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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

Failing insight


Wondering how much we miss

Music as an all-embracing art is prone -- as here -- to endless gossip, chat, and seemingly endless bickering about this and that. If we then add the amount of view-mongering spread over an enormous fascination for the minutiae of music in innumerable aspects, we are beginning to perceive the global immensity of it all.

As an editor curious to a fault over this subject in its endless variation, I am continuously engaged in detail for the way in which music reacts upon each of us as individuals. We may as well admit that each of us hear the sounds of any one piece of music in as many ways as there are listeners. Obvious as this may seem, we slip into the error of imagining otherwise, possibly because listening is often a mass undertaking, and we cannot shake off the assumption that we hear music identically. More to the point, a dazzling coda to a familiar orchestral piece will increase the audience reaction in direct proportion to the extent of the dazzle.  Admittedly, this is a rule-of-thumb explanation of the dazzle factor. All audiences contain the shrewd listeners who are unmoved by dazzle unless it shares the conviction of a worthy performance, but they are outclapped by the folk overwhelmed by the experience as a whole. It doesn't require scientific readings to discern the signs of satisfaction from an audience.

If we stand back from all this and relive it in our minds, the initial implications are drawn from explicit feelings. The whole experience will be drawn into our musical 'library' and gives a touch more authority to our overall attitude towards the art.

We realise the significance of our growing expanse of direct musical experience. From this is drawn the strengthening resources within us for bringing music to a level of supreme experience. Music, like no other, draws upon internal forces to activate a colossal awakening to the extent of its special power upon our minds and bodies. Those who neglect this are merely denied insight. It is a matter of choice.

Copyright © 15 August 2002 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK



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