Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Performance Styles

Over on Horn Insights on this post I made the following comment:

>>Thanks for this info. Just seeing them in the photo playing from memory, standing up and out from behind their music stands, suggests a vitality to the music making that surpasses immaculate recitation. The photo also suggests a couple of them are moving with their music making, something I wish more classical performers would do from time to time. Curbing the physicality of music making can give the music a formal sheen, but can also reduce its immediacy and accessibility.<<

Jeffrey Agrell then did a follow-up post elaborating on that comment. This general idea of broadening our notions of music making is one of the things folks like Greg Sandow is working with, to the consternation of folks like A. C. Douglas. It's an interesting topic to follow and I can see both sides of the debate.

To me it comes back to the fact that we're all wired differently when it comes to what music we like and how we want it presented. Some people have what I call "theory mind" and can consciously hear and appreciate all kinds of subtleties, harmonic and otherwise, that affect me only subliminally. I can see how for them anything other than a strict formal presentation of the music will be full of unwelcome distractions. They seem to be able to go straight from the cerebral to the emotional, not needing that visceral, almost physical, connection with the performance that I so enjoy.

The other thing to mention is that one of the great delights of blogging is the exchanges with other bloggers I follow, none of whom are music therapists. We have some mutual interests, but have different ways of talking about them, and that deepens and broadens my appreciation of various aspects of music making in ways I'd never expected. 

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