One sometimes wonders if composers generate anything else but musical thoughts!
Tush: we are all human and therefore susceptible to the joys and miseries of
existence. Those with an above-average ability in any art may well enjoy (as well
as 'endure') the trials of its demand for a high standard. What point in anything
Being a composer begins with such a demand, and only then moves on to the
crucial test of his or her ability to draw forth musical ideas of such quality
as to provide whatever basis is essential for original composition. And we know
from our hopefully extensive experience of great music, composers capable of it
are in possession of a supreme gift. Until music reaches our ears with that
quality, nothing rises above average. Without it we stay in the doldrums.
My feelings did not rise to this understanding for a considerable time after
the desire for greater intensity in my listening. Once this happened, I knew that
music was capable of existence on a much higher plane, slowly drawing us up to
the same level should our intentions be steadfast. The effect can be perceptibly
dramatic, and once experienced brings us eventually to a wondrous level of
The quintessential factor is 'understanding'. All of us -- from professional
to amateur -- need unremitting attention to the quality that arises from the
musical essence. We cannot immediately hope to perceptibly catch it all, but
its overall effect is crucial to reasonable comprehension. Remember, composers
are reliant on listeners hearing what should be apparent. Without it our
experience is flawed, and the composer's message is apparently misunderstood.
Copyright © 15 May 2006 Basil Ramsey,