A friend who is writing a play about a parent who resents his child’s musical talent wonders if there is any known instance of an adult actually destroying an instrument because he or she cannot bear the child moving in an uncontrollable direction.
I’ve racked my brain and can’t think of one. There are instances of self-harm among musicians who feel technically inadequate – Schumann, the most famous – but can anyone call to mind an enraged parent smashing a violin against a wall, or taking a sledgehammer to the piano?
I got pretty close to the edge when one of my daughters transcribed her repertory and played it on the penny-whistle, but both she and the instrument survive in good nick and I am quietly coaching her two year-old tot to exact an appropriate revenge. All in good time…
Can anyone come up with a personal or historical incicent of an older person – doesn’t have to be a parent, could be teacher or priest – who took out their frustration on the object that emitted the music? All contributions gratefully received. There’s plenty of space below.
It’s George Washington in reverse: kiddie, I cannot tell a lie. It was me who snapped your oboe in half and stamped the trumpet into a doormat.