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#2086736 - 05/22/13 11:40 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: wr

Or, since families do pass along DNA, that could also be a source of why they are exceptional musicians.



In the case of the Finns that is undoubtedly true. As for the rest of humanity .... grin

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#2086791 - 05/22/13 12:50 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2730
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Here's an article that addresses the subject of this lengthy thread.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/practice-makes-perfect-not-so-much/

The article doesn't provide the details that would be found in the study, but the conclusions are indeed interesting.

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#2086814 - 05/22/13 01:26 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Steve Chandler]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5039
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Here's an article that addresses the subject of this lengthy thread.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/practice-makes-perfect-not-so-much/

The article doesn't provide the details that would be found in the study, but the conclusions are indeed interesting.


I'm not exactly a chess Grandmaster wink , but I learnt chess from books my uncle gave me when I was 9 (Capablanca's Best Games etc., as a well as a beginner's book). I had noone to play with, but next time I visited my uncle, I challenged him to a game....and won. And it was my first game. He was rusty, but used to play regularly in his county chess team.

I also had no difficulty playing 'blindfold chess', when I eventually found players I could play on a similar level when I went to boarding school. (We played while pretending to listen to the teachers during school lessons, until a teacher realized what was going on, and separated us..... grin). Though I don't think my talent was ever good enough to take me all the way to GM level.

However, my talent at chess was, and still is, probably better than my (non-existent) 'talent' at playing the piano..... cry

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#2086821 - 05/22/13 01:36 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: keystring
The underlying skills are not built, the strategies are not taught, and they may be assumed to be there.

Interesting aside.. I just had a discussion about this regarding K-12. I believe the same inherent problems exit there for G&T students. They are so far advanced from the rest of the class that they do not need to develop the skills (studying, in particular) necessary to stay afloat in more difficult curriculum, and when they finally hit the deep end of the pool, they drown.

Similar deal here -- I bet people are so aggressive at getting into the music that they skip the basic fundamentals of how to practice, how to approach a piece, how to correct technique issues, etc, that when they get to something a little more difficult, they drown in the sea of black on the page.

Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
"MSU link"

Great article. I would like to read more of what, specifically, they studied when they say "practice". This particular sentence stood out to me: "While the conclusion that practice may not make perfect runs counter to the popular view that just about anyone can achieve greatness if they work hard enough...." I would think the vast majority of people agree that if you practice the wrong thing, practice is certainly not enough. I'm used to hearing this readily debunked and replaced with, "Perfect practice makes perfect."

So, I wonder if they studied the "how" of practice, or if they simply aggregated hours? That would certainly be a giant, gaping hole in their theory, so I hope they did that. Any idea where the full study is published? (Or if it's published yet?)
_________________________
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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#2086838 - 05/22/13 02:08 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2730
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
"MSU link"

Great article. I would like to read more of what, specifically, they studied when they say "practice". This particular sentence stood out to me: "While the conclusion that practice may not make perfect runs counter to the popular view that just about anyone can achieve greatness if they work hard enough...." I would think the vast majority of people agree that if you practice the wrong thing, practice is certainly not enough. I'm used to hearing this readily debunked and replaced with, "Perfect practice makes perfect."

So, I wonder if they studied the "how" of practice, or if they simply aggregated hours? That would certainly be a giant, gaping hole in their theory, so I hope they did that. Any idea where the full study is published? (Or if it's published yet?)

The article states, "Many theorists argue that thousands of hours of focused, deliberate practice is sufficient to achieve elite status.

Hambrick disagrees.

“The evidence is quite clear,” he writes, “that some people do reach an elite level of performance without copious practice, while other people fail to do so despite copious practice.”

To me this indicates that the quality of practice was a consideration, though we can't know for sure without reading the research article.

As for reading the article, contact information for Professor Zach Hambrick is available by simply putting your cursor over his name at the top of the article.

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#2087004 - 05/22/13 07:43 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: keystring]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: keystring

This debate doesn't give me anything, and there are way too many unknowns about these "some people".



Well, no one is forcing you to participate in this part of the thread, the debate about talent, are they? Threads can evolve into multiple digressions that progress simultaneously. People can respond to the parts which interest them.

And, yes, I did read your entire post, but it didn't seem to be about the issue of whether talent exists, which is the focus of my interest in the thread right now.

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#2087012 - 05/22/13 07:58 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Steve Chandler]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Here's an article that addresses the subject of this lengthy thread.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/practice-makes-perfect-not-so-much/

The article doesn't provide the details that would be found in the study, but the conclusions are indeed interesting.


Here is what appears to be an earlier paper by the same author on the same subject, and drawing a similar conclusion.


Edited by wr (05/22/13 08:21 PM)

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#2087021 - 05/22/13 08:16 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5039
Originally Posted By: wr

Here is what appears to be an earlier paper by the same author on the same subject, and drawing similar conclusion.


Which appears to be that great musicians (and chess players) are largely born, not made.........

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#2087027 - 05/22/13 08:27 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: landorrano]
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8860
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Don't they say that [Richard] Strauss was anti-Jew!!!

Not necessarily. I don't think Strauss cared one way or the other, and I have never read anything to indicate that it was of much importance to him. Strauss was basically apolitical and cynical: 'So I used a Jewish librettist? Well he was handy at the time'.

Strauss may have not have put up much of a fuss about the National Socialists, though he did write a conciliatory letter to Hitler, basically to save his arse. Since this was late 1944, I don't know if Hitler ever saw it; certainly he had other things on his mind.

Richard Strauss survived because he was Germany's greatest composer, and considering that shortly after the war he conducted a concert of his music in London (invited by Sir Thomas Beecham), well he got off a lot easier than many other German musicians. I think he was an innocent man, he just wanted to be left alone to write his glorious music, and there is nothing in Vier letzte Lieder which indicates anything other than a silent resignation and apology for his country.

Truly great music, it never fails to move me.
Quote:
By the way, Richard Strauss, child prodigy, composing as a small tyke. Father was musician, little Richard crawling under the legs of the musicians of the orchestra, feeling the tympani in the planks, hearing his father's horn reverberating in the hall, getting coddled by the sopranos and jostled on the knee of the baritones: that is what talent is.

Right-O. If Strauss was not a prodigy on the level of a Mozart or Korngold, I defy ANYONE to match the Burleske which he wrote at 19. Reportedly he played it at an informal run-through, and it turned out to be a mistake to dedicate it to von Bülow who considered it unplayable. It was left to Eugen d'Albert (who was one of the first to prominently feature the Brahms concertos in his repertoire) to demonstrate that Strauss's youthful work was not only playable, but marvelously effective.

I am surprised that this work is not more often performed live, though it has not lacked for recordings. (Carol Rosenberger's dismal attempt not in the running.)

If I have read through the Burleske (WOW- it is difficult!), I have accompanied a number of Strauss's songs, and the piano parts could only have been written by a man who knew the piano intimately. Having played tons of Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms lieder, nothing quite fits the hands like Strauss. Certainly Schubert doesn't.

Sorry for OT, landorrano, but I just had to chime in.
_________________________
Jason

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#2087046 - 05/22/13 09:13 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Steve Chandler]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
"MSU link"

Great article. I would like to read more of what, specifically, they studied when they say "practice". This particular sentence stood out to me: "While the conclusion that practice may not make perfect runs counter to the popular view that just about anyone can achieve greatness if they work hard enough...." I would think the vast majority of people agree that if you practice the wrong thing, practice is certainly not enough. I'm used to hearing this readily debunked and replaced with, "Perfect practice makes perfect."

So, I wonder if they studied the "how" of practice, or if they simply aggregated hours? That would certainly be a giant, gaping hole in their theory, so I hope they did that. Any idea where the full study is published? (Or if it's published yet?)

The article states, "Many theorists argue that thousands of hours of focused, deliberate practice is sufficient to achieve elite status.

Hambrick disagrees.

“The evidence is quite clear,” he writes, “that some people do reach an elite level of performance without copious practice, while other people fail to do so despite copious practice.”

To me this indicates that the quality of practice was a consideration, though we can't know for sure without reading the research article.

As for reading the article, contact information for Professor Zach Hambrick is available by simply putting your cursor over his name at the top of the article.

Yeah, they mention "copious" practice, but that just means "a lot" regardless of what was practiced, how it was practiced, or the quality of that practice.

Thanks for the heads-up on his contact info.. I didn't even think to try that. (Just dove right into the meat on my first read.) smile

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Here's an article that addresses the subject of this lengthy thread.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/practice-makes-perfect-not-so-much/

The article doesn't provide the details that would be found in the study, but the conclusions are indeed interesting.


Here is what appears to be an earlier paper by the same author on the same subject, and drawing a similar conclusion.

That's not the conclusion drawn. This paper has to do with working memory capacity and its effect on sightreading. In the following quote, they completely negate that conclusion for works mastered and possibly also for familiar genres:

"For example, in piano, it could be that working-memory capacity is important for sight-reading in performers of all levels of skill. However, working-memory capacity may become
less important as the piece is practiced and then become entirely unimportant once mastered. Or perhaps working-memory
capacity predicts performance in playing music in an unfamiliar genre but not a familiar genre. We believe that research aimed at investigating these sorts of possibilities will increase scientific understanding of the underpinnings of skilled performance."

Since sightreading has largely gone the way of the dodo in classical music, the results aren't entirely relevant. Nevertheless, it is a very interesting article, though I thought it would be pretty obvious that "more memory capacity" = "greater ability to remember notes". wink
_________________________
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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#2087128 - 05/23/13 01:38 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: Derulux

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Here's an article that addresses the subject of this lengthy thread.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/practice-makes-perfect-not-so-much/

The article doesn't provide the details that would be found in the study, but the conclusions are indeed interesting.


Here is what appears to be an earlier paper by the same author on the same subject, and drawing a similar conclusion.

That's not the conclusion drawn. This paper has to do with working memory capacity and its effect on sightreading. In the following quote, they completely negate that conclusion for works mastered and possibly also for familiar genres:

"For example, in piano, it could be that working-memory capacity is important for sight-reading in performers of all levels of skill. However, working-memory capacity may become
less important as the piece is practiced and then become entirely unimportant once mastered. Or perhaps working-memory
capacity predicts performance in playing music in an unfamiliar genre but not a familiar genre. We believe that research aimed at investigating these sorts of possibilities will increase scientific understanding of the underpinnings of skilled performance."

Since sightreading has largely gone the way of the dodo in classical music, the results aren't entirely relevant. Nevertheless, it is a very interesting article, though I thought it would be pretty obvious that "more memory capacity" = "greater ability to remember notes". wink


As I said, the conclusion drawn was "similar", and it is.

Also, the paper isn't just about sight-reading - that's just one of various studies mentioned. And for something largely gone the way of the dodo, there sure are a lot of threads about it here.



Edited by wr (05/23/13 01:40 AM)

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#2087132 - 05/23/13 01:46 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Steve Chandler]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Here's an article that addresses the subject of this lengthy thread.

http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/practice-makes-perfect-not-so-much/

The article doesn't provide the details that would be found in the study, but the conclusions are indeed interesting.


Here's a link to the publisher's site for that paper. It hasn't been published yet, although they make it available online behind a pay-wall.

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#2087134 - 05/23/13 01:49 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Also, the paper isn't just about sight-reading - that's just one of various studies mentioned. And for something largely gone the way of the dodo, there sure are a lot of threads about it here.

There are also a lot of threads about learning piano without a teacher. I would say neither applies to the discussion at hand. wink

Quote:
Here's a link to the publisher's site for that paper. It hasn't been published yet, although they make it available online behind a pay-wall.

Awesome, thanks! 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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#2087171 - 05/23/13 05:19 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: wr

Here's a link to the publisher's site for that paper. It hasn't been published yet, although they make it available online behind a pay-wall.


The true secret of genious finally revealed! But the world will never know: it's just too expensive!

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#2087206 - 05/23/13 07:56 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: argerichfan]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Sorry for OT, landorrano, but I just had to chime in.


Chime! Chime! Please do, by all means!

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#2087218 - 05/23/13 08:17 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
Also, the paper isn't just about sight-reading - that's just one of various studies mentioned. And for something largely gone the way of the dodo, there sure are a lot of threads about it here.

There are also a lot of threads about learning piano without a teacher. I would say neither applies to the discussion at hand. wink



Your assertion (that sight-reading is going the way of the dodo) doesn't particularly apply to the discussion at hand, either.

I think those members here who actually earn money from doing collaborative work would probably not agree with you. IIRC, some of them have said that sight-reading skills were important in their work.

Regardless of all that and how it may or may not apply to the discussion at hand, the point of the sight-reading study seems to be that the level of sight-reading ability is connected to a inheritable trait, i.e., "nature" rather than "nurture". On that basis, it does relate to the discussion at hand. And it is, after all, a particular musical skill, no matter what your opinion is about its current importance.

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#2087596 - 05/23/13 07:08 PM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5924
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: wr
I think those members here who actually earn money from doing collaborative work would probably not agree with you. IIRC, some of them have said that sight-reading skills were important in their work.
Absolutely essential, in fact. (speaking as one who earns money from collaborative work)
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2087873 - 05/24/13 10:03 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
Also, the paper isn't just about sight-reading - that's just one of various studies mentioned. And for something largely gone the way of the dodo, there sure are a lot of threads about it here.

There are also a lot of threads about learning piano without a teacher. I would say neither applies to the discussion at hand. wink



Your assertion (that sight-reading is going the way of the dodo) doesn't particularly apply to the discussion at hand, either.

I think those members here who actually earn money from doing collaborative work would probably not agree with you. IIRC, some of them have said that sight-reading skills were important in their work.

Regardless of all that and how it may or may not apply to the discussion at hand, the point of the sight-reading study seems to be that the level of sight-reading ability is connected to a inheritable trait, i.e., "nature" rather than "nurture". On that basis, it does relate to the discussion at hand. And it is, after all, a particular musical skill, no matter what your opinion is about its current importance.


If you would like to change the subject from "talent" to earning a living playing the piano, then yes. I would agree with you that sight-reading skills are extremely important. I rather thought we were discussing "talent" as it applies to virtuosity. (Which leads into the next point you brought up...)

Quote:
Regardless of all that and how it may or may not apply to the discussion at hand, the point of the sight-reading study seems to be that the level of sight-reading ability is connected to a inheritable trait, i.e., "nature" rather than "nurture". On that basis, it does relate to the discussion at hand. And it is, after all, a particular musical skill, no matter what your opinion is about its current importance.

I agree, as a separate skill, it can be discussed and may indeed represent the biggest hole in the "no talent" theory yet. However, it is not required in spades to become a virtuoso or even to play at that top level. I don't think I've ever heard Kissin, Argerich, Horowitz, or any of the others sightread on stage. I believe it was said of Josef Hoffman that he was a very poor sightreader, and I'm sure there are others in that category.

As to the previously mentioned "hole", it has, of course, been mentioned in this thread that it takes "talent" to get to the top, but even people without talent can get pretty far up the chain. So, now I'm not so sure that the ability sightread gets us anywhere in terms of the "talent" discussion referring to the ability to play the piano at all.

More succinctly, what I mean to say is, if we have more than one variable, but only one equation, we cannot say what the value of either variable is.
_________________________
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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#2087891 - 05/24/13 10:31 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2730
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Derulux
More succinctly, what I mean to say is, if we have more than one variable, but only one equation, we cannot say what the value of either variable is.
That sounds suspiciously like the uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat and all!

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#2087910 - 05/24/13 11:08 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Steve Chandler]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Derulux
More succinctly, what I mean to say is, if we have more than one variable, but only one equation, we cannot say what the value of either variable is.
That sounds suspiciously like the uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat and all!

I hate that cat.. hahaha laugh
_________________________
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.

Top
#2087916 - 05/24/13 11:19 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Derulux
More succinctly, what I mean to say is, if we have more than one variable, but only one equation, we cannot say what the value of either variable is.
That sounds suspiciously like the uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat and all!

I hate that cat.. hahaha laugh

The latest thoughts on quantum uncertainty is that the uncertaintly exists only in the mind of the observer before he/she makes the observation, and, in fact, the cat is actually dead, or alive, as the case may be. (Quantum Bayesianism)


Edited by Mwm (05/24/13 11:20 AM)

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#2087920 - 05/24/13 11:24 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Mwm]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: Mwm
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: Steve Chandler
Originally Posted By: Derulux
More succinctly, what I mean to say is, if we have more than one variable, but only one equation, we cannot say what the value of either variable is.
That sounds suspiciously like the uncertainty principle, Schrodinger's cat and all!

I hate that cat.. hahaha laugh

The latest thoughts on quantum uncertainty is that the uncertaintly exists only in the mind of the observer before he/she makes the observation, and, in fact, the cat is actually dead, or alive, as the case may be. (Quantum Bayesianism)

I made that argument nearly 15 years ago in college, and was told I was wrong. Nice to know I wasn't, even though they can't change my grade now. grin
_________________________
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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#2088439 - 05/25/13 06:57 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7802
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
Also, the paper isn't just about sight-reading - that's just one of various studies mentioned. And for something largely gone the way of the dodo, there sure are a lot of threads about it here.

There are also a lot of threads about learning piano without a teacher. I would say neither applies to the discussion at hand. wink



Your assertion (that sight-reading is going the way of the dodo) doesn't particularly apply to the discussion at hand, either.

I think those members here who actually earn money from doing collaborative work would probably not agree with you. IIRC, some of them have said that sight-reading skills were important in their work.

Regardless of all that and how it may or may not apply to the discussion at hand, the point of the sight-reading study seems to be that the level of sight-reading ability is connected to a inheritable trait, i.e., "nature" rather than "nurture". On that basis, it does relate to the discussion at hand. And it is, after all, a particular musical skill, no matter what your opinion is about its current importance.


If you would like to change the subject from "talent" to earning a living playing the piano, then yes. I would agree with you that sight-reading skills are extremely important. I rather thought we were discussing "talent" as it applies to virtuosity. (Which leads into the next point you brought up...)



From "going the way of the dodo" to "extremely important" - hmmm.

I was talking about talent, although in my mind I didn't think of it as necessarily applying to virtuosity. I still am talking about talent, and the sight-reading study demonstrates that a facet of musical talent is inheritable, i.e., innate. The connection to the discussion seems fairly clear to me.

Quote:


Quote:
Regardless of all that and how it may or may not apply to the discussion at hand, the point of the sight-reading study seems to be that the level of sight-reading ability is connected to a inheritable trait, i.e., "nature" rather than "nurture". On that basis, it does relate to the discussion at hand. And it is, after all, a particular musical skill, no matter what your opinion is about its current importance.

I agree, as a separate skill, it can be discussed and may indeed represent the biggest hole in the "no talent" theory yet. However, it is not required in spades to become a virtuoso or even to play at that top level. I don't think I've ever heard Kissin, Argerich, Horowitz, or any of the others sightread on stage. I believe it was said of Josef Hoffman that he was a very poor sightreader, and I'm sure there are others in that category.

As to the previously mentioned "hole", it has, of course, been mentioned in this thread that it takes "talent" to get to the top, but even people without talent can get pretty far up the chain. So, now I'm not so sure that the ability sightread gets us anywhere in terms of the "talent" discussion referring to the ability to play the piano at all.

More succinctly, what I mean to say is, if we have more than one variable, but only one equation, we cannot say what the value of either variable is.


It's not math.

The sight-reading study isn't necessarily connected to virtuosity, per se, but is about musical talent in the larger sense. As I said in an earlier post, using virtuosos as examples is just a convenience, AFAIAC. As examples, they have the advantage of being publicly known, and often their bios are also known and easily found on the 'net. But I don't think that innate musical talent is limited to virtuosos, so I when I talk about musical talent, I am not referring exclusively to virtuosos.

From my point of view, the Finnish study and the Hambrick studies are all that should be needed to establish that there is good reason to believe that at least some aspects of musical ability can be innate and inheritable, rather than purely resulting from environmental factors. Regardless of the complexities involved in the making of any given virtuoso, it's clear that at a more basic level, there are aspects of musical ability that can be innate, rather than environmental.

As always, studies need to be replicated and refined before being accepted as iron-clad proof of anything, and even then, there's always a chance that something will eventually come along that messes with well-established "reality". But it looks to me that as it currently stands, given this recent research, it should be impossible to say that there can never be any aspect of musical ability that is innate to the individual, but that the entirety of it is always and forever more purely a result of environment.

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#2089147 - 05/26/13 11:37 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: King Cole]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5296
Loc: Philadelphia
Originally Posted By: wr
From my point of view, the Finnish study and the Hambrick studies are all that should be needed to establish that there is good reason to believe that at least some aspects of musical ability can be innate and inheritable, rather than purely resulting from environmental factors. Regardless of the complexities involved in the making of any given virtuoso, it's clear that at a more basic level, there are aspects of musical ability that can be innate, rather than environmental.

As always, studies need to be replicated and refined before being accepted as iron-clad proof of anything, and even then, there's always a chance that something will eventually come along that messes with well-established "reality". But it looks to me that as it currently stands, given this recent research, it should be impossible to say that there can never be any aspect of musical ability that is innate to the individual, but that the entirety of it is always and forever more purely a result of environment.

This is a very good argument, and quite different than the ones previously used (that virtuosity can only be obtained because you have some special "talent"). I will have to think more about this, but you certainly have ample solid ground to stand on here. Perhaps someone else will think of a rebuttal I have not yet considered, but I will need some time to think before I respond, so that my response is meaningful and not simply a, "Not uh.." wink
_________________________
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#2089697 - 05/27/13 03:32 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: Derulux]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Good morning.

It is clear, Derulux, that you have no greater desire than to join the talent crowd! So don't keep beating around the bush, just do it! Come out and say it! Get down on your knees and bow your head before the talent goddess, she will forgive you for having doubted her, she knows that you will believe in her all the more deeply having rooted out and cauterized your doubt before the witness of the entire (piano) world! grin

And I will know how to hold high, sole, the standard of human culture and education, of choice, of knowledge and of art, of the Enlightenment itself.


Edited by landorrano (05/27/13 04:56 AM)

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#2089712 - 05/27/13 05:24 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: landorrano]
chopin_r_us Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 918
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Get down on your knees and bow your head before the talent goddess, she will forgive you for having doubted her, she knows that you will believe in her all the more deeply having rooted out and cauterized your doubt before the witness of the entire (piano) world! grin
Of course, the Muses! It's neither nature nor nurture, it's inspiration!

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#2089793 - 05/27/13 10:08 AM Re: VIRTUOSO TECHNIQUE!!! [Re: wr]
Mwm Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 752
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Derulux
Originally Posted By: wr
Also, the paper isn't just about sight-reading - that's just one of various studies mentioned. And for something largely gone the way of the dodo, there sure are a lot of threads about it here.

There are also a lot of threads about learning piano without a teacher. I would say neither applies to the discussion at hand. wink



Your assertion (that sight-reading is going the way of the dodo) doesn't particularly apply to the discussion at hand, either.

I think those members here who actually earn money from doing collaborative work would probably not agree with you. IIRC, some of them have said that sight-reading skills were important in their work.

Regardless of all that and how it may or may not apply to the discussion at hand, the point of the sight-reading study seems to be that the level of sight-reading ability is connected to a inheritable trait, i.e., "nature" rather than "nurture". On that basis, it does relate to the discussion at hand. And it is, after all, a particular musical skill, no matter what your opinion is about its current importance.


I 'learned' to sight read when I was five, after I learned the alphabet and was told the letter names of the lines and spaces relative to the treble and bass clefs, and this was before I learned to read. Trouble was, nobody mentioned that the shape of the notes also had meaning. Sight reading got me my first job at 14 as organist of a church and at a liberal synagogue, and paid my way through university and gave me a career choice.

Practice, proper practice, gave me technique, and, without a doubt, made my runs better.

Musicality, however (if one believes my listeners who say I play musically), was innate. How else does one explain the ability to sight read a work musically, that is to say, without training, sense the line and arc of a piece before you have first played it?

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