Monday, December 24, 2012

Video summary: Hal Galper: The Illusion of an Instrument

Hal Galper is a jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader who has worked with such musicians as Cannonball Adderly, Chet Baker, and John Scofield. In addition to his great renown in the performance realm, he is also widely recognized as a tremendous educator.

Many of his ideas and musical advice can be accessed easily, thanks to the power of the internet and the bounty of YouTube.

One video, titled "The Illusion of an Instrument," caught my eye, and it turned out to be a compelling 9-minute mini-lesson which helped draw a connection between music and the mind. As I watched, I took notes and paraphrased the big points:
  1. Music-making is a process-oriented event (not information-oriented).
  2. The components of performance are:
    • Mind
    • Body
    • Emotions
  3. George Kochevitsky: In order to play something, you must be able to hear it first.
  4. André Watts: [Music-making] all depends on the intensity of your concentration and the vividness of your aural imagination.
  5. Playing precisely what you hear in your mind is a matter of strengthening the aural impulse in your brain. So, instead of simply imagining a musical line in your head, or instead of singing the line, think of SCREAMING the line in your head. This will strengthen the aural impulse in your brain, and it will add a level of confidence and clarity to your playing.

For more elaboration, watch this thing.

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