Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thinking Along the Same Lines

Thanks to the Internet's ability to track just about anything I discovered the word "refraction" used on p. 38 of Tonality and Transformation, a music theory study by Steven Rings, whose academic credentials and affiliations are impressive.  Searching further I found that he and I share not just the use of that word in relation to music perception, but also several sources for our way of thinking.  In response to my email noting that, though I am not a theorist, our scholarly interests in music have much in common, he replied that, indeed, it seems to be the case.

Ever since receiving his reply -- in itself remarkable in that few academics bother to reply to emails from total strangers who are not credentialed in their field -- I have been imagining dialogue of a kind that had never occurred to me.  Could it be that I could discuss my work as a real theory of music but based on listening as THE critical activity, not the printed score?

And could it be the the act of listening, the infinitely variable act of listening to infinitely variable music could at last be respected as worthy of being taken seriously from day one of a human life?

Perhaps my fascination with listening to all sorts of students might at last be taken as a sign of real seriousness rather than regarded as the putdown implied in such terms as "piano teacher" or "teaching beginners."