Friday, October 15, 2010

There is a lot of talk among people who teach academic music theory about why so many students who are passionate about music do so poorly in theory classes. Some have even come out and said that music is as much about visual as about auditory experience.

Recently I was put in a position where I had to acknowledge in print that it took me years to be able to hear objectively--that is, without prejudicing my hearing by what I see on a printed page. The music I hear is valid; what I see is often stereotypical and not subject to the life of tones.

I have staked quite a lot on the difference, which constitutes a form of heresy among musical thinkers, so entrenched is the visual-analysis approach.

How do I know it doesn't work? Because of Mozart.