Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 2 of 13 < 1 2 3 4 ... 12 13 >
Topic Options
#1702782 - 06/27/11 06:05 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: kevinb]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7850
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Generally speaking, the more life experience a performer has, the wider the range and depth and nuance of emotion they will have experienced, and therefore can bring to performing. I think this is a case in which "more" really is "better".

I really wanted to highlight that, because I think it's 100% true. (quoted wr here)


It would be useful to attempt to apply some empiricism to claims like this. That's not to say that I don't think they're true, but rather that I don't see what _information_ we have for thinking they are -- other than a kind of inner conviction.

I think that, as muscians, we all want it to be true that our own deep experiences will inform our musicianship, and that listeners will be able to respond to that. And -- slightly tangentially -- I guess those of us who are middle-aged want to believe that our musicianship will just continue to improve, despite our declining faculties.

If anybody has any actual evidence, or reasoning, to support claims of this sort, I'd love to hear about it.



To me, it is really rather odd to suggest that there could be any sort of empirical measurement of this stuff. Or, if there were, why it would matter.

If you think I'm wrong to feel that way, why not provide some examples of what would be measured and a methodology for the measurement, that would give you what you are looking for.

Top
Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#1702797 - 06/27/11 06:51 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: stores]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: stores

Well, quite literally, I don't think you can argue that the more life experience one has the wider the range, depth and nuance of emotion they will have experienced as a result of their extended life experiences.


OK, I'm prepared to concede so much for the sake of disccusion.

Quote:
Thus, obviously, they bring to any performance a greater emotional palette from which to draw on than one who has experienced very little.


Uh, oh.... the reason this isn't 'obvious' -- to me, at least -- is because the link between emotional experience and its communiation in performance is so poorly understood.

The emotional experiences we have had may well influence the way we play music. The question is -- do they do so with any sort of discernable consistency? My experience of X -- whatever X is -- may have the same effect on my playing that somebody else renders after experiencing Y. Y may not be reflected in my playing at all. The experience X may cause a whole range of performance differences in different musicians.

So far as I know, we don't have any information that would allow these effects to be quantified. So far as I know, what research evidence there is (and there isn't much) suggests that only the crudest emotional states can be communicated by musical performance.

It seems reasonable to me to say that one prefers the performances of older, more experienced musicians. Very likely and older, more experienced musician will have had emotional experiences of greater range and intensity. But to use the latter fact as the explanation for the former is, I think, to put the cart before the horse.

Top
#1702800 - 06/27/11 07:05 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: wr]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Generally speaking, the more life experience a performer has, the wider the range and depth and nuance of emotion they will have experienced, and therefore can bring to performing. I think this is a case in which "more" really is "better".

I really wanted to highlight that, because I think it's 100% true. (quoted wr here)


It would be useful to attempt to apply some empiricism to claims like this. That's not to say that I don't think they're true, but rather that I don't see what _information_ we have for thinking they are -- other than a kind of inner conviction.

I think that, as muscians, we all want it to be true that our own deep experiences will inform our musicianship, and that listeners will be able to respond to that. And -- slightly tangentially -- I guess those of us who are middle-aged want to believe that our musicianship will just continue to improve, despite our declining faculties.

If anybody has any actual evidence, or reasoning, to support claims of this sort, I'd love to hear about it.



To me, it is really rather odd to suggest that there could be any sort of empirical measurement of this stuff. Or, if there were, why it would matter.

If you think I'm wrong to feel that way, why not provide some examples of what would be measured and a methodology for the measurement, that would give you what you are looking for.



I don't know why it _matters_, except to the extent that propagating an ill-founded belief from one generation to the next might generally be considered a Bad Thing. In this case, it's unlikely to have much impact on world peace or the price of eggs, so perhaps it's not worth worrying about...

And yet...

It just bothers me when people make statements that purport to be factual claims that are, really, no more than value jugements. I don't know why -- it's the scientist in me, I guess.

The extent to which subtle emotion can be communicated by music is something that can be studied and, to some extent, has been. So far as I know, the research suggests that it's possible to play a piece of music in such a way that the listener can get 'happy', 'sad', 'angry', etc., but nothing much more subtle than that. Interestingly, musicians seem to be no better than non-musicians at receiving what performers think they are sending.

Incidentally, there's a good general overview of these issues in Rosen's 'Music and Sentiment'.

As a general matter, I think it's a big mistake to claim that, because something is hard to study empirically, we might as well treat it as mystical or esoteric. There's an awful lot of mystical talk in this area of musicianship.

Top
#1702804 - 06/27/11 07:21 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: kevinb]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores

Well, quite literally, I don't think you can argue that the more life experience one has the wider the range, depth and nuance of emotion they will have experienced as a result of their extended life experiences.


OK, I'm prepared to concede so much for the sake of disccusion.

Quote:
Thus, obviously, they bring to any performance a greater emotional palette from which to draw on than one who has experienced very little.


Uh, oh.... the reason this isn't 'obvious' -- to me, at least -- is because the link between emotional experience and its communiation in performance is so poorly understood.












Firstly, there is nothing to concede, since it really should be an obvious thing to all that the more life experiences one has had the greater run of the emotional gamut said person has experienced (unless, of course, your existence has been relegated to the under side of a rock).

Secondly, there is no "uh-oh", because simply walking on stage, or entering the hall, without yet sitting down to the keyboard said person with extended life experiences brings with them a greater palette from which to draw.

I did say "quite literally" and I meant it. See, you thought too much into your answers, because you didn't take the time to read what I wrote completely (not surprising as most musicians don't take the time to completely read a score, nor are they familiar enough with the fine art of listening and the two are paired like peas in a pod).
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1702805 - 06/27/11 07:24 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19351
Loc: New York City
If one thinks an older pianist will be better because of their life experience, how could one know whether their "better" playing wasn't really due in part or completely due to their greater musical experience/knowledge? Or maybe because their greater technical ability allowed them to express what ever they want to better?

I think the answer is it's impossible to know so any "answers" are speculation. Certainly it's impossible to measure. As Keith Kerman said, there are also some possible advantages of youth over age in terms of playing and interpretation. And Menuhin said that very young musicians can have emotions that are as least as strong as older pianists.

I also think there has been an over emphasis in the discussion about portraying death, love, etc. Not every classical work deals with those themes. How many pieces by Debussy or Ravel require experience in those areas?

In regard to the more "profound" playing some say age brings, Earl Wild(in his recently published biography)says, for him, profound usually means boring. I've read the first 700 pages of Wild's bio and he continually talks about how listening to and playing with other musicians(conductors, pianists, singers)improved his playing and how things he learned about technique helpd him play better. He never once mentions life experiences as an ingredient.



Edited by pianoloverus (06/27/11 07:36 AM)

Top
#1702806 - 06/27/11 07:31 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: pianoloverus]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
If one thinks an older pianist will be better because of their life experience, how could one know whether their "better" playing wasn't really due their greater musical experience/knowledge? Or maybe because their greater technical ability allowed them to express what ever they want to better?

I think the answer is it's impossible to know so any "anwsers" are speculation. Certainly it's impossible to measure. As Keith Kerman said, there are also some possible advantages of youth over age in terms of playing and interpretation. And Menuhin said that very young pianists can have emotions that are as least as strong as older pianists.

I also think there has been an over emphasis in the discussion about portraying death, love, etc. Not every classical work deals with those themes. How many pieces by Debussy or Ravel require experience in those areas?

In regard to the more "profound" playing some say age brings, Earl Wild(in his recently published biography)says, for him, profound usually means boring.



Firstly, I'd like to say that I don't particularly care what Yehudi Menuhin has to say about things nor should anyone else as he's no expert in any field outside of those which he's lauded for.

You make an excellent point, plover, (and one that I've mentioned elsewhere) in that one is only allowed to convey all of that of which we are speaking, if one's technique is sufficient. You must first be able to do.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1702841 - 06/27/11 08:40 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: stores]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: stores
Secondly, there is no "uh-oh", because simply walking on stage, or entering the hall, without yet sitting down to the keyboard said person with extended life experiences brings with them a greater palette from which to draw.


The problem here is that I don't have the faintest idea what this drawing with a 'greater palette' means. I know what it means with respect to painting or photography, but as to how that concept transfers to musical performance, I truly have no idea.

I'm not suggest for a moment that the concept is meaningless, but I do believe it's an esoteric statement -- one that does not translate easily into aspects of musical performance that are actually observable.

Top
#1702852 - 06/27/11 09:07 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: stores]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19351
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: stores

Firstly, I'd like to say that I don't particularly care what Yehudi Menuhin has to say about things nor should anyone else as he's no expert in any field outside of those which he's lauded for.
I quoted Menuhin not because he's an expert in the field of children's emotions but to show there are two sides to the issue. I think what others feel about Menuhin's views should be up to them and not you.

Top
#1702861 - 06/27/11 09:44 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: kevinb]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores

Well, quite literally, I don't think you can argue that the more life experience one has the wider the range, depth and nuance of emotion they will have experienced as a result of their extended life experiences.


OK, I'm prepared to concede so much for the sake of disccusion.

Quote:
Thus, obviously, they bring to any performance a greater emotional palette from which to draw on than one who has experienced very little.


Uh, oh.... the reason this isn't 'obvious' -- to me, at least -- is because the link between emotional experience and its communiation in performance is so poorly understood.

The emotional experiences we have had may well influence the way we play music. The question is -- do they do so with any sort of discernable consistency? My experience of X -- whatever X is -- may have the same effect on my playing that somebody else renders after experiencing Y. Y may not be reflected in my playing at all. The experience X may cause a whole range of performance differences in different musicians.

So far as I know, we don't have any information that would allow these effects to be quantified. So far as I know, what research evidence there is (and there isn't much) suggests that only the crudest emotional states can be communicated by musical performance.

It seems reasonable to me to say that one prefers the performances of older, more experienced musicians. Very likely and older, more experienced musician will have had emotional experiences of greater range and intensity. But to use the latter fact as the explanation for the former is, I think, to put the cart before the horse.



Research in music and emotion shows that only about 8-9 emotions are really well perceived in music. They are pretty basic emotions like joy, sadness, etc. My current research is about the relationship of multimodality of expression and its relationship to emotion in music. (e.g. an emotion like grief is multimodal: voice, face, etc are used to communicate it. An emotion like sadness on the other hand is more dubious..in fact contrary to our intuitions, people are unable to distinguish a sad face from a sleepy face. This will be evident to you if I show you a picture, I'll try to find that specific example but it comes as a shock when you realize that sadness and sleepiness have similar facial expressions). There is a whole literature from ethology (evolutionary and biological approach) that motivates this study. I will write about it in detail in my blog by the end of the summer when I will have finished that study and I'll post a link here as I believe people might be interested in it. What it basically speculates is that there are certain emotions that can and cannot be conveyed in music. What those exactly are and a theory for why it is the case is what's we're working on currently and we will adopt an evolutionary/biological explanation for our results if our hypothesis turns out to be right.

So all the research I've read on the matter and my own intuition suggests that your post above makes sense. I really don't know how wide an emotional palette is really necessary to be able to make all the music in the world. Like you say, its not evident to me that there is a direct relationship between the size of that emotional palette and the quality of the music that you make because the research suggests that not very many emotions are perceived in music anyway. Why musicians and other people tend to think that these might be important probably have Psychological explanations and other confounds also probably act, like what pianoloverus suggested (i.e., older musicians are sometimes more accomplished than their younger counterparts.. you then try to come up with a post hoc explanation for why their interpretations are better, and you think its all their life experiences that contribute to this, forgetting the fact that they've been playing for longer). All these are strong possibilities. I'm not dismissing the possibility that what stores talks about is indeed the case, that every subtle emotion that you have at your disposal via your life experiences contributes to the quality of your music making.

Btw, I'm not sure either that a 60 year old, on average, has experienced very many emotions more than a 40 year old for instance..again not verifiable but there is a movement in the research/tech world that's taking off currently that seeks to measure people's lives..including taking pictures and sound recordings, logging emotional responses, collecting gps data, accelerometer data, etc over many years. We then analyze that data and try to quantify people's lives. I myself wear a camera with sensors around my neck everyday..that's discussion for another day. I mention this to make you aware that what you think isn't measurable today might not be the case tomorrow. The "quantified self" movement is here already (google "quantified self", there was a whole conference last month and big players, including health insurance companies attended). wink

Before I forget, there are nuances about emotion that need to be considered here. No matter how large your "palette" is, the nature of emotions is very dynamic.. For example, if you go in to a lab experiment having listened to upbeat music (and in the major key), you feel sadder when a melancholy piece is played to you than if you went in having listened to a song in the minor key. Other environmental factors can have effects too. So again, intuition seems to suggest that the size of the emotional palette and the music that you produce may not have a one-one relationship. It might certainly have some effect in some subtle way but is it the most important aspect (after technique)? I don't think so.. high intellect and the ability to think deep might be more important factors as far as I'm concerned because the higher ability you have to think deep and original, the probability is higher than the sounds you produce will be original (rather than a mimicry of all the sounds you've heard before in the context of that composition).. All my favorite musicians so far have also been highly intelligent and very deep thinkers. Barenboim is a point in case. When he speak, you clearly see he's a profound thinker too.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1702862 - 06/27/11 09:47 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2738
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I'm going to throw out an idea that may seem a bit counterintuitive. As a father of two (son 21, daughter 16) it seems to me that young people are especially adept at making mountains out of molehills. It's the lack of life experience that can make each emotional event a major drama. As we get older and grayer we've experienced major moments (marriages, divorces, births, deaths) and the little ones don't impact us as much. It would seem to me that an older player may very well play with less emotion and would seek to bring out musical details rather than play for the emotion with dramatic dynamics and plenty of rubato. Does that make sense?

Top
#1702868 - 06/27/11 09:56 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: Steve Chandler]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
I'm going to throw out an idea that may seem a bit counterintuitive. As a father of two (son 21, daughter 16) it seems to me that young people are especially adept at making mountains out of molehills. It's the lack of life experience that can make each emotional event a major drama. As we get older and grayer we've experienced major moments (marriages, divorces, births, deaths) and the little ones don't impact us as much. It would seem to me that an older player may very well play with less emotion and would seek to bring out musical details rather than play for the emotion with dramatic dynamics and plenty of rubato. Does that make sense?


This is very true and well put, I was trying to say something like this earlier in the thread, but I like the way you get this accross.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1702872 - 06/27/11 10:02 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: Keith D Kerman]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
I'm going to throw out an idea that may seem a bit counterintuitive. As a father of two (son 21, daughter 16) it seems to me that young people are especially adept at making mountains out of molehills. It's the lack of life experience that can make each emotional event a major drama. As we get older and grayer we've experienced major moments (marriages, divorces, births, deaths) and the little ones don't impact us as much. It would seem to me that an older player may very well play with less emotion and would seek to bring out musical details rather than play for the emotion with dramatic dynamics and plenty of rubato. Does that make sense?


This is very true and well put, I was trying to say something like this earlier in the thread, but I like the way you get this accross.


Yep, that seems to make sense too but wearing stores' hat, I'd argue that music training (and practice) is exactly about this: Where the common man reacts to these experiences by "mellowing down", an older artist might strive consciously and actively to draw upon all of it to make art..so he might not necessarily drown out the emotional aspects but rather focus on the important bits in a very active and conscious way when making music (or any other art) while also giving due attention to other musical details.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1702877 - 06/27/11 10:08 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Another thought, like Pogo's teacher who is 70 years old and still plays like a demon, the older musicians that I love, tend to retain their amazing youthful qualities. They don't lose the fire and brilliance, the need to communicate, the energy, enthusiasm, excitement, freshness etc.
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1702900 - 06/27/11 10:41 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: kevinb]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores
Secondly, there is no "uh-oh", because simply walking on stage, or entering the hall, without yet sitting down to the keyboard said person with extended life experiences brings with them a greater palette from which to draw.


The problem here is that I don't have the faintest idea what this drawing with a 'greater palette' means. I know what it means with respect to painting or photography, but as to how that concept transfers to musical performance, I truly have no idea.

I'm not suggest for a moment that the concept is meaningless, but I do believe it's an esoteric statement -- one that does not translate easily into aspects of musical performance that are actually observable.




Good Lord. Never mind.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#1702906 - 06/27/11 10:48 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Another thought, like Pogo's teacher who is 70 years old and still plays like a demon, the older musicians that I love, tend to retain their amazing youthful qualities. They don't lose the fire and brilliance, the need to communicate, the energy, enthusiasm, excitement, freshness etc.





I think it's because he golfs.. haha
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#1702909 - 06/27/11 10:53 AM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: Pogorelich.]
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3327
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Another thought, like Pogo's teacher who is 70 years old and still plays like a demon, the older musicians that I love, tend to retain their amazing youthful qualities. They don't lose the fire and brilliance, the need to communicate, the energy, enthusiasm, excitement, freshness etc.





I think it's because he golfs.. haha



Golf will help one experience a whole new range of the emotions of frustration, hatred, misery, exasperation, profound anger, and on rare occassion just enough bliss to get you to go back and live through it all again.
Hey, kind of like piano!
_________________________
Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Charles R. Walter, Brodmann, Feurich
www.pianocraft.net
http://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

Top
#1702968 - 06/27/11 12:40 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: stores]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores
Secondly, there is no "uh-oh", because simply walking on stage, or entering the hall, without yet sitting down to the keyboard said person with extended life experiences brings with them a greater palette from which to draw.


The problem here is that I don't have the faintest idea what this drawing with a 'greater palette' means. I know what it means with respect to painting or photography, but as to how that concept transfers to musical performance, I truly have no idea.

I'm not suggest for a moment that the concept is meaningless, but I do believe it's an esoteric statement -- one that does not translate easily into aspects of musical performance that are actually observable.




Good Lord. Never mind.


OK, so you don't actually have a defensible response. Fair enough.

Top
#1702972 - 06/27/11 12:43 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Btw, I'm not sure either that a 60 year old, on average, has experienced very many emotions more than a 40 year old for instance..


I suspect that's true. I don't think it's necessarily even true that a 60-year old has experienced a greater variety of emotional events than a 40-year old. And as for the subjective appreciation of those events, as others have noted, it's possible that a teenager has a more emotional response to a particular event than an adult would have.

This is just too complex a subject to make generalizations about.

Top
#1702980 - 06/27/11 12:54 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
Pogorelich. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 4528
Loc: in the past
What more evidence do people need other than sheer experince? Not to mention what you hear in a performance...
_________________________

'I want to invest my emotions only in music; it will never disappoint me or hurt me - it is a safe place to be.'

Top
#1702981 - 06/27/11 12:55 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: kevinb]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Btw, I'm not sure either that a 60 year old, on average, has experienced very many emotions more than a 40 year old for instance..


I suspect that's true. I don't think it's necessarily even true that a 60-year old has experienced a greater variety of emotional events than a 40-year old. And as for the subjective appreciation of those events, as others have noted, it's possible that a teenager has a more emotional response to a particular event than an adult would have.

This is just too complex a subject to make generalizations about.


Yea too complex but certainly worth thinking about. wink I'm beginning to see why modern composers focus on sound rather than emotion. I think the classical/romantic composers have explored emotional response in great enough detail.. To let the sound be for what it is (without manipulating sound with emotional response as a goal), seems to be the new motto, to explore various different sonic landscapes (soundscapes?) seems to be the new objective and focus (Steve Reich, John Cage, anybody?). Anyway, that might be discussion for another day.
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1702987 - 06/27/11 01:02 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: Pogorelich.]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
What more evidence do people need other than sheer experince? Not to mention what you hear in a performance...


The problem is people like Keith (and many others) made exactly the opposite judgment about GG's recordings from yours. I don't think that was necessarily because one of you is a superior musician. So I don't think what you suggest here really throws any light on the issue. What's evident to me in a performance isn't to you and vice versa. I am obviously not as good a pianist as you are but I do have a good head on my shoulders and have listened to enough music and a wide range of music, so my musical experience that way might be comparable to yours. So what is it that makes you perceive something in a performance that I might not (and vice versa)? Most likely Social and Psychological factors in a major part. Musical training differences might only be a small part of the explanation (so I don't dispute the fact that you might hear more nuances than I do for instance in pieces that you've studied but those that I haven't..the question though is are those nuances a direct result of the emotions experienced by the musician or is it simply good technique and a good understanding of the piece rather than an acute emotional experience of it by the performer? I know you and stores think it is the former that weighs heavily, some others think its the latter that outweighs the former by a good deal and I belong to that camp..none of this is currently verifiable of course. Sheer experience isn't evidence precisely because of the Psychological factors and other confounds people have mentioned in this thread and elsewhere).
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
#1702988 - 06/27/11 01:04 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
I'm going to throw out an idea that may seem a bit counterintuitive. As a father of two (son 21, daughter 16) it seems to me that young people are especially adept at making mountains out of molehills. It's the lack of life experience that can make each emotional event a major drama. As we get older and grayer we've experienced major moments (marriages, divorces, births, deaths) and the little ones don't impact us as much. It would seem to me that an older player may very well play with less emotion and would seek to bring out musical details rather than play for the emotion with dramatic dynamics and plenty of rubato. Does that make sense?


This is very true and well put, I was trying to say something like this earlier in the thread, but I like the way you get this accross.


Yep, that seems to make sense too but wearing stores' hat, I'd argue that music training (and practice) is exactly about this: Where the common man reacts to these experiences by "mellowing down", an older artist might strive consciously and actively to draw upon all of it to make art..so he might not necessarily drown out the emotional aspects but rather focus on the important bits in a very active and conscious way when making music (or any other art) while also giving due attention to other musical details.


Yes, which is probably why older pianists tend to be better at interpreting things like Debussy and Ravel, where the music deals mostly in subtle shades and nuances and adult pianists can use their "refined" and "mellowed" to really bring out the subtle nuances of texture and tone. However, I think younger ones can be better at "heart-on-the-sleeve" stuff like Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninov. Older pianists can have a tendency to "over-think" music and be more "reserved" whereas young people tend to be far more spontaneous, dramatic, and fearless. This can make for a very exciting performance and while of course refinement and control is always a good thing, I don't see anything as "better"-just as different. Both have their own good qualities...

Top
#1702999 - 06/27/11 01:22 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: liszt85]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Please discuss only music in this thread. Let the flame wars continue (or not, if the mods decide to shut that down) in the "boring people.." thread.

1) One interesting question was if personal life experiences really matter in one's ability to generate an "authentic" interpretation of any given piece of music. The specific example discussed there was the Funeral March from Chopin's sonata.

2)If they do, how is it that young people seem to be able to give as authentic an interpretation as those of older more "mature" and experienced musicians (or is it just an illusion? Do you think that given equivalent musical and pianistic abilities, a pianist later in his life would have a better interpretation of the piece than his own interpretation 30 years ago? You could discuss this in the light of the 1955 and 1981 Glenn Gould recordings. If you thought the 1981 recording was more "mature", do you have specific musical terms that can describe why it was the case?

3) Pianoloverus raised the issue about child prodigies and how some of them seem to be able to come up with very good interpretations of many compositions. I speculated that it might simply be mimicry of the highest quality. Some others agreed too. Discuss.

(Can't remember if there were other interesting questions posed in that thread. I do wish to (yet again) point out that perceived emotion and felt emotion need to be distinguished. My stance is that one can certainly perceive the melancholy and the desired effect that the Funeral March intends without actually having to go through an internal grieving process (either at the time of performance of any time in the past) and that is sufficient to generate an "authentic" performance of that piece.

Discuss.



One simple answer is that expression in performance requires a technique, just as playing the notes requires technique. Technique can be taught, presumably to the receptive child as well as to the adult. This "teaching" may come in many forms, i.e., teachers and other performers. I think life experience contributes to understanding the depth of what needs to be learned, but apparently it can be taught by rote as well: Witness the prodigy child.

I remember an interview I heard with the great Shakespearean actor Laurence Olivier, who said that he couldn't actually be Hamlet eight times a week because the emotional range would kill him. He had to develop a technique to make the audience believe he was Hamlet. My view as a performer is similar to his. In performance we can't really go to those extreme emotional places or we would lose control of all else. The art of performing is about control, so that the listener has the emotional experience that we performers have imagined.

It may be true that the young performer responds more to "flash" than to "Innigkeit," that he might be more attracted to bravura display than to introspection. After all, youth still has to prove itself. But I don't think that "passionate" playing is necessarily reserved for the young or "cool" playing to the old.

So, yes, in order to maximize the experience of the listener I think it's important for artists to be part of life, to experience life, in order to empathize with one another and in so doing reach out through music.


Edited by NeilOS (06/27/11 01:35 PM)
_________________________
Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/

Top
#1703003 - 06/27/11 01:27 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: NeilOS]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
Originally Posted By: NeilOS
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Please discuss only music in this thread. Let the flame wars continue (or not, if the mods decide to shut that down) in the "boring people.." thread.

1) One interesting question was if personal life experiences really matter in one's ability to generate an "authentic" interpretation of any given piece of music. The specific example discussed there was the Funeral March from Chopin's sonata.

2)If they do, how is it that young people seem to be able to give as authentic an interpretation as those of older more "mature" and experienced musicians (or is it just an illusion? Do you think that given equivalent musical and pianistic abilities, a pianist later in his life would have a better interpretation of the piece than his own interpretation 30 years ago? You could discuss this in the light of the 1955 and 1981 Glenn Gould recordings. If you thought the 1981 recording was more "mature", do you have specific musical terms that can describe why it was the case?

3) Pianoloverus raised the issue about child prodigies and how some of them seem to be able to come up with very good interpretations of many compositions. I speculated that it might simply be mimicry of the highest quality. Some others agreed too. Discuss.

(Can't remember if there were other interesting questions posed in that thread. I do wish to (yet again) point out that perceived emotion and felt emotion need to be distinguished. My stance is that one can certainly perceive the melancholy and the desired effect that the Funeral March intends without actually having to go through an internal grieving process (either at the time of performance of any time in the past) and that is sufficient to generate an "authentic" performance of that piece.

Discuss.



One simple answer is that expression in performance requires a technique, just as playing the notes requires technique. Technique can be taught, presumably to the receptive child as well as to the adult. This "teaching" may come in many forms, i.e., teachers and other performers. I think life experience contributes to understanding the depth of what needs to be learned, but apparently it can be taught by rote as well: Witness the prodigy child.

I remember an interview I heard with the great Shakespearean actor Laurence Olivier, who said that he couldn't actually be Hamlet eight times a week because the emotional range would kill him. He had to develop a technique to make the audience believe he was Hamlet. My view as a performer is similar to his. In performance we can't really go to those extreme emotional places or we would lose control of all else. The art of performing is about control, so that the listener has the emotional experience that we performers have imagined.

So, yes, I think it's important for artists to be part of life, to experience life, in order to empathize with one another and in so doing reach out through music.


Which reminds me of Evgeny Kissin saying he had to take at least three days break in between performances in order to "recharge"...
However, I find lots of musical performers giving it everything they've got during a performance. When everything is perfectly controlled, I find myself bored. I like a bit of spontaneity.

Top
#1703007 - 06/27/11 01:43 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: PaulaPiano34]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: chobeethaninov
Originally Posted By: NeilOS
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Please discuss only music in this thread. Let the flame wars continue (or not, if the mods decide to shut that down) in the "boring people.." thread.

1) One interesting question was if personal life experiences really matter in one's ability to generate an "authentic" interpretation of any given piece of music. The specific example discussed there was the Funeral March from Chopin's sonata.

2)If they do, how is it that young people seem to be able to give as authentic an interpretation as those of older more "mature" and experienced musicians (or is it just an illusion? Do you think that given equivalent musical and pianistic abilities, a pianist later in his life would have a better interpretation of the piece than his own interpretation 30 years ago? You could discuss this in the light of the 1955 and 1981 Glenn Gould recordings. If you thought the 1981 recording was more "mature", do you have specific musical terms that can describe why it was the case?

3) Pianoloverus raised the issue about child prodigies and how some of them seem to be able to come up with very good interpretations of many compositions. I speculated that it might simply be mimicry of the highest quality. Some others agreed too. Discuss.

(Can't remember if there were other interesting questions posed in that thread. I do wish to (yet again) point out that perceived emotion and felt emotion need to be distinguished. My stance is that one can certainly perceive the melancholy and the desired effect that the Funeral March intends without actually having to go through an internal grieving process (either at the time of performance of any time in the past) and that is sufficient to generate an "authentic" performance of that piece.

Discuss.



One simple answer is that expression in performance requires a technique, just as playing the notes requires technique. Technique can be taught, presumably to the receptive child as well as to the adult. This "teaching" may come in many forms, i.e., teachers and other performers. I think life experience contributes to understanding the depth of what needs to be learned, but apparently it can be taught by rote as well: Witness the prodigy child.

I remember an interview I heard with the great Shakespearean actor Laurence Olivier, who said that he couldn't actually be Hamlet eight times a week because the emotional range would kill him. He had to develop a technique to make the audience believe he was Hamlet. My view as a performer is similar to his. In performance we can't really go to those extreme emotional places or we would lose control of all else. The art of performing is about control, so that the listener has the emotional experience that we performers have imagined.

So, yes, I think it's important for artists to be part of life, to experience life, in order to empathize with one another and in so doing reach out through music.


Which reminds me of Evgeny Kissin saying he had to take at least three days break in between performances in order to "recharge"...
However, I find lots of musical performers giving it everything they've got during a performance. When everything is perfectly controlled, I find myself bored. I like a bit of spontaneity.


This idea of spontaneity is very interesting. I think I know what you mean. It's a certain excitement, that the performer has a devil-may-care, throw caution to the wind attitude. I think this is very good acting; it's what a great performance should be.

When I was studying the Hammerklavier sonata, I read an article about it by the great Donald Tovey. He said the piece was meant to sound craggy and technically "difficult." Well, I thought, I'm going to find an easy way to make it sound craggy and difficult. This is, I think, the performance ideal: Find a way to create spontaneity.


Edited by NeilOS (06/27/11 01:51 PM)
_________________________
Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/

Top
#1703012 - 06/27/11 01:57 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: stores]
NeilOS Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/06
Posts: 617
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: stores
Secondly, there is no "uh-oh", because simply walking on stage, or entering the hall, without yet sitting down to the keyboard said person with extended life experiences brings with them a greater palette from which to draw.


The problem here is that I don't have the faintest idea what this drawing with a 'greater palette' means. I know what it means with respect to painting or photography, but as to how that concept transfers to musical performance, I truly have no idea.

I'm not suggest for a moment that the concept is meaningless, but I do believe it's an esoteric statement -- one that does not translate easily into aspects of musical performance that are actually observable.




Good Lord. Never mind.


Well, in defense of the palette, we refer to color quite often in piano playing, which is really about voicing. I once saw a marvelous cartoon in New Yorker in which the cartoonist had placed a big black piano on a darkened stage. The pianist was in black, but out of the open lid came a floating staff with notes in every imaginable color. I use that example to this day and it seems to resonate with students.
_________________________
Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/

Top
#1703021 - 06/27/11 02:14 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: PaulaPiano34]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19351
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: chobeethaninov
Which reminds me of Evgeny Kissin saying he had to take at least three days break in between performances in order to "recharge"...
However, I find lots of musical performers giving it everything they've got during a performance. When everything is perfectly controlled, I find myself bored. I like a bit of spontaneity.
I think Kissin was simply saying that a performance requires energy and can be draining. Also, I think a performer can give it everything and give a perfectly controlled performance. To me, loss of control implies technical limitations.

IMO adjectives like "perfectly controlled" or "spontaneous" mean diffferent thinkgs to different people.

Top
#1703028 - 06/27/11 02:31 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: NeilOS]
PaulaPiano34 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1217
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: chobeethaninov
Which reminds me of Evgeny Kissin saying he had to take at least three days break in between performances in order to "recharge"...
However, I find lots of musical performers giving it everything they've got during a performance. When everything is perfectly controlled, I find myself bored. I like a bit of spontaneity.
I think Kissin was simply saying that a performance requires energy and can be draining. Also, I think a performer can give it everything and give a perfectly controlled performance. To me, loss of control implies technical limitations.

IMO adjectives like "perfectly controlled" or "spontaneous" mean diffferent thinkgs to different people.


What I mean is not a "sloppy" performance but rather something like what NeliOS was describing.

Originally Posted By: NeilOS

This idea of spontaneity is very interesting. I think I know what you mean. It's a certain excitement, that the performer has a devil-may-care, throw caution to the wind attitude. I think this is very good acting; it's what a great performance should be.

When I was studying the Hammerklavier sonata, I read an article about it by the great Donald Tovey. He said the piece was meant to sound craggy and technically "difficult." Well, I thought, I'm going to find an easy way to make it sound craggy and difficult. This is, I think, the performance ideal: Find a way to create spontaneity.

Top
#1703050 - 06/27/11 03:12 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: Pogorelich.]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
What more evidence do people need other than sheer experince? Not to mention what you hear in a performance...


These are the sorts of statements that people tend to make when they don't actually have any basis for a proper argument.

Anything that is as obvious as you want to suggest should be describable in terms of common-sense language. If it isn't, why might that be?

Top
#1703066 - 06/27/11 03:43 PM Re: Life experiences, personality and emotion in music [Re: kevinb]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: Pogorelich.
What more evidence do people need other than sheer experince? Not to mention what you hear in a performance...


These are the sorts of statements that people tend to make when they don't actually have any basis for a proper argument.

Anything that is as obvious as you want to suggest should be describable in terms of common-sense language. If it isn't, why might that be?


Kevin, might it be because we as a race haven't yet invented the language for it yet? Just because something isn't describable doesn't necessarily mean it isn't there.

Also string theory for instance isn't exactly describable in "common-sense" language. That doesn't mean however that it doesn't make sense. laugh Just pointing out that this particular objection might not be a valid one. However, yes, every attempt must be made to use something other than "it ought to be obvious to you" to describe it (i.e., at least try to describe it or try to explain why it isn't exactly describable).
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

Top
Page 2 of 13 < 1 2 3 4 ... 12 13 >

Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
DH Baldwin - a few technical questions
by Jamie_from_Canada
19 minutes 7 seconds ago
I can only Trill well on good grand pianos....
by Paul678
Yesterday at 11:48 PM
Is Bondfix just as good as Hotstuff CA glue?
by Paul678
Yesterday at 10:42 PM
What's up with Paulello?
by jim ialeggio
Yesterday at 10:13 PM
Kawai RX-2 and RX-2 BLAK
by myip
Yesterday at 08:15 PM
Who's Online
57 registered (Abby Pianoman, Al LaPorte, BachMach2, 36251, 14 invisible), 976 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76290 Members
42 Forums
157701 Topics
2316417 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission