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The Physicality of Music Part 1

No one ever questions the physicality of a sport.  And it's really no wonder.  The results of a physical game are more black and white.  You either make the basket or you don't.  There's certainly an emotional element to sports but this is secondary to physical performance.  Baseball is a prime example of this.  Every professional sport has stats but baseball fans love statistics.  Every run, hit or strike is accounted for.  You could replay an entire game in your head by just looking at the numbers.

Music is a little different.  It's less black and white.  You don't win or lose at your performance, you feel like you sounded "good" or "bad."  Even worse is that this concept of sounding good or bad is even more vague because it boils down to personal taste.  What one person views as "good" music might be different from what someone else views.

Yes, there might be some general consensus on what is held up to be good music.  But this is still no accounting for taste.  If you don't believe me, look up any classic piece of literature on Amazon.  They all have a healthy number of bad reviews.  All of them.

This adds an interesting psychological element to the musician that sports players don't experience to the same degree.  In order to strive for "good" music, a musician must put a little bit of emotion into the playing.  Mechanical proficiency is simply not enough.

The emotion put into music is another entire topic in and of itself.  It is necessary in order to truly explore the range of an instrument.  However, there are some drawbacks to having this element in music.  In having such vague emotional demands placed upon her shoulders, it is easy for a musician to overlook the physicality behind training.  Even though playing an instrument cannot consist of only mechanical proficiency, "good" music starts at that level.

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