Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chickens ... eggs ... The way our culture thinks about music is that it has to be learned, technique first. But technique, at least on the piano, is taught very much the way the old Fred Astaire dance charts used to try to impart the art of dancing to total klutzes who didn't have a clue. In case you have never seen such a chart let me attempt a description. It showed basically the floor plan of a step, with outlines of the left and right foot shoes of a man and a woman with dotted lines and arrows indicating ... you guessed it.

No trace of body, no indication of a rhythm. Just shoes positioned in a diagram that might show where to put the sofa in relation to the coffee table.

But it doesn't work like that. Impulse counts for more than 90% of it. Impulse and an instrument translates directly into sound. Start with that and there is meaning.

Start the other way and count the days until it dries up.