The Anvil Chorus

Everyday Creativity. These posts offer examples of creativity in business, politics, the arts, science and above all in everyday life.

Listening to The Anvil Chorus by Verdi. Sublime music, but I noticed for the first time how in the original Italian it was The Gypsy Chorus, about the gypsies at work as blacksmiths.

Not the gypsies, or their hammers, but their anvils

In an example of everyday creativity, the translation into english focuses attention on the the anvil without which the blacksmith could not function. To me the image of the anvil is more in the spirit of Verdi’s music.

Nor should be a surprise if the music has attracted imitation. The most famous ‘cover’ is that by those musical magpies Gilbert and Sullivan, in Pirates of Penzance. Later, the imitations multiplied in bursts of everyday creativity. You can hear it in the soundtrack to the film Babe. It has even be played in triumph for a home touchdown at American Football matches.

Henri Bergson considers that we engage in a creative way through our everyday encounters. Over time there is a process of experiencing the new but linked with older experiences. So, Verdi’s genius sets off subsequent experiences, which is what Bergson described as Creative Evolution.


By Tudor Rickards

Tudor Rickards is a Business School Professor who has taught and written extensively on leadership, creativity and change management. He has also worked as a scientific manager, journal editor, and entrepreneur. Tudor lives in a part of Greater Manchester which figures in his fictional writings, plays tennis badly and chess more competitively.

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