A Precious, Given Gift of Music

... using ears to hear and eyes to see ...

By Composer-teacher, Marjorie Burgess

It is frequently stated, "Composing is a Gift." While reviewing an old Clavier, sundry reflections jumped out at me. I felt compelled to write the thoughts which Clavier had injected into my head. There is a most informative essay by Keith Jarrett, a jazz pianist turned classic. He writes with a somewhat caustic tone regarding pianists that he considers merely great technicians rather than true musicians. His compelling article is convincing and most thought provoking.  

On reading a following article by Richard Bradley, I was pleasantly surprised to find his article about using "Ears to hear", as well as "Eyes to see," regarding the structure of music both stimulating and informative.

There is an attitude used in many general methods of teaching which frequently confines itself more to the technique of playing rather than helping the student understand the ingredients necessary in the art of composing music. The designation of notes becomes a work of merit or even a masterpiece, to be understood by musicians and lovers of music alike. Frequently the study of the language of music takes a back seat, or no seat at all.

So to get back to my first statement; to become a real live composer may be a precious, given "Gift of Music" that will entail exploration and dedication, the result of which produces a profound, joyous and everlasting roadway of communication.

To understand the structure of music makes one capable of becoming any or all of the following; a musician, a technician, a pianist - a true lover of music.


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