>Could you elaborate a bit more about my use of the word, "about."
OK--though we both may live to regret this--and as briefly as I can,
because a discussion of this could turn into maddening semantic quibbling.
What you originally said was:
>Reflecting on your comments and others, I wonder if one could say that
>Shostakovich's writing is more about emotion and Prokofiev's writing is
>more often about music?
By "writing" I assume you mean their musical composition, in effect
their music itself. So if you say music is "about emotion," somebody
is sure to jump up and ask, "Do you mean to say that particular music
REFERS meaningfully to particular emotions in a way we can specify
verbally?" If you say yes, then--even though you might be right--you may
be subjected to a lecture on linguistics, in addition to suggestions of
alternate musical interpretations. To avoid that you might just want
to say that Shostakovich's music is strongly expressive of emotion and
Prokofiev's is more often simply pure music without such strong emphasis.
There you may or may not be right, but the discussion is more likely to
stay more in the musical realm. (As it has so far, thank goodness.) And
even there we get people like Stravinsky saying that music is powerless
to express anything at all. I think we might agree that Stravinsky was
just plain wrong about this, but I am sure we could find people to give
us an argument there, too.