Friday, May 24, 2013

Variability vs. Reliability

Can you enjoy both?  Why not?

For example, I love the sound of unaccompanied voices singing in perfect harmony.  That is not a variable, though it is a function of the composition, diction, acoustics, and a few other, yes, variables.

But I love also the sound of the modern piano, by definition an infinitely variable phenomenon, almost impossible to replicate exactly from one piano to another, even from one day to another on a given piano.

It is only partly a matter of disposition.  It becomes a matter of social import.  If I must always have either one sort of sound or the other I limit the range of musical experience to which I open myself.

Perhaps that is why I rarely see the same faces at an early music performance as at a world premiere.

It's too bad, really.