Robert Estrin - piano expert

Why Can't All Music Be Profound?

Can all music be "profound"? What does that even mean?

In this video, Robert discusses how music cannot always be as "profound" as you may think.

Released on September 4, 2019

    
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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Robert Estrin, this is livingpianos.com. The question today is why can't all music be profound? Wouldn't that be great if everything you listened to was enlightening? Well, first of all, the question is, is that really desirable? Naturally there are many different purposes that music serves. Going to concerts and having a really uplifting experience is certainly a very important aspect of music, but what about parties? What about dancing? There are times in profundity is the least concern. You just want to have something that you could move to, that feels good. So let's just dismiss that idea for a minute of what about concert music? Should all contract music be profound?

Before I answer that question, I'm going to bring up a kind of a parallel. Have you ever been to a band and they were playing really high energy, fast and loud, and at first it's like, "Wow, this is impressive." But as the night goes on, everything they play is fast and loud. After a while you kind of tune it out, and nothing seems energetic at all. How can this be? Well, that becomes your new base level. Now you go to a same club, different band, and this band has dynamics. They take it up and then they come down, whisper, quiet and you're listening and then it comes up again and it's enriching.

So what is the lesson here? Is that something could only be exciting if something else is more mellow. And the same exact truth is evident with how profound a piece of music can be. More than that, if a performer tries to make every phrase of a piece of music profound, nothing is profound, and it becomes labored and it becomes self-indulgent. Some things you just have to let them speak naturally. And it's the places in which you focus attention. That's what molds a performance, so that the entire work will have a profound nature, not because every single phrase is to the nth degree of what could be done with it.

And great compositions and great composers understand this, and they make the music such that the parts that you want to focus on are set up in the form, in the structure, so that not everything is profound, but when you get done with the piece, you're left with something really meaningful and special that stays with you. So that's why all music can't be profound. If everything is profound, nothing is profound. And remember that in your playing as well. And I think that will be some good advice for you. Thanks for joining me once again. This is Robert Estrin at livingpianos.Com, your online piano store.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Greens Farms Church * VSM MEMBER * on September 5, 2019 @8:40 am PST
Absolutely in agreement, much of it doing with aural attention span. Music has to ebb and swell and change like ocean waves to captivate and engage people. Too much of one thing is simply that. A listener can lose interest quickly, and then shut down until the genre changes dramatically if they come back at all. Doesn't matter what pyrotechnics the performer happens to be doing at the moment, their efforts will be lost on the listener whose mind is wandering and is no longer listening..
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Robert - host, on September 5, 2019 @12:38 pm PST
You are absolutely right. In order to maintain attention, there has to be something happening in the music! It is how music evolves that ultimately holds the listeners attention.
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