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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000846.txt from 2001/05

From: (William Wright)
Subj: RE: [kl] Performing/non-performing
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 14:04:17 -0400

<><> Lacy=A0Schroeder wrote:
I've always thought that it is much more satisfying to play for living,
breathing humans than for the four walls of a practice or band room.

I agree with you, and I hesitate to debate anything while an ad
hominem flame war is brewing elsewhere. Anger can be infectious.

But my point involves the preposition "for". Playing "with" other
people is a different goal than playing "for" other people.

I don't denigrate the "for" aspect of playing music --- I would be
devastated if all my CDs disappeared and if I couldn't attend concerts
and so forth. I do become unhappy, however, when musicians lose sight
of the "with" aspect of music and when they allow competition and status
to become the primary icons --- which does happen sometimes. 'Being
best' --- as opposed to 'doing my best' --- is a powerful urge.

Someone will probably post that you can't be a true performer if
you don't receive social pleasure from playing with others and if you
don't receive physical pleasure from the music itself, and I *do*
believe that this *is* true.
It's when the two aspects get out of balance that things go wrong,
and it is worst when 'for the audience' changes into 'for me only' ---
such as weekly challenges for seats, shame at being second seat, glares
across the room and thoughts of bringing a knife to rehearsal (the most
extreme example that we've seen on this list since I subscribed).

I take private lessons mostly to learn how to make sounds that make
me 'feel' good. But truthfully, I also look forward to playing with
someone else (my teacher) and to chatting about music --- until the day
comes when I can walk into a room of other musicians whom I've never met
and ask "Can I play with you?" without worrying that I'll mess up their

While I have done one student recital, I can't say that it was 100%
fun for me. Nevertheless, when I get a certain piece (that I'm working
on now) down cold, I will probably drop a hint to my teacher that I'm
willing to recite again.... as a _duet_ _with_ her.


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