Sunday, January 10, 2010

Yesterday I experienced a kind of Proustian moment in relation to specific sounds in Mozart piano sonatas. I recall as a child having pronounced reactions to specific sounds in those sonatas. The sounds I liked were mostly cadences in C Major, though in general I found that to be a "boring" key. There were some others, but not as consistently identifiable.

The agreeable sounds were surrounded by sounds I most particularly did not like. When they occurred I would turn the page. I played a sonata from beginning to end only on assignment, in which case I spent a lot of time holding my auditory nose.

Now, fascinated by the implications of these contrasting feelings, I am going back over the material, this time with an informed ear. I am astounded to learn the legitimacy of my child reactions.

The point I am making is that primary impressions are key to engaging the imaginative intelligence of a musical child. All the schooling in the world should reinforce, not diminish their integrity. Would that it were so.