Mudcat Café message #1090828 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55223   Message #1090828
Posted By: Bassic
11-Jan-04 - 11:45 PM
Thread Name: Using a music stand
Subject: RE: Using a music stand
Here we go again, its the memory/intelectual/session snobs debate again :-( (Have you noticed how they are often the same people?)

Essentially I have the same experienc and problem as Mooh both as a musician and with my memory.

A poorly prepaired performance is just that, poorly prepaired. It matters not if there is a crib sheet, music score or words somewhere in sight of the performer. If it is ill prepaired and badly performed then music or no music becomes irelevant. The ability to memorise is not an acurate indicator of the quality of a performance. I know plenty of performers who have wonderful recall of songs/tunes but that is all they are, memory machines. Might as well get a machine to do it for all the difference it makes. I want to hear their musicianship and interpretation, their memory is irrelevant to me.

Why do people get so hung up about it? Oh, sorry just realised, its tradition isnt it! Of course, the "old boys" couldnt read could they, so that MUST be the way to do it. In that case it should be forbidden for anyone to sing or play traditional stuff that hasnt fought in at least one major war, fathered/given birth to at least 12 children, and been crippled by a minimum of two childhood diseases. And it also helps if they dont live past their 50th birthday or play an instrument made after 1900 etc etc etc.

If a "performance" is required, then if your memory is good enough for it not to take away from your concentration, then by all means perform from memory. If it isnt, then learn to perform with whatever aid memoir suites you best. (And I dont mean with it glued six inches infront of your nose!!) Performance is about interpretation and comunication, not about memory. Its just makes life easier if you have a good memory, thats all. Not better.

By implication, dislexics shouldnt write books (Churchil), the diabled shouldnt be atheletes (Tani Grey-Thompson), colour blind people should not be artists (John Constable) etc etc etc!!

Stop picking on us memory diadvantaged musicians!!

Sorry, I have stopped ranting now. I just object to the implication that if I dont have a good memory then I cant be a good performer/dont practice enough/am ill prepaired. (Those are often true by the way but my memory is the one area that doesnt improve significantly with practice and preparation).

A little tollerance, advice and encouragement please not blanket condemnation