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#2069341 - 04/23/13 01:09 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Derulux, what do you think causes different tastes, interests and personalities?

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#2069360 - 04/23/13 01:43 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
Old Man Offline
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Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: wr

If it takes pianist A two years to learn a particular Beethoven sonata starting when they are twelve, and it takes pianist B two weeks to learn the same sonata at the same age, the potential capacity of pianist B can be extrapolated to be much greater than that of pianist A. Neither pianist has an eternity in which to accomplish whatever they are going to accomplish.

Absolutely, wr. Which is why I keep beating on the same drum about children who start lessons at 5 and are able to play very advanced pieces, and give public recitals by 8 or 9. As you said, we are all limited by time. And no child could accomplish such a feat within a few short years, or, to use your example, learn a Beethoven sonata in two weeks simply by "working really hard". After all, children do have other obligations: school, homework, and most important, play. So even if an average child spent 24 hours a day practicing, he or she could never achieve what these prodigies do. And I doubt these prodigies are spending inordinate amounts of time on piano (unless they choose to, or are being abused by their parents.)

I would ask my friend, Derulux, how do you account for savants? These people are developmentally disabled, yet have a prodigious talent within a narrow sphere. Would you deny that their talent is "natural", "innate", "<insert word of your choice>", and would you continue to insist that their aptitude was still somehow (mysteriously) acquired? If you accept that there are savants, why can't you move a bit farther down the spectrum, into what might be termed the "normal" area, and admit that there are prodigies; people who are developmentally normal, yet have an extraordinary facility in music, chess, mathematics, etc.? You act as though there is no evidence of these natural gifts, yet there are plenty of examples. I don't understand how you can cling to your position, even with ample opposing evidence staring you in the face. confused

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#2069388 - 04/23/13 02:44 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mark_C]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Derulux
You are taking into account things which have been proven to be wrong. Adults learn very differently from children (for the most part), but they certainly don't learn slower....

Adults most definitely learn certain kinds of things slower and/or much less well and/or almost not at all.

I won't go back and forth. I'll just point to the studies. Most of what has been proven so far (at least that I have read) has to do with the way the information is presented, not the subject/"thing" itself. smile

Originally Posted By: JoelW
Derulux, what do you think causes different tastes, interests and personalities?

I think this might be an interesting thread to create.. I don't want to completely change topics, so if you have a cyclical nature in mind behind the question, let me know what angle you're taking and I can draw it full circle from my perspective.

Preliminarily, I do think a lot of it has to do with what you're exposed to. I think it is difficult to find interest in something you've never been exposed to.

Originally Posted By: Old Man
I would ask my friend, Derulux, how do you account for savants? These people are developmentally disabled, yet have a prodigious talent within a narrow sphere. Would you deny that their talent is "natural", "innate", "<insert word of your choice>", and would you continue to insist that their aptitude was still somehow (mysteriously) acquired? If you accept that there are savants, why can't you move a bit farther down the spectrum, into what might be termed the "normal" area, and admit that there are prodigies; people who are developmentally normal, yet have an extraordinary facility in music, chess, mathematics, etc.? You act as though there is no evidence of these natural gifts, yet there are plenty of examples. I don't understand how you can cling to your position, even with ample opposing evidence staring you in the face.

I've been wondering about that myself, through the entire course of the discussion, even though it wasn't specifically brought up. My ideas are still formulating, so this discussion may be more developmental than preconceived.

More than a decade ago, I had an idea that "disabilities" were, largely, a sign of a particular genius in an adjacent area. It was a similar idea to weightlifting: if you lift your biceps until they are massive, but never touch your triceps, you will develop an issue of balance that will lead to injury. When the muscle snaps, it never rebuilds in quite the same way. I thought of the brain like that--that people were showing signs of over-development in one area, but not its opposite, and, eventually, the brain "snapped" so-to-speak. I started writing a book on the topic, but it's sitting on a shelf somewhere, as yet unfinished. The research I did was very intriguing, but much of it is no longer readily available to my memory recall.

Why these people over-develop so quickly in one area escapes every study done on them (or at least, the ones I found and read). It seems to me that they learn how to learn that particular subject very quickly, and take an unnatural interest (borderline obsession) in it, which helps to fuel their motivation.

I met a man, quite recently (February, I think), who was Asperger's. He knew nearly everything about classic cars going back to 1900, but though the facts were there, he was clearly missing the ability to extrapolate ideas based on the information. He couldn't understand why those cars weren't in production today, and why we didn't see them on the road anymore, because they were "great cars". His fixation was impressive, really, but I got the sense that that was all he knew.

If someone were able to teach this person how to learn other subjects, or were able to instill a sense of interest in another subject, would he be capable of learning it, and would he actually take the time to learn it? I don't know the answer to that (I'm not sure that anyone "knows" the answer), but I do believe the answer would be yes.

I'm not sure if that example is on par with what you mean, so I'll use another one. Temple Grandin. She's high-functioning autistic. Through her life experiences, Dr. Grandin saw the world a little differently, and through that difference, was able to create a device called a "hug box" in order to calm autistic children. How did she invent it? She grew up around cows, saw that the cows were calmed when in a similar device, and one day, went into it herself. It apparently calmed her, and she thought others would be able to be calmed in a similar manner. (She has since gone on to other major successes.)

So, I believe a lot of it is in that distinct ability to "see things differently" than everyone else. Why does this ability develop? A product of experiences, an ability or disability in certain areas, a sum of exposure, interest, motivation, dedication, questions that pop up in the mind.. there are a million possible reasons. Picasso certainly "saw things differently."

Is this difference what you might consider "talent"? If so, I'm not convinced, but this is a new direction we haven't previously taken the discussion, and I'd be interested to follow it.. smile
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2069402 - 04/23/13 03:22 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Quote:
I think this might be an interesting thread to create.. I don't want to completely change topics, so if you have a cyclical nature in mind behind the question, let me know what angle you're taking and I can draw it full circle from my perspective.


It's not a topic change, because these things are, like talent, dependent on the individual's brain.


Quote:
Preliminarily, I do think a lot of it has to do with what you're exposed to. I think it is difficult to find interest in something you've never been exposed to.


True, it is impossible to be interested in something you've never been exposed to. Someone with the talent to become a great musician will never be a musician at all if music wasn't exposed to them.

BUT...

There's a difference between being exposed to a potential interest and actually taking on that interest once exposed to it. Not everyone who is exposed to books will love reading.

There's a difference between being brought up the way Mozart was and actually becoming a Mozart-level musician once brought up that way. You see?

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#2069404 - 04/23/13 03:27 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
It would be interesting to extend the more-time-to-learn-something-means-you're-less-naturally-gifted argument to actual virtuosos. Horowitz claimed ("claimed" being the operative word) to have practiced around an hour a day, whereas Claudio Arrau and Richter and others claimed to have practiced ten or fourteen hours a day at intensive points in their careers and several hours per day as the standard. We could take a very conservative estimate and say Richter practiced ~4 hours a day on average and compared to Horowitz's professed 1 hour. I imagine you can see where I'm going with this -- You could argue that Richter is rather a slow learner by this measure. If Horowitz practiced, say, 30,000 hours over his lifetime, it took Richter a shabby 120,000 hours to do the same. Anyway, however fast learners they were we don't compare the greatness of virtuosos based on "the time it took them." We end up more concerned with the practical consequences of whether their version of the Mephisto waltz was dazzling and wonderful.

Re: savants, there was another NYT article about child prodigies in math/music (sorry to keep bringing the New York Times into it). Child prodigies were studied across these multiple domains and it was found that in music, the children had IQs around the average; but one of the standout traits cognitively was that around 40% of them were on the autism/Asperger's spectrum. Children with autism frequently take a fanatical interest in a particular category of knowledge (e.g. how washing machines work, the Titanic, music) and acquire uncommon expertise in their obsession. But to me, when a seven year old child regales me with some obscure professorial information about the Titanic, I would attribute it to the fact that they were obsessed with the Titanic and read encyclopedia articles about it and watched PBS shows about it, rather than attributing it to the child's innate capacity to accumulate Titanic related facts. The fact is, it's not normal for a tiny child to feel like practicing the piano or violin for 5 hours a day during the early childhood period where muscle memory, etc. is being established. Most parents can't entice their toddler to quit throwing their toy off the edge of the high chair, much less to sit at the piano for long periods of time and learn a complex instrument and be engaged with it. To me it's fairly unsurprising that a child with a genetic pre-disposition toward excessive interest would acquire a skill like music exponentially faster than a typical child.

Here's a scenario you never hear:
"My 3 year old son spends hours and hours at the piano. He is fascinated with music and I just can't get him away. It's all he wants to do. I just can't break it to him that he simply doesn't have any natural talent for it. He tries and tries and can never learn Lightly Row."

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#2069415 - 04/23/13 03:41 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
mermilylumpkin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/13
Posts: 121
Originally Posted By: Derulux

So, I believe a lot of it is in that distinct ability to "see things differently" than everyone else. Why does this ability develop? A product of experiences, an ability or disability in certain areas, a sum of exposure, interest, motivation, dedication, questions that pop up in the mind.. there are a million possible reasons. Picasso certainly "saw things differently."


I believe this is so much infinitely more important to creating art than your genetic raw material. For me, what makes Glenn Gould great is the choices he makes musically, to emphasize a particular note, or bring out a melody that was hidden in the music, or produce a stirring emotional effect that I hadn't encountered before in that music. The childhood wizardry stuff is great for him and everything, but it's not the place wherein the art lies, or the virtuosity for that matter (to me).

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#2069419 - 04/23/13 03:50 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: mermilylumpkin]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
It would be interesting to extend the more-time-to-learn-something-means-you're-less-naturally-gifted argument to actual virtuosos. Horowitz claimed ("claimed" being the operative word) to have practiced around an hour a day, whereas Claudio Arrau and Richter and others claimed to have practiced ten or fourteen hours a day at intensive points in their careers and several hours per day as the standard. We could take a very conservative estimate and say Richter practiced ~4 hours a day on average and compared to Horowitz's professed 1 hour. I imagine you can see where I'm going with this -- You could argue that Richter is rather a slow learner by this measure. If Horowitz practiced, say, 30,000 hours over his lifetime, it took Richter a shabby 120,000 hours to do the same. But we don't compare the greatness of virtuosos based on "the time it took them." We end up more concerned with the practical consequences of whether their version of the Mephisto waltz was dazzling and wonderful.
I think Horowitz was talking about much later in his career when he played infrequently and tended to play certain works repeatedly. In addition, Richter had one of the largest performing repertoires of any pianist ever, so that requires more time to learn than a smaller repertoire. So I think the comparison with number of hours is extremely flawed.

I think that's important is that both of them could starting from a very young age age probably learn pieces far more quickly than most people, even most professionals at a similar age.

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#2069452 - 04/23/13 04:44 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 381
Loc: Western NC (US)
I believe in the existence of prodigious and inexplicable gifts, not attainable if you’re not born with them. Yet, when it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.

Anyway, the love of music is an extraordinary gift in itself—who knows why we love music? Where did it come from? Why do we find it intriguing and enchanting? – and so I don’t begrudge the hours of hard work and practice at all; I love music, I love working hard at it. Maybe it’s even more interesting to figure it out bit by bit, than to have it all handed over on a silver platter of instinctive brilliance.

What I find surprising now, is that the more I understand about music, the more I am able to understand. Innate capacity, whether prodigious or not, may not be a fixed quality.

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#2069458 - 04/23/13 04:51 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: cefinow]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: cefinow
When it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.


Depends on what your goals are.

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#2069459 - 04/23/13 04:53 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 381
Loc: Western NC (US)
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
When it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.


Depends on what your goals are.


Notice I said, working with what you have. That should be a realistic guide for setting your goals.

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#2069464 - 04/23/13 04:57 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: cefinow]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
When it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.


Depends on what your goals are.


Notice I said, working with what you have. That should be a realistic guide for setting your goals.


Yeah, but often it isn't. Some people who lack the potential to become masters still might aspire greatly to be one, yet they never will. When it comes to the "gifted/ungifted" notion, it does matter IF their goals past their potential.

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#2069466 - 04/23/13 05:00 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 381
Loc: Western NC (US)
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
When it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.


Depends on what your goals are.


Notice I said, working with what you have. That should be a realistic guide for setting your goals.


Yeah, but often it isn't. Some people who lack the potential to become masters still might aspire greatly to be one, yet they never will. When it comes to the "gifted/ungifted" notion, it does matter IF their goals past their potential.


And... that's exactly why I said "a practical outlook."

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#2069469 - 04/23/13 05:05 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: cefinow]
JoelW Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
When it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.


Depends on what your goals are.


Notice I said, working with what you have. That should be a realistic guide for setting your goals.


Yeah, but often it isn't. Some people who lack the potential to become masters still might aspire greatly to be one, yet they never will. When it comes to the "gifted/ungifted" notion, it does matter IF their goals past their potential.


And... that's exactly why I said "a practical outlook."


What do you mean by "practical"?

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#2069475 - 04/23/13 05:15 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
cefinow Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 381
Loc: Western NC (US)
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: cefinow
When it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.


Depends on what your goals are.


Notice I said, working with what you have. That should be a realistic guide for setting your goals.


Yeah, but often it isn't. Some people who lack the potential to become masters still might aspire greatly to be one, yet they never will. When it comes to the "gifted/ungifted" notion, it does matter IF their goals past their potential.


And... that's exactly why I said "a practical outlook."


Define practical.


Oh now surely, you know what "practical" means.

In the case you talk about above, practical could mean "not delusional"... e.g. forgetting about being the next Horowitz, but putting one's efforts into developing a good basic technique, competent musical skills etc. It would also be a cure for discouragement, as you'd be too busy working to worry about your lost fame and glory.

Or, if the person *did* have maestro quality, practical could mean seeking out and sticking with a plan to develop that potential. Not resting on one's laurels, not getting a fat ego, etc., making an effort to reach out and share one's gift with the world.

In either case, hard work and a *practical outlook* would maximize the person's potential. That goes back to the OP's original question. Although he was probably referring to more *practical* concerns like Hanon and practice methods wink
Originally Posted By: King Cole
What is the best way to maximize one's piano abilities?!?

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#2069494 - 04/23/13 05:36 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: mermilylumpkin]
Old Man Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/12
Posts: 778
Loc: Michigan, USA
Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
It would be interesting to extend the more-time-to-learn-something-means-you're-less-naturally-gifted argument to actual virtuosos. Horowitz claimed ("claimed" being the operative word) to have practiced around an hour a day, whereas Claudio Arrau and Richter and others claimed to have practiced ten or fourteen hours a day at intensive points in their careers and several hours per day as the standard. We could take a very conservative estimate and say Richter practiced ~4 hours a day on average and compared to Horowitz's professed 1 hour. I imagine you can see where I'm going with this -- You could argue that Richter is rather a slow learner by this measure. If Horowitz practiced, say, 30,000 hours over his lifetime, it took Richter a shabby 120,000 hours to do the same. Anyway, however fast learners they were we don't compare the greatness of virtuosos based on "the time it took them." We end up more concerned with the practical consequences of whether their version of the Mephisto waltz was dazzling and wonderful.

I agree that we, the listening audience, couldn't care less about how many hours of practice they need. We care about the beauty of the music that flows from them.

I think you raise an interesting topic, but I think the people you mention still fall within a very narrow range of the pianistic spectrum. Yes, some may need to practice more than others, but I still maintain that all of them fall within a very elite group of people I would call "prodigies". IMO, anyone who becomes an internationally known and well-respected pianist is, by definition, a "prodigy", and was born with exceptional and extraordinary ... oh boy, I hate to use the word... sorry Derulux ... t*l*nt. I would submit that even poor Alexander Brailowsky, who did require long hours of practice, was still a prodigy. He may have been at the opposite end of the "prodigy spectrum" from Horowitz, but he had an innate musical ability that could not be explained by environment alone.

One cannot become a prodigy. Either you are or you aren't. If you are, AND you have the required dedication, training, nurturing etc., you have a chance of becoming a famous pianist. If you aren't, you can still become a pretty-good pianist, a very-good pianist, or even an excellent pianist, but I think it's impossible that you will ever become a great pianist.

And like you, Derulux, I'm finding much of my own thinking to be evolving on this subject. Near the beginning of this discussion I believed that no one past a certain age could ever hope to become a virtuoso, because prodigies, by definition, are presumed to be very young. But what if a child is truly a prodigy (born with innate musical gifts), but never sees a piano until the age of 20? I think that if this 20-year old prodigy-in-waiting began his musical training alongside a 20-year old of "average" talent, the difference in the rate of progress would still be dramatic. He may never wear the mantle of "great", but I suspect that his innate ability would come to the fore, and that it would be quickly recognized. And not only would it be readily observable, but measurable as well. (I'm trying to ingratiate myself to Derulux the Physicist grin ).

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#2069495 - 04/23/13 05:38 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: JoelW]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Quote:
I think this might be an interesting thread to create.. I don't want to completely change topics, so if you have a cyclical nature in mind behind the question, let me know what angle you're taking and I can draw it full circle from my perspective.


It's not a topic change, because these things are, like talent, dependent on the individual's brain.


Quote:
Preliminarily, I do think a lot of it has to do with what you're exposed to. I think it is difficult to find interest in something you've never been exposed to.


True, it is impossible to be interested in something you've never been exposed to. Someone with the talent to become a great musician will never be a musician at all if music wasn't exposed to them.

BUT...

There's a difference between being exposed to a potential interest and actually taking on that interest once exposed to it. Not everyone who is exposed to books will love reading.

There's a difference between being brought up the way Mozart was and actually becoming a Mozart-level musician once brought up that way. You see?

Absolutely. Agree 100%. As for what causes those differences, I think personality plays a big part. I'm not sure genetics is as big a factor in this area, because I believe twin studies have shown genetically identical kids, brought up in the same environment, to have differing interests. What do you think is this cause?

Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
It would be interesting to extend the more-time-to-learn-something-means-you're-less-naturally-gifted argument to actual virtuosos. Horowitz claimed ("claimed" being the operative word) to have practiced around an hour a day, whereas Claudio Arrau and Richter and others claimed to have practiced ten or fourteen hours a day at intensive points in their careers and several hours per day as the standard. We could take a very conservative estimate and say Richter practiced ~4 hours a day on average and compared to Horowitz's professed 1 hour. I imagine you can see where I'm going with this -- You could argue that Richter is rather a slow learner by this measure. If Horowitz practiced, say, 30,000 hours over his lifetime, it took Richter a shabby 120,000 hours to do the same. Anyway, however fast learners they were we don't compare the greatness of virtuosos based on "the time it took them." We end up more concerned with the practical consequences of whether their version of the Mephisto waltz was dazzling and wonderful.

I think this bears repeating. And add in Rachmaninoff, who supposedly practiced painfully slow and for many hours.

I think your last sentence has largely been the point of this entire discourse: people determine "talent" based on the results. Talent is defined as some mystical "innate" ability. Then, the measure of talent is how well that person does that thing. If the person does it well, they have talent. If they do not, they didn't have talent. To me, basing something on the thing itself is circular logic. It's supporting a premise with a premise, rather than a conclusion.

Your other example is outstanding, concerning the autistic children. You certainly said it better than I did... and I don't think the NYT will mind that you did so. haha smile

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think Horowitz was talking about much later in his career when he played infrequently and tended to play certain works repeatedly. In addition, Richter had one of the largest performing repertoires of any pianist ever, so that requires more time to learn than a smaller repertoire. So I think the comparison with number of hours is extremely flawed.

I think that's important is that both of them could starting from a very young age age probably learn pieces far more quickly than most people, even most professionals at a similar age.

So, perhaps the numbers are slightly different. I think mermily addressed that in the post. But rather than focus on details, let's focus on the idea behind it, which is sound: if one virtuoso practices more than another, does that mean the other has more "talent"? In other words, if Richter did, indeed, practice more than Horowitz, does that mean Horowitz was more "talented"? In other words, is it process or result that defines "talent"?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2069517 - 04/23/13 06:17 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think Horowitz was talking about much later in his career when he played infrequently and tended to play certain works repeatedly. In addition, Richter had one of the largest performing repertoires of any pianist ever, so that requires more time to learn than a smaller repertoire. So I think the comparison with number of hours is extremely flawed.

I think that's important is that both of them could starting from a very young age age probably learn pieces far more quickly than most people, even most professionals at a similar age.

So, perhaps the numbers are slightly different. I think mermily addressed that in the post. But rather than focus on details, let's focus on the idea behind it, which is sound: if one virtuoso practices more than another, does that mean the other has more "talent"? In other words, if Richter did, indeed, practice more than Horowitz, does that mean Horowitz was more "talented"?
Of course not.
I gave two major reasons in my post why any comparison of Richter's hours vs. Horowitz's hours(if, in fact, his statement was true or just an exaggeration to impress) was basically meaningless for the purposes of this thread.


Edited by pianoloverus (04/23/13 06:32 PM)

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#2069520 - 04/23/13 06:29 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
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Originally Posted By: Derulux
I think this bears repeating. And add in Rachmaninoff, who supposedly practiced painfully slow and for many hours.
Practicing "painfully slowly" has nothing to any lack of skill or talent or anything else. It's a basic technique used by a significant percentage of professional pianists. This is yet another example of you trying to fit facts to your ideas.

As far as the number of hours Rachmaninov practiced, if he did practice more than most(I have never read anything about this in several biographies)it could have easily been due to his perfectionism or some other reason not related to his ability to learn works quickly.

In fact, it is well known that he could learn works with incredible speed. One little story to illustrate this. He was planning to give an all Scriabin recital and realized the day before that he needed 10 more minutes of music. A teacher or friend suggested the Scriabin Fantasy and he learned it in one day.

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#2069555 - 04/23/13 08:01 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: pianoloverus]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think Horowitz was talking about much later in his career when he played infrequently and tended to play certain works repeatedly. In addition, Richter had one of the largest performing repertoires of any pianist ever, so that requires more time to learn than a smaller repertoire. So I think the comparison with number of hours is extremely flawed.

I think that's important is that both of them could starting from a very young age age probably learn pieces far more quickly than most people, even most professionals at a similar age.

So, perhaps the numbers are slightly different. I think mermily addressed that in the post. But rather than focus on details, let's focus on the idea behind it, which is sound: if one virtuoso practices more than another, does that mean the other has more "talent"? In other words, if Richter did, indeed, practice more than Horowitz, does that mean Horowitz was more "talented"?
Of course not.
I gave two major reasons in my post why any comparison of Richter's hours vs. Horowitz's hours(if, in fact, his statement was true or just an exaggeration to impress) was basically meaningless for the purposes of this thread.

Then, I suppose I am at a completely loss in trying to figure out what you mean by "talent". It is not a physical endowment. It is not a question of time. It is not a question of ability (since you believe that this thing is "innate", which means "existing before ability was learned"). It is not potential, since the "potential" for anyone is, in fact, the same; that is, we are describing reaching the virtuoso level, which is static. It is not in the amount of practice time it takes for one pianist to be equal to another. So far, it would seem that this "talent" thing exists nowhere, and is certainly not quantifiable. What can we say by that? Where, exactly, does it exist?
_________________________
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#2069557 - 04/23/13 08:06 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
JoelW Online   content
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Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4931
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think Horowitz was talking about much later in his career when he played infrequently and tended to play certain works repeatedly. In addition, Richter had one of the largest performing repertoires of any pianist ever, so that requires more time to learn than a smaller repertoire. So I think the comparison with number of hours is extremely flawed.

I think that's important is that both of them could starting from a very young age age probably learn pieces far more quickly than most people, even most professionals at a similar age.

So, perhaps the numbers are slightly different. I think mermily addressed that in the post. But rather than focus on details, let's focus on the idea behind it, which is sound: if one virtuoso practices more than another, does that mean the other has more "talent"? In other words, if Richter did, indeed, practice more than Horowitz, does that mean Horowitz was more "talented"?
Of course not.
I gave two major reasons in my post why any comparison of Richter's hours vs. Horowitz's hours(if, in fact, his statement was true or just an exaggeration to impress) was basically meaningless for the purposes of this thread.

Then, I suppose I am at a completely loss in trying to figure out what you mean by "talent". It is not a physical endowment. It is not a question of time. It is not a question of ability (since you believe that this thing is "innate", which means "existing before ability was learned"). It is not potential, since the "potential" for anyone is, in fact, the same; that is, we are describing reaching the virtuoso level, which is static. It is not in the amount of practice time it takes for one pianist to be equal to another. So far, it would seem that this "talent" thing exists nowhere, and is certainly not quantifiable. What can we say by that? Where, exactly, does it exist?


In the brain...

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#2069570 - 04/23/13 08:42 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
pianoloverus Offline
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Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19640
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think Horowitz was talking about much later in his career when he played infrequently and tended to play certain works repeatedly. In addition, Richter had one of the largest performing repertoires of any pianist ever, so that requires more time to learn than a smaller repertoire. So I think the comparison with number of hours is extremely flawed.

I think that's important is that both of them could starting from a very young age age probably learn pieces far more quickly than most people, even most professionals at a similar age.

So, perhaps the numbers are slightly different. I think mermily addressed that in the post. But rather than focus on details, let's focus on the idea behind it, which is sound: if one virtuoso practices more than another, does that mean the other has more "talent"? In other words, if Richter did, indeed, practice more than Horowitz, does that mean Horowitz was more "talented"?
Of course not.
I gave two major reasons in my post why any comparison of Richter's hours vs. Horowitz's hours(if, in fact, his statement was true or just an exaggeration to impress) was basically meaningless for the purposes of this thread.

Then, I suppose I am at a completely loss in trying to figure out what you mean by "talent". It is not a physical endowment. It is not a question of time. It is not a question of ability (since you believe that this thing is "innate", which means "existing before ability was learned"). It is not potential, since the "potential" for anyone is, in fact, the same; that is, we are describing reaching the virtuoso level, which is static. It is not in the amount of practice time it takes for one pianist to be equal to another. So far, it would seem that this "talent" thing exists nowhere, and is certainly not quantifiable. What can we say by that? Where, exactly, does it exist?
I didn't say it was not a physical endowment. That's just your opinion and everything you wrote after that is just also your opinion also.

Your post reminds me of a few other ones on this thread where you kept on saying "we" and you should have said "I".

Finally your comment has nothing to do with my point about the irrelevance of comparing the practice hours for Richter and Horowitz. If one pianist has a gigantic performing repertoire and another has a tiny performing repertoire, if one give numerous concerts and the other gives few concerts there is relevance in trying to draw conclusions about their practice time no matter what is being discussed.


Edited by pianoloverus (04/23/13 08:53 PM)

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#2069655 - 04/23/13 11:18 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
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Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Old Man
oh boy, I hate to use the word... sorry Derulux ... t*l*nt.

hahaha very nice! laugh

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One cannot become a prodigy. Either you are or you aren't.

What makes you a prodigy? Is there a time-limit on this?

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Near the beginning of this discussion I believed that no one past a certain age could ever hope to become a virtuoso, because prodigies, by definition, are presumed to be very young. But what if a child is truly a prodigy (born with innate musical gifts), but never sees a piano until the age of 20? I think that if this 20-year old prodigy-in-waiting began his musical training alongside a 20-year old of "average" talent, the difference in the rate of progress would still be dramatic. He may never wear the mantle of "great", but I suspect that his innate ability would come to the fore, and that it would be quickly recognized.

I agree that that is the presumption about prodigies. Would you consider it factual? In terms of the mantle of "greatness", I think that is more marketing/PR than actual ability. I've never put much stock in it, largely because it requires the consensus (read: "groupthink") of many people. I suppose one could equate "greatness" with "famous" (not to be confused with "infamous"). It is difficult to acquire the mantle without the fame, though a better pianist one might be. (IMO)

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And not only would it be readily observable, but measurable as well. (I'm trying to ingratiate myself to Derulux the Physicist grin ).

hahaha man, twice in one post? grin


Originally Posted By: JoelW
(Talent exists) In the brain...

I can work with this. You must believe, then, that it is genetic? Otherwise, it would be learned, and talent is, by definition, "innate", not "learned".

If that is so, why aren't the great virtuosos the product of great virtuosos? That is, why wasn't Horowitz's mother/father a great virtuoso? Or Rachmaninoff? Or Kissin? Or Argerich? Or, well, virtually every single virtuoso out there. Pick any field--virtually none of the "prodigies" are the product of "prodigies". If it was all about the ingredients, there should be at least a significant percentage of examples.. no?

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I didn't say it was not a physical endowment. That's just your opinion and everything you wrote after that is just also your opinion also.

Fair enough. Then you do believe it's a physical endowment?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2069686 - 04/24/13 12:17 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Kuanpiano Offline
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Registered: 05/06/10
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Loc: Canada
I think the best thing about "musical talent" is that I don't really know if I have any of it. I don't really care either, because I know that if I keep practicing and listening carefully, I'll start to sound the way I want to sound, which is good enough for me. Why would I want to sound like Richter or Horowitz anyways?
_________________________
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#2069777 - 04/24/13 06:11 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: mermilylumpkin]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
It would be interesting to extend the more-time-to-learn-something-means-you're-less-naturally-gifted argument to actual virtuosos. Horowitz claimed ("claimed" being the operative word) to have practiced around an hour a day, whereas Claudio Arrau and Richter and others claimed to have practiced ten or fourteen hours a day at intensive points in their careers and several hours per day as the standard. We could take a very conservative estimate and say Richter practiced ~4 hours a day on average and compared to Horowitz's professed 1 hour. I imagine you can see where I'm going with this -- You could argue that Richter is rather a slow learner by this measure. If Horowitz practiced, say, 30,000 hours over his lifetime, it took Richter a shabby 120,000 hours to do the same. Anyway, however fast learners they were we don't compare the greatness of virtuosos based on "the time it took them." We end up more concerned with the practical consequences of whether their version of the Mephisto waltz was dazzling and wonderful.



Myself, I don't trust the self-reporting of these virtuosos about how much they practice, unless they are clearly trying to be honest about it. In the case of Richter, there's a funny story of him telling someone about his practice regime, and his live-in companion immediately contradicting it.

Regardless of that, I was talking about the differences between how fast people learn, especially young ones, and not about practice time.

One virtuoso practice story that I do believe is from Backhaus, who said that he worked on scales and arpeggios for an hour every day, and that accounted for much of his technique. That time is not time spent learning, it is time doing a daily calisthenic routine. Similarly, if Schiff spends the first two hours of his daily practice playing Bach, he is not learning new repertoire, but going over music he already knows.

Quote:


Re: savants, there was another NYT article about child prodigies in math/music (sorry to keep bringing the New York Times into it). Child prodigies were studied across these multiple domains and it was found that in music, the children had IQs around the average; but one of the standout traits cognitively was that around 40% of them were on the autism/Asperger's spectrum. Children with autism frequently take a fanatical interest in a particular category of knowledge (e.g. how washing machines work, the Titanic, music) and acquire uncommon expertise in their obsession. But to me, when a seven year old child regales me with some obscure professorial information about the Titanic, I would attribute it to the fact that they were obsessed with the Titanic and read encyclopedia articles about it and watched PBS shows about it, rather than attributing it to the child's innate capacity to accumulate Titanic related facts. The fact is, it's not normal for a tiny child to feel like practicing the piano or violin for 5 hours a day during the early childhood period where muscle memory, etc. is being established. Most parents can't entice their toddler to quit throwing their toy off the edge of the high chair, much less to sit at the piano for long periods of time and learn a complex instrument and be engaged with it. To me it's fairly unsurprising that a child with a genetic pre-disposition toward excessive interest would acquire a skill like music exponentially faster than a typical child.

Here's a scenario you never hear:
"My 3 year old son spends hours and hours at the piano. He is fascinated with music and I just can't get him away. It's all he wants to do. I just can't break it to him that he simply doesn't have any natural talent for it. He tries and tries and can never learn Lightly Row."


For all that, I don't think there's a single classical pianist with a major career who has been identified as being a savant.

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#2069788 - 04/24/13 06:55 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
chopin_r_us Offline
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Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1000
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: wr

For all that, I don't think there's a single classical pianist with a major career who has been identified as being a savant.
Are they not just savants with brains?

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#2069794 - 04/24/13 07:11 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
I really shouldn't have to explain this...

If we were all immortal, it wouldn't make any difference, because time limits would be irrelevant. But since we aren't, it does.

And taking it a bit further, as a subset of our lifespan, the years in which we are young are also limited, and those are the years in which we can learn things at very rapid rates relative to how fast we learn later in life. So the amount of time it takes to learn matters the most when we are learning the most, when we are young.

If it takes pianist A two years to learn a particular Beethoven sonata starting when they are twelve, and it takes pianist B two weeks to learn the same sonata at the same age, the potential capacity of pianist B can be extrapolated to be much greater than that of pianist A. Neither pianist has an eternity in which to accomplish whatever they are going to accomplish.

You are taking into account things which have been proven to be wrong. Adults learn very differently from children (for the most part), but they certainly don't learn slower. Here's one great article on the cognitive differences between adults and children:

http://www.exploreadultlearning.co.uk/cognitive-differences-adults-children-learning.html

Here is another from FSU: http://www.fsu.edu/~adult-ed/jenny/learning.html. Read, especially, the paragraph on "Intelligence and Aging." This sentence in particular: "It has been difficult for educators and researchers alike to give up the stereotype that young equals sharp and older means dull."

The biggest problem for adult learners is this one: "The greatest problems with memory for older learners occur with meaningless learning, complex learning, and the learning of new things that require reassessment of old learning. (1991)"

For most adults, they've either learned incorrect piano technique, improper practice routines, or both. Going back and fixing it as an adult requires a reassessment of learning, which is extraordinarily difficult the older we get. However, the ability to learn is still there in spades--unless, of course, you're taking the hypothetical situation of an adult who has never heard music. In that case, you do have a very strong argument. But I don't know a single adult who has never heard music.

Here's an article from eHow about the differences between pedagogy and andragogy: http://www.ehow.com/about_6368845_children-vs_-adult-learning.html. I think this is critical to your assumption that children learn faster. In the realm of teaching piano, most instructors only know one way: pedagogy. The teacher says, and the student does. But for adults, this approach doesn't work. Perhaps that is why so many believe the old paradigm to be true--when, in fact, it is the teacher's failures at understanding adult learning that cause the problem. wink



Well, that's a lot of googling, but all for naught, I'm afraid. For one thing, nothing in the links you provide refute the fact that kids go through an explosive learning period that is unmatched in adult life. But that's not the main issue, anyway - which is that if two people within the same age cohort are learning at very different rates, the overall capacity of the one learning faster will be greater.


Quote:
At any rate, I don't remember anything like what you describe, and I am not going to reread the entire thread trying figure out what it is you might be alluding to. Whatever it is, it seems to be couched in purely negative terms, as if there cannot be any genetic advantages, but only disadvantages.
Quote:

You don't have to. I did provide an executive summary immediately subsequent to the sentence you must have read.



I know what you wrote - given your bias, I hardly expect it to be an executive summary, unless the executive you had in mind is particularly gullible.

Quote:
Since I don't know what you are talking about
Quote:

This much, my friend, is quite obvious. And what I mean to say by that, is that it is clear you read for the sake of refuting, rather than for the sake of understanding. wink



There's not a lot there to understand, and selective misquoting on your part doesn't really add much to your position. As far as "reading to refute" goes, you certainly have surpassed me by a wide margin in this thread.

Quote:
The field is still in its infancy, as far as what genome sequencing reveals. I had mine sequenced (just the SNPs, actually)
Quote:

I would actually like to do this when I can afford it. I am very interested in what the results would reveal. There was a great article I read about two years ago on the subject of genetic disorders and the reliability of genetic testing that turned me on to getting "tested". It was a hard copy article I don't have anymore, and I can't remember the name of the author. If I do remember, and you're interested, I'll shoot it over. (Might have been Reader's Digest, but I'm leaning towards one of the scientific journals I read regularly.)

There are many scientists now saying we'll have the entire genome mapped in the next 15-20 years. Wonder what we'll do then...


The Human Genome Project announced that mapping was essentially complete back in 2003. There have been developments since then, but the main mapping work seems to be done. Interpreting it is a whole different matter...

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#2069795 - 04/24/13 07:27 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: mermilylumpkin]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: mermilylumpkin
Originally Posted By: Derulux

So, I believe a lot of it is in that distinct ability to "see things differently" than everyone else. Why does this ability develop? A product of experiences, an ability or disability in certain areas, a sum of exposure, interest, motivation, dedication, questions that pop up in the mind.. there are a million possible reasons. Picasso certainly "saw things differently."


I believe this is so much infinitely more important to creating art than your genetic raw material. For me, what makes Glenn Gould great is the choices he makes musically, to emphasize a particular note, or bring out a melody that was hidden in the music, or produce a stirring emotional effect that I hadn't encountered before in that music. The childhood wizardry stuff is great for him and everything, but it's not the place wherein the art lies, or the virtuosity for that matter (to me).


You seem to be assuming that the ability to see differently is not part of one's genetic raw material, or at least that genetics don't play a role in it. But why? To me, it seems quite possible that ability could tie in with some genetic factors, in some artistically inclined people.

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#2069798 - 04/24/13 07:46 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: cefinow]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: cefinow
I believe in the existence of prodigious and inexplicable gifts, not attainable if you’re not born with them. Yet, when it comes to a practical outlook on one’s own life and working with what each person has, the “gifted/ungifted” notion is mostly useless.



You are right, but for the gifted people a problem remains, which is that they have been singled out. And that can have all sorts of practical ramifications.

Quote:


Anyway, the love of music is an extraordinary gift in itself—who knows why we love music? Where did it come from? Why do we find it intriguing and enchanting? – and so I don’t begrudge the hours of hard work and practice at all; I love music, I love working hard at it. Maybe it’s even more interesting to figure it out bit by bit, than to have it all handed over on a silver platter of instinctive brilliance.

What I find surprising now, is that the more I understand about music, the more I am able to understand. Innate capacity, whether prodigious or not, may not be a fixed quality.


Well, sure, we can continue to learn and grow, thank goodness, but the capacity for it is fixed to some degree by the amount of time in which we have to do it. If I had died 10 years ago, my capacity would have be fixed exactly at that point.

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#2069974 - 04/24/13 01:03 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5375
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Well, that's a lot of googling, but all for naught, I'm afraid. For one thing, nothing in the links you provide refute the fact that kids go through an explosive learning period that is unmatched in adult life. But that's not the main issue, anyway - which is that if two people within the same age cohort are learning at very different rates, the overall capacity of the one learning faster will be greater.

Afraid it's not. I wasn't aware I had to refute that, and I wouldn't try. Are you trying to find an adult who was never exposed to music to use as an example? If so, I'm sure you'll have a tough time, but even if you did manage, I'm equally sure that doesn't really represent the cross-section of real life. wink

Quote:
The Human Genome Project announced that mapping was essentially complete back in 2003. There have been developments since then, but the main mapping work seems to be done. Interpreting it is a whole different matter...

I am so glad you appreciate the argument of semantics. Pardon me if I don't entertain. As for your other purely argumentative statements, I'll leave them to their graves as well.

Quote:
You seem to be assuming that the ability to see differently is not part of one's genetic raw material, or at least that genetics don't play a role in it. But why? To me, it seems quite possible that ability could tie in with some genetic factors, in some artistically inclined people.

Great. Go out and find evidence of it and get back to us. I, for one, will wait. wink

Quote:
You are right, but for the gifted people a problem remains, which is that they have been singled out. And that can have all sorts of practical ramifications.

Such as?

Quote:
Well, sure, we can continue to learn and grow, thank goodness, but the capacity for it is fixed to some degree by the amount of time in which we have to do it. If I had died 10 years ago, my capacity would have be fixed exactly at that point.

It is amazing in all of this, that no one has referenced my signature line. I had expected it to happen some time ago. Of course, if you died ten years ago, you couldn't, under any circumstances I'm currently aware of, be a virtuoso today. If a two-year-old dies suddenly (for any reason), they will never have the chance to be a virtuoso. Does that mean they didn't have "talent", because they didn't "make it"? I'm not sure how that would help your position, unless you are off the "talent" argument and on to something else entirely?
_________________________
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

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#2070225 - 04/24/13 09:07 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8025
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
Well, that's a lot of googling, but all for naught, I'm afraid. For one thing, nothing in the links you provide refute the fact that kids go through an explosive learning period that is unmatched in adult life. But that's not the main issue, anyway - which is that if two people within the same age cohort are learning at very different rates, the overall capacity of the one learning faster will be greater.

Afraid it's not. I wasn't aware I had to refute that, and I wouldn't try. Are you trying to find an adult who was never exposed to music to use as an example? If so, I'm sure you'll have a tough time, but even if you did manage, I'm equally sure that doesn't really represent the cross-section of real life. wink



What does finding an adult never exposed to music have to do with what I said?

I didn't say that adults can't learn, or that they are less intelligent than kids. Just that in terms of learning music, they are slower when old than when young. Ask any classical pianist who was learning advanced music as a teen, and who is now over 60 and is still learning the music of the same level of difficulty, for a comparison.

Quote:


Quote:
The Human Genome Project announced that mapping was essentially complete back in 2003. There have been developments since then, but the main mapping work seems to be done. Interpreting it is a whole different matter...

I am so glad you appreciate the argument of semantics. Pardon me if I don't entertain. As for your other purely argumentative statements, I'll leave them to their graves as well.



I'm not arguing - just providing a fact regarding the status of mapping the human genome.

Quote:


Quote:
You seem to be assuming that the ability to see differently is not part of one's genetic raw material, or at least that genetics don't play a role in it. But why? To me, it seems quite possible that ability could tie in with some genetic factors, in some artistically inclined people.

Great. Go out and find evidence of it and get back to us. I, for one, will wait. wink



http://jmg.bmj.com/content/45/7/451.full

Quote:
Quote:
You are right, but for the gifted people a problem remains, which is that they have been singled out. And that can have all sorts of practical ramifications.

Such as?



Well, for one thing, depending on location, it may mean that an entirely different education track opens up.

Quote:


Quote:
Well, sure, we can continue to learn and grow, thank goodness, but the capacity for it is fixed to some degree by the amount of time in which we have to do it. If I had died 10 years ago, my capacity would have be fixed exactly at that point.

It is amazing in all of this, that no one has referenced my signature line. I had expected it to happen some time ago.



Don't be amazed - there's an option not to view people's sigs that can be set in the forum preferences. I've never seen yours.

Quote:


Of course, if you died ten years ago, you couldn't, under any circumstances I'm currently aware of, be a virtuoso today. If a two-year-old dies suddenly (for any reason), they will never have the chance to be a virtuoso. Does that mean they didn't have "talent", because they didn't "make it"? I'm not sure how that would help your position, unless you are off the "talent" argument and on to something else entirely?


I was responding to a specific post about capacity for musical learning.

I think that one aspect of musical talent is demonstrated by the capacity one has for the learning and understanding of music. Because our lifetimes are finite, there's a built-in limitation to that capacity. That limitation doesn't limit talent, but it does limit one way in which it is manifested.

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December 2014 Holiday Piano Bar
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12/17/14 06:14 PM
The Language of Taste - Pianos, Wine ... and Birds
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