Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wrong notes and choices

I firmly believe that people play wrong notes for the right reason:  namely, that their ear leads them to a better proposition than the one chosen by the composer, for reasons known to him or her alone.

Today I had a perfect example of how this is true.  My computer-animator student with the extraordinary ear kept playing a certain wrong note in the opening of the second movement of the "Moonlight."  Anyone with a background in music theory would be incapable of playing that note wrong.  I know that I could not do so.  I look at the score and know in advance what it will sound like.

Not so this young man.  By the time his lesson was over I had learned about the choices Beethoven made much more than I would ever dreamed possible, all because of this young man's unbiased and accurate ear.  It is not accurate in any theoretical or conceptual sense; it is simply accurate.  There is a huge difference between the two.

Odd, because just this morning I was asking myself why that seemingly "normal" movement sits between two such giant challenges, one slow, the other agitated.  Now, thanks to him, I get it.