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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000813.txt from 1999/01

From: TOM RIDENOUR <klarinet@-----.net>
Subj: Re: [kl] Subjective and Objective
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 22:54:53 -0500

Roger wrote:
But wouldn't we need to buy into the argument including numbers 1-6 before
we could realize the objectivity as put forth here? Or, is it a different
objectivity for each school of playing.......is there a right or wrong
school of playing?

I wanted to revisit this notion. Of course, there is not a right and wrong
school of playing. And different schools and styles value different things
in an instrument. A great orchestral player would value different things
than a Klezmer clarinetist. Right?
Therefore, the objective elements of an instrument are of relative value.
Even different playing needs within a certain style, let's say, classical
clarinet, will determine which instrument is chosen as best and most
appropriate; The aspects of the playing features will then have a somewhat
different proportional relationship to one another; but all aspects ought
to fall into an acceptable parameter for that playing style.
In a relative world, the value of a given tool or object is determined by
how successfully and effortless it does the job the user of the tool
intends or purposes. A good tool for one job may be lousey for another.
Thus, its' value to the user changes with the purpose; a tank might be
great asset on the desert, but a liabilty at Daytona Speed way.
However, though its' value or worth changes in the eye of the user in
different contexts, it remains what it is.
Again, I am not trying to insist upon a set of values all instruments
ought to or must all meet, as much as I am suggesting that we need to
develop a thoughtful and systematic approach to get as much accurate
information as possible about what an instrument really is, so we can make
a more informed and appropriate accessment of its' true worth in relation
to what we intend to achieve , or how we want to play and develop; so that
what we believe to be and what "is" are as close to the same as can
possibly be, and that there is great consistency between what we
intellectually conceive and the concrete expression concept. (Logical
contradictions are red lights that signal we're in trouble).
To the degree this becomes a reality less effort is needed to achieve
higher goals, less time will be needed to achieve the letter and more time
to express the spirit of the music. That , I believe, is called freedom.
Will it ever be perfectly perfect? Not in a realm of relative perfections.
But without an ever clearer ideal forming, developing and subsisting in the
intellect we will never, never see a positive development in time and
space; thus a clearly developed concept is like a paradigm which aids us
tremendously in our growth and development. In this way concepts both aid,
define, properly evaulate and direct progress.
The fact that we cannot make something absolutely perfect is no reason for
not making something as good as it can be according to the perfect ideal.
Right?

Roger continued:
>Of course you are correct here - but I wonder if we need to adopt a
>unified school of thought on embouchure and air speed/temp.etc......?
>Then do we all need to purchase the one instrument for which we don't
>change those things?
We need to purchase the one instrument that realizes and facilitates more
perfectly in the greater number of aspects what we desire to achieve. As
the "inner musician" and person develops and grows our ideal or ideals will
also grow and mature and what we desire to achieve should become clearer
and clearer.

Will that then realize better music and music
>listening for the masses? Better performance ability amongst students?
>Will teaching then become easy because we have eliminated the problems of
>the instrument?

Instruments will never, and ought not to, play themselves. But better
instruments mean that less time and energy in a lesson will need to be
focused on rudimentary technical mastery and more on the aesthetic and
artistic ones. Would that not be both freeing and refreshing?

Francois said to me on the phone a few days ago, "How can we make different
instruments unless players tell us what they want?"
He's right.
So, I might encourage players to become proactive! That is, not just to
passively accept "what is", but to think ever more clearly about what ought
to be and become able to articulate your ideas clearly and acknowledge
when you see that someone has come nearer that ideal ; only this will
result in true progress and authentic development.
I hope I don't sound like an egg-head. Please don't think that this stuff
is just esoteric "pie in the sky".... In reality. it's more like the
ground we stand on.
It takes genius to create, but also genius to synthesize. Synthesis, I
believe , is mostly what we need at this point, and a unified vision of
pedagogy and instrument.
tom

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