Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Frank Lloyd Wright- The Music Loving Architect
In school we have been learning about architecture and different houses. Today we learned about the famous Frank Lloyd Wright. I knew that he was an architect that built interesting houses, but beyond that I didn't know a whole lot about him. I certainly didn't know what a huge impact music had on him and so I got very excited as I kept hearing references to music as we learned about his architecture.
Frank Lloyd Wright's father was a very talented musician who struggled to make enough money to provide for his family. (Common occurrence with great musicians of old.) He was so good that he started a music school in Madison, Wisconsin. The school didn't last long, but the impression that music made on Frank would last for a lifetime.
"When Frank designed a prairie house, he remembered the music his father had taught him. The structure in a musical composition is like the structure of a house. When he thought of a house he thought about music. He saw that harmony and the combinations of several melodies in music were the same as the harmony and combinations of colors and building materials used to make a house. He used the dramatic changes that loud and soft sounds and rhythm made in music to make the spaces in his house more interesting." (Thomsen 33)
Frank Lloyd Wright saw the beauty and heard the sounds and music of nature. He worked to make his houses blend and not disturb nature if possible. His architecture of his houses like "Falling Water" depict this well.
Frank and his wife Catherine had six children, so he made sure to include large playrooms in the houses he designed. In the playroom of his own house he wanted there to be a grand piano but didn't want it to take up the play area. So instead of moving the piano to a different room he cut a piano sized hole in the playroom wall. The keyboard side of the piano was in the playroom and the rest of the piano hung out over an open staircase! Talk about efficiency!
Not only did Frank love music, but he instilled that love into his children as well. "On some evenings the family orchestra practiced there [playroom]: Lloyd the cello; John played the violin; Catherine sang; David played the flute; Francis played the piano; and baby Llewellyn played the mandolin." (Thomsen 28)
I thought it was so neat to learn all of these things just from the book "Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids" by Kathleen Thorne-Thomsen. Let's just say that I am much more excited now to read my biography book assignment on Frank Lloyd Wright now. :-) It never ceases to amaze me how God can use music. I would have NEVER guessed that music helped a man like Frank Lloyd Wright. So, with great excitement I must stop writing to go and begin reading that biography and perhaps learn some even more interesting things about him.
Thorne-Thomsen, Kathleen. Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1994. Print