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Perfection : Fantasy or Reality?

May 10, 2011 at 12:17 AM

 As you've probably guessed by now, many of my blogs are based on thoughts and experiences that make me think. On tuesday, whilst at my violin class, my teacher said "Well done! You've finished the piece beautifully!" And I said, "Yes, but I didn't play it PERFECTLY." When the class ended she asked me "How do you define ""Perfect"", is there such thing?" Immediately I responded "Ofcourse!". "Tell me when perfection is achieved." And I stupidly said "When you play it perfectly."

That was all I could do to define "Perfect". She didn't think it existed, because according to her it is something to do with personal taste. Just like cooking, you can't really say when something is perfect can you? Some people might find it salty or bland or just right! Just like music! It can be so expressive that many might think it is excessive and showy or it can be very well intune but with little musicality. Take Heiftz as an example, he was really clean in articulation but some people called him cold. Other described him as perfect. I for example think he played perfectly, but so did Yehudi, but ,as we say in Uk, Yehudi is mor my cup of tea and I prefer him over Heifetz.

If perfection did exist (as I believe it does) what is it?!??! 


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on May 10, 2011 at 8:58 PM

Hi, I think perfection is two things (just imho)

 

- It happens by flashes and is not a permanant state.

and

- It is in the ear/eye of the beholder (as beauty)

 

I looked the Derby this weekend...

In that particular Derby, Animal Kingdom had a perfect moment towards the end and won the Derby title...  He wasn't a favorite, he had only very little experience and experts weren't thinking he had much chances.  Yet, he surprised everyone and that was his day of luck.  On this two minutes, he did everything perfect to won the race.  (let's hope he'll have other lucky or in the zone moments!)

It's the same with an artist and their performances.  It won't always be perfect, buzzes and false notes will occur but you'll still have many perfect moments in their performances.  Moments where, everything seems to be divinely commanded...  

And, with subjective arts like music where you can't mesure the results, some will like or dislike a performance or an artist etc.  That's personal taste.   

I agree that it's a complex question...  Probably as many answers as people : )


From Sue Buttram
Posted on May 11, 2011 at 6:48 AM

 I don't think perfection exists.  And I don't think it's worth worrying about either.  We are here to strive, to work towards, but not actually achieve perfection.  What would we do then?


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on May 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

 I think if you define something narrowly enough, you can get to perfection.  You can get a perfect score on a math quiz, for example.  You can also play a note perfectly in tune, if you define that as getting a green light on the electronic tuner.   But things that can be defined that narrowly also become trivial and not all that interesting.  Like the math quiz, or the A440, they are more means to an end than an end in themselves.  For more complex areas of endeavor, I think perfection becomes more of a theological question than a practical one.  Perhaps it's Eden, or Nirvana.  Or it's another dimension that we really can't imagine with our 3D brains.  

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