harmony, Berlioz descriptive music, Chopin music, Meyerbeer grand opera, and Paganini creative virtuosity. Jacques Strunz existence and achievements have been obscured beyond memory in the annals of music, but he was well enough known during his lifetime for Balzac to entrust him with his formal musical education. Strunz left Balzac with a usable understanding of science of music, not necessarily in its subtle technicalities and intricacies but in the nature of the difficulties inherent in the broad aspects of composition. More pragmatic are those musicians in Balzac's novels who can do what Strunz could not: cast aside their instruments in order to avail themselves of the material advantages of the business world, like the flutist in Pons's orchestra "who throws his flute to the dogs to become a banker". Pons finds solace in his alter ego, Wilhelm Schmucke, an incomparable teacher but a naive and distracted individual.