Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Praise of Technique

As a music therapist I tend to let working with clients' musicality lead the work on technique. The idea is that as they become more engaged in music making, the more they'll appreciate how empowering technique can be, and the more motivated they'll be to do the work involved to improve it. Too much technique too soon and you're going to lose a client.

For educators, technique is much more central, and in the last generation or two there's been a huge payoff. In this post Kyle Gann talks about a piece of very difficult music written by John Halle that can only be played these days because the, "rhythmic complexity standards have risen miraculously among the younger generation".

As Kyle always offers audio examples of music he's talking about, there's a link in the post to an mp3 of the first movement of the piece. It's astonishingly beautiful, takes me to places I've never been before, and I can't even begin to get my mind around the technique needed to achieve it. 

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