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The young Krenek was inspired by the proverb [approx. English equivalent: “A leopard cannot change its spots”] to create a drama which would prove the truth of the saying. Later on, he called the opera a “juvenile experiment” and thought that those who knew Jonny spielt auf [“Jonny Strikes Up”] would notice that Sprung was a preliminary study for it. In fact, there are noticeable traces of American popular music of the kind which, more prominently used, ensured that Jonny would be a worldwide success. For the most part, however, the score is comprised of atonal sections; it is also Krenek’s first attempt at writing a libretto.