Saturday, November 16, 2013


When I was a student in Germany, lo! these many years ago, I learned a term of formal address: Herr Doktor Ober Unter Nummer Nix.  I think of it often in these days -- who would have thought it would happen here -- when every other musician has a doctorate in something.  But in what exactly?

Sound being remarkably complex, let alone instrumental technique, an honest pianist is at least 60 before he or she has a clue as to what is happening.

The real trouble with so many doctorates is that people listen to the degree not to the music.  It is a way of shutting everybody up, of filtering out reactions.

More often than not the emperor is under-dressed, the Herr or Frau Doktor sporting a degree in 0000 cum laude.  (Cum laude, pronounced ff.)