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Eloise Garland

The Beauty of Music: Trial and Error

July 24, 2012 at 12:21 AM

It has been a whole six months since writing a blog on violinist.com, but that doesn't mean I haven't been popping in for a sneak peak every so often! Now that it's the summer holidays and I have a couple of weeks' peace and quiet, I can find some more time for writing once more.

These past six months have been a whirlwind of opportunities for me. I have had several solo performances along-side group performances in amazing places such as the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
These months have also been about playing a game of trial and error for me. A lot of music is trial and error: there is no one formula for achieving success, nor writing a piece of music which connects with thousands or millions of people. There is no one way of going about interpreting a piece, nor is there one way of teaching a new technique. Each and every one of us is individual. We all have our own musical tastes, we all learn in different ways, and we all continue learning and developing our musical skills for the rest of our lives. Trial and error plays a big part in this as each and every one of us develops when we learn a new piece or search for a new instrument.

One of the main things I have learnt this year has been to appreciate each person for whom they are and what music they enjoy. At music school, it is very easy for arguments to develop about how Bach should be played or which conductor interprets Beethoven in the correct way, but these arguments can cloud the sheer beauty of music. The point is that Bach can be played in hundreds of ways and no conductor has a right or wrong interpretation of Beethoven.

For me, adulthood has come around fast as I will soon be eighteen and leaving school for good. I have a lifetime of trial and error ahead of me and one of the biggest games I will be playing will be within the next two years when I'm choosing where I want to do my degree and whether it'll be in performance or academic music.

Trial and error is just one of the many aspects which adds to the beauty of music, and I'm sure that with some help and guidance, I'll achieve at least some of my future dreams.


From Tom Holzman
Posted on July 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM
Eloise - the lesson you have learned is an important one, particularly when dealing with dead composers who can no longer show us how they think their music should be played. To the extent it matters, of course, where the composer has made a recording, that is perhaps as close as we come to what might be called the best or most faithful interpretation of his or her works. Even with that, I still remember that Rachmaninoff preferred Horowitz's interpretation of his concertos to his own, and Rach was one of the best pianists of his day.

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