12 October 2007

Back in the Saddle

Ok! So, I FINALLY started reading this book we've been talking about reading for months. I got through most of the introduction today during lunch. I like his tone so far.. It sounds as though he'll be taking a different approach than most musicians might. I like it!

I thought it was interesting when he said,

"Nowadays there is a great emphasis on technique and skill, and whether a musician is "good enough" to play for others. Music making has become a somewhat reserved activity in our culture, and the rest of us listen." (pg.7)

Recently, I've been trying my hand at composition (again) and I find it rather a daunting task. I feel like since I have a degree and all, people expect that my stuff be amazing, Beethoven level stuff that'll wow the socks off everyone. But having Mr. Levitin point out this juxtaposition aloud sort of started me thinking about how it doesn't have to be that way. I have something to share, and there doesn't have to be such a stark separation between those who do music, and those who listen.

And, in view of my lack of composition confidence, I like how he discussed the similarities of artists and scientists. (pg. 5) Perhaps a little over the top, but my favorite part was when he said:
"The work of artists and scientists is ultimately the pursuit of truth, but members of both camps understand that truth in its very nature is contextual and changeable, dependent on point of view..."

I think that perhaps truth isn't the exact word that I would've used, but the concept of "what is music" is very much captured in that statement. Music is something that is enjoyed based upon perception and point of view, which is as ever changing as the sands of society around us.

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