Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Musicality...?

  1. #1
    Junior Member grixxviolist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question Musicality...?

    Somehow i'm still confused about the term "musicality". All i could understand is that it's part of being a musician, that you are "musical" and can interpret music the way it was meant to be. And it makes me wonder if it's a gift to all musicians or it's just that others are too "technical". So what is musicality (really) for musicians?
    music=home.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    11,621
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    One online dictionary, in its third listing under 'musical' has:
    3. fond of or skilled in music.

    Let's concentrate on "Skilled."

    If you put aside all the technical concerns of execution (only for the sake of getting at the idea) think of all the other elements that make us say someone is 'skilled' at music:

    These are all very real but very abstract "qualities."

    The musical person will 'shape' the simplest of musical phrases, even as a tot singing some nursery rhyme.

    Shaping or contouring a phrase entails subtle emphases on the dynamic of one note to the next, and a sense of 'connectivity' which further 'contours' the music. That includes, again innate, the tiniest of rhythmic agogic accents and placement in time where the timing does not sound distorted, but one note is a hair longer or placed in time beyond a regular metronomic pulse.

    In other music contexts, a person with that innate musicality will respond to all other parts of a piece, harmony, other contrapuntal lines, balance of parts if they are one of the musicians in an ensemble, etc. on that intuitive / innate level of operation. Fact is, they 'cannot help themselves' from responding otherwise.

    For many a student who is almost completely preoccupied with developing technique -- i.e. playing all the right notes all the time and developing speed (velocity) -- the first thing to be lost is the 'musicality' which music requires to be 'musical' vs. just a bunch of notes played in the right order. (All students beware, all practice should still be 'musical' even our scales, arpeggios, etc.)

    There are players at all levels, including concert professionals, who are more technical than musical.

    The less musical performer or student must always be coached, in detail, how to phrase a piece, shape the piece itself: much about 'interpretation' will have to be relayed to that person, time and again. Those are the ones I would say are not 'innately musical.'

    The musical student, truly without thinking, reflexively does all that, leaving the need only to direct or tutor certain elements of style.

    Musicality can be coached, directed and shaped. A student or player with a lack of musicality will forever need more spoon-fed information to sound anywhere near the quality of the more musical person.

    I would ally "Musicality" with "Talent" - another hugely abstract word. Neither, really, can be given out like information which can be readily transmitted on the technical plane of 'how to bow the violin,' or 'hand position at the piano in this particular passage of piece X.'

    In the current social - PC affected climate it is more than popular to say "all genres of art, all cultures, and all people are equal." There are people who have innate sympathetic understanding of music and how to make it. Some do not: some of those are in conservatories, training to be professional musicians. Given the native talent of one over the other, and if both work equally hard, it is the talented and musical one who will....

    I should have saved a YouTube link I heard of a college age fellow playing a middle-advanced Chopin piece. (I do not save what I think is mediocre or dreadful.) The link was posted by his (enamored) girl-friend who was soliciting, "Isn't he just amazing at the piano" comments, and it was a perfect example of someone who had spent years acquiring an intermediate-advanced playing ability who yet did not have one idea of how to get music out of the instrument. It was "All the notes in the right order" -- with no real music coming out. That young man entirely lacked 'musicality.'
    Last edited by PetrB; Mar-24-2012 at 01:05.

  3. Likes grixxviolist liked this post
  4. #3
    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hialeah, FL
    Posts
    2,582
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    For me, true musicality goes beyond anything that can be taught or even attained after endless rehearsal. It is not technique nor lightning speed virtuosity. It is an i don't know what that is immediately obvious and that is born with the musician.

  5. Likes Dodecaplex, grixxviolist liked this post
  6. #4
    Junior Member grixxviolist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    20
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    my teacher tells me i'm a 'technical' player so i really wanted to know what musicality really is.. thanks for your answers! and i hope i could pull out my musicality (since i still get shyness playing my instrument) or learn much how to actually sound more beautiful. thanks again!
    music=home.

  7. #5
    Senior Member jalex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,053
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kv466 View Post
    For me, true musicality goes beyond anything that can be taught or even attained after endless rehearsal. It is not technique nor lightning speed virtuosity. It is an i don't know what that is immediately obvious and that is born with the musician.
    Rubbish. Sure nature plays a part (as it does with technical talent as well - not that the two are entirely separate), but musicality can and needs to be developed just as much as technique. Someone with a degree of natural musicality will be outclassed by someone less naturally gifted who takes the time to develop their musicality. No-one is born with a magical ability to perfectly judge all musical aspects of a performance without training, and training will allow someone with only a modest natural flair to develop this skill to a fair degree.

  8. Likes Moira liked this post
  9. #6
    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg, S Africa
    Posts
    539
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I have always lacked the innate musicality that my father had. An ability to achieve musical goals with less work than I have to put into it. That ability to make technical exercises, including scales sound pretty without thousands of attempts with a metronome beating out different rhythms and speeds. The ability to hear intervals and reproduce them without hundreds of hours of aural training. Sure these things can be learned (and often are), but musical people don't need to learn them at the same level that the non-musical people do.

  10. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    25
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Different people pick up on music at different levels. Yes.

    I think most people can learn technique and musicality if you treat them to understanding muscular action and utmost relaxation. You give them control over their manipulation and teach them to listen. From there, if they want to, they will find a way.

  11. Likes grixxviolist liked this post
  12. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    25
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I think you can also expand musicality with little exercises like:

    randomise scale and create melody
    create melody and turn it arabic
    or bluesy
    or classical period style
    create melody and alter the rhythm
    and create new melody w/ rhythm
    create melody and change time sig.
    create your own modal system, etc...

  13. Likes grixxviolist liked this post
  14. #9
    Senior Member Mesa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Penny Lane
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Were you sent here to ask silly questions and point out the blindingly obvious?
    You're a crazy, penniless lobster doctor. No combination of you should be a comedian.

  15. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Some people need to get on top of the technical aspects of their playing, so that they can concentrate on being artistic (musical) It all depends. No two people learn to play a musical instrument in the same way.

  16. #11
    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    In the Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    728
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    To me musicality is a terrible word. But that's because of an experience of mine when did my Grade 5 exam, so please ignore me on that. But I shall try to explain.

    To be musical is when you take absolutely and totally no notice of the notes and you really "get into" the music. Notes/fingers will come later. Also it's when you follow the pattern of the music; does it go up or down? Does it repeat itself? Is it loud or soft? It's also when you put emotion into music. Like say, take two people playing exactly the same piece, one person could make you cry or laugh, and yet the other one, it's just the notes and technical bits. That's all you hear.

    Anyway, I hope this helps!

  17. Likes Moira, grixxviolist liked this post
  18. #12
    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Johannesburg, S Africa
    Posts
    539
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MaestroViolinist View Post
    To me musicality is a terrible word. But that's because of an experience of mine when did my Grade 5 exam, so please ignore me on that.
    I don't want to ignore you on this. It sounds like a fascinating story lies behind that sentence.

  19. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MaestroViolinist View Post
    To me musicality is a terrible word. But that's because of an experience of mine when did my Grade 5 exam, so please ignore me on that. But I shall try to explain.


    Sorry you had a bad experience in a grade exam. These exams are not suitable for everyone.

  20. #14
    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    In the Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    728
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Moira View Post
    I don't want to ignore you on this. It sounds like a fascinating story lies behind that sentence.
    Lol, not really, I just got accused of not being musical. By a stupid examiner (I'm not saying that all examiners are stupid!). When everyone else, including my teacher, has told me I'm very musical.

  21. #15
    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    In the Middle of Nowhere
    Posts
    728
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
    Sorry you had a bad experience in a grade exam. These exams are not suitable for everyone.
    Yes, I quite agree! I don't do exams anymore, the Grade 5 one was second and last exam I've ever done! Mainly because I went to a new, much better teacher. I mean, the other one wasn't exactly bad, just not the best. They were constantly focusing on the technical parts, never the (here comes that horrible word) musicality. But my new teacher mainly focuses on the musical stuff! And they're lessons are much better.

  22. Likes grixxviolist liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •