Re: Playing your own music... Just a though

Subject: Re: Playing your own music... Just a though
From: jef chippewa (
Date: Tue Sep 06 2005 - 20:41:09 EDT

>I reveal the composer only at the very end,
>since I don't think it matters much in that
>particular kind of discussion, except for
>historical reasons - you connect a name with a
>certain approach.

in other words, the ensuing discussion might
entirely neglect to consider particularities of
the composer's relation to the field, of his
personal aesthetic and formal ideas in relation
to the piece? more importantly, it would
completely avoid considerations of why piece Y
(which we just listened to) is a more/less
successful integration and reflection of the
composer's compositional concerns than X. this
is an important point... well, unless one
believes that individual pieces sit somehow in a
unique historical position without relation to
the composer's background, country of
birth/residence, access to technology, etc.
this is quite a problem, as i see it, after all,
these factors had significant impact on the
composition of the work, and by not mentioning
the composer's name, one risks remaining ignorant
of all but the most salient aspects of the work,
and may entirely neglect his or her practice and
ideas. i can accept the idea that "hey man,
it's all about the music" from an avowed neophyte
(simply because often any subsequent discussion
is not worth the effort), but have problems with
this concept in a classroom, where people are
(purportedly) there with educational goals.

>Plus, in this way, the students were not afraid
>to criticise 'big' names in the field.

in a truly critical discussion, the students
would neither neglect to consider the composer's
experiences in relation to the piece, nor defer
to a seemingly entrenched idea that the person
holding the big name in the field has some sort
of absolute authority because of their position
and recognition.

further, if the students aren't encouraged to
actively "criticise 'big' names" in the
classroom, where and how are they to gain the
experience in order to be able do it in the "real

man, take the training wheels off, give 'em a
shove and let them fly! or crash and burn,
either result can only benefit them.


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