Music and Vision homepage


Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

A foothold

Those early years

This is not the first time in recent years that my thoughts on paper have turned to experiences as a young pianist at the primo end of piano duets. My father, who awakened my interest in music as an eleven-year-old, was a keen duettist with a good library of such material and the ability to make arduous practice more fun than fume.

Whilst my latter-day musical activities no longer include playing, I can never forget the excitement aroused by subduing the more challenging pieces and by sightreading new ones, which included rounding corners to sudden hazards and the squeal of wrong notes. Opinions differ but mine remain certain that such experiences are of value both technically and musically. I was able to categorise types of error, and thus was led more quickly to anticipation and avoidance, at least for some mistakes.

All that apart as preliminaries of performance, my enjoyment of music in continuity became more observant of detail, and then more convincing to me as music in development, leading to acceptance of a movement as an entity from structure. None of this form of analysis in my early years ever struck me as dull theory. This was music in the making, and as stimulating to me as baby animals scrambling for a foothold after birth.

Copyright © 1 July 2003 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK



 << M&V home       Musings home        In step >>