Emotional playing

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We've talked of Emotional Listening, but it occurs to me that same thinking can apply to emotional playing. Emotions are often expressed through musicians. Composers, certainly, but perhaps more often the performers themselves and how they interpret the notes of music on the page. Their expressions are often subtle, yet powerful. A single note lingering longer than written to emphasize a phrase. A lighthearted delivery, say from Loudon Wainwright, vs. a distraught plea in the voice of Luciano Pavarotti. Each evokes feelings in completely opposite ways. Yet that same music in the hands of different performers acquires new meaning—and it's the same notes and words. Some performers play the notes while others interpret them to enhance meaning. It's the difference between an off-the-shelf musician or a one of a kind artist. The difference in our world between commodities and artful products—each in turn measured by the impact they bring into our lives. Delivery and expression, like the garnish on your meal, changes meaning and emotion.
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Paul McGowan

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