Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A beautiful message from one of you prompts today's post.

We listen better to others if we feel free to express ourselves. In other words, if we expect to be listened to we listen better.

This is why it is central to music reading to invent music on one's own terms. Over-emphasis on notation keeps many people from experimentation with sound. This in turn makes it hard to read music with imagination.

Why not invent new ways to write down what one invents? Several of my students compose music. I never look at their notation; I "only" listen. As a result their music reading is superior to mine in that they go directly from notation to sound without the distraction of concepts or "time-saving" formulas. Their reading superior because I learn from it.

Learning to listen without the distraction of my own learned concepts and formulas was a major accomplishment. It improved my listening to everything, including the farthest out new music.