In my previous post from Quantz “On playing the Flute” I quoted:

“Whoever is aware of how much influence mathematics and other related sciences, such as philosophy, poetry, and oratory, have upon music, will have to own not only that music has a greater compass than many imagine, but also that the evident lack of knowledge about the above-mentioned sciences among the majority of professional musicians is a great obstacle to their further advancement, and the reason why music has not yet been brought to a more perfect state.”

What I find very interesting is that Quantz criticizes the contemporary music of having many flaws and would like music students to be more educated. I wonder what his take on the conservatory studies today would be as they in my mind are much more narrow than what my impression of those days requirements are. This is great so that we can spend more time with our instruments, but as Quantz recognizes it does not necessarily make us good musicians as much as able technicians. People often argue that they make music because they play what’s they feel. But if we do study the language, how do we know what the composers wanted us to feel? How can we hope to communicate these feelings to our audience when we do not know the subtleties the composer put into these feelings? Just to speculate a bit, does the fact that we miss out on a great many subjects contribute to the mysticism of music where so many claim not to understand it or even claim to be non-musical?

Hope no-one got offended, as usual this is my thinking out loud and hoping to get your comments on the matter.

Categories: Discussion