In the Classical music world, it is as if most musicians have forgotten how to talk — or never learned. They can’t communicate with easy ordinary extemporaneous speech. Can’t express themselves in daily conversation.

Instead, only scripts — the detailed record, the detailed notation, the traces of music. We are always reading, never speaking for ourselves. Never communicating just what’s on our minds or in our hearts. We are mute, unless the right words just happen to come along, happen to be scripted. Unless an author(-ity) has said something we can be willing to mean.

Imagine a world where actors who worked from written scripts, couldn’t break out of character, couldn’t take a moment — to go across the street and order coffee! What if they couldn’t form the simple sentence? What if they could not make themselves plainly understood with simple, forgettable phrases spontaneously made?

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  1. anonymous says

    Isn’t one thing we seek, in practice, to “un-compose”, to find a way to Speak it, Sing it, Shape it out of our own DNA, necessity, desire? To break down the barrier(s) that make musical material some thing ‘other’? The authenticity of “simple, forgettable phrases …” can be as much in rhythm/color/articulation/pacing of written music as it is in spontaneous improvisation … can’t it?