November 25, 2010 at 3:02 AM
For nearly a decade, I studied Bach. I "get" him, I understand his style, as far as any amateur can ever really have. If we to meet today, I could have a relatively intelligent conversation with him about his intents and decisions on what he composed.
With my new "by 50" goal of learning works written for viola for every composer in the alphabet, I'm getting a taste of the wide variety of musical styles available. Just between 'Z' and 'Y' , I've been exposed to the range of Classical to Modern and everything in-between.
What I'm beginning to discover is a preference for two extremely different styles: Romantic and Modern (VERY modern). Romantic pieces appeal to my emotional side of my brain and provides me a way to expose my feelings within a proscribed set of boundaries, while the modern works appeal to my analytical side to test the capabilities of not only my own abilities, but what my instrument can actually do. Baroque music still holds its own unique appeal with its progressions which results in the hair on the back of my neck standing up on edge when done right.
For the time being, I've put aside the Modern, Classical, and Baroque styles and am indulging myself in the Romantic. For some strange reason, the more emotion a piece stirs up in me, the easier it is to memorize. With memorization comes freedom, and thus more musicality.
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