As much as I'm opposed to the notion that musical learning is directly transmitted from teacher to student, it did cross my mind that musicians may fall into generational groups in terms of their shared practice or thinking. If so, as a pianist I suppose I belong to Generation 8 (Gen 8.0). I'm imagining that "classical" music as a culture of cultivating the durable repertoire of classics begins around 1800, and may be centered on the person … [Read more...]

Stay Down


Playing for me in a recent masterclass, a pianist performed Liszt's etude "Wild Hunt." At the end of two measures of melody (m. 60), he raised his wrists immediately after playing the last note in the bar, releasing his fingers from the keys -- although the notated duration of this sound is the longest in the line. The piano is a device that never came with a set of instructions. In a sense, musicians are always making how-to guides. And … [Read more...]