This blog post title is inspired by a Beethoven piano concert I recently attended.
The pianist presented several of the Beethoven piano concertos, all multi-movement works, with descriptive titles such as the one above.
If your knowledge of musical nomenclature and/or Italian is rusty, it means ‘quickly, but not too much’.
Allegro/allegretto also has a connotation of joyfully – so joyfully quick, but not too much.
I particularly love the ‘ma non troppo’ part which seems like such an Italian mamma kind of finger wagging advice.
But it got me thinking about how we approach creative careers and how we are often needing to work quickly in order to get everything done.
A combination of a rapidly moving world and the fact that most creative people love their work and get excited by it, means a pressure – often both from within and without – to work quickly.
‘Ma non troppo’ strikes me as a wonderful reminder that sometimes working quickly is not the best approach.
That sometimes in our creative work, slowing down a little… just a little even… gives us a different perspective.
We can still work quickly, we just manage it slightly by not going overboard.
We ‘ma non troppo’ our energy so we don’t use it all up.
We ‘ma non troppo’ our money and our relationships so we don’t use them all up either.
If anything, it’s a slightly more sustainable, reasoned, measured pace of working quickly rather than the Tasmanian Devil approach that creative people so often choose to work at.
Next time you’re working furiously away at something, remind yourself to take a little ‘ma non troppo’ time.