“I can’t bear Schumann’s music”
“Liszt’s music is so boring”
“Contemporary music is the best”
How many times have you heard sentences like that?
It’s customary that in every stage of our musical development we feel a special predilection or aversion for some composers or styles.
We become Mozart fans, Schönberg addicts or Wagner critics.
But over time, love turns into hate and vice versa.
The moment we label a composer (either positively or negatively), we negate their essence and lose the opportunity for their inner world amaze us.
On the other hand, engaging with different kinds of music, and keeping an open mind towards all of them, puts us firmly on the path to learning and enables us to enjoy the infinite number of nuances that music is able to express.
That’s why, in understanding musical practice not just as a learning pathway but also as a path of personal evolution, we should include in our practice works of different composers and styles.
8 REASONS TO PLAY IN DIFFERENT STYLES
1) As any composer or style has its own technique and sound quality, its execution enables us to develop the different techniques and acoustic possibilities of our instrument.
2) Through the contributions of each composer regarding rhythm, harmony, timbre… we obtain more knowledge of musical language.
3) To learn new music is the first step to extend our musical tastes. As Aldous Huxley said: “We can only love what we know, and we can never know completely what we don’t love”
4) If the maturity of our performances depends on our sound imagination, the nuances that we learn from each composer and style may help us to develop it.
5) They widen our musical culture. If you work as a teacher, this becomes a necessity.
6) The interest in a single composer can bring us to discover other related ones. For instance, studying Dvořák can lead us to discover one of his most outstanding pupils, Josef Suk.
7) As a musicians looking for career opportunities, the knowledge of minority composers may allow us to specialize in them.
8) As every composer and style is closely related to the historical context where they grew up, they extend our knowledge about the history of music, as well as history in general.
Are you willing to widen your musical horizons?