Music and Feeling: An Inquiry into the Relationship of Notation and Technique by Daniel Durand

Dedication and Credo

To all musicians who have been patient with a work-in-progress.

For in every sphere what is nature is happier than what is falsified by art.

Erasmus The Praise of Folly

A Musician’s Credo

I believe that composers have shared with us musical ideas whose emotional content is more or less expressed in the notation (more or less according to the composer's gift, not the interpreter's reading). I believe that those depths are best plumbed by interpreters who are humble before the score. I do not believe in the interpreter’s superiority over composers.

I believe that composers in the last four hundred years have given shape to their musical ideas as phrases by sensitive and percipient use of bar lines, harmonic rhythm and cadences. I do not believe in the shaping of phrases by dynamics controlled by performers.

I believe in the refinement of feeling for both the instrument and the music. I believe that sound is a result of multitudinous and subtle factors rooted in emotional bodily responses. I believe that any attempt to change sound requires addressing the causes of sound, i.e. the refinement of feelings for the instrument and the music. I do not believe in the perfectibility of sound. Nor do I believe in the perfectibility of musicians or, for that matter, mankind on this planet, an issue closely related to these musical matters.

I believe that musical performance is part of a process which partakes of the human capacity for plumbing deeper and deeper feelings. I do not believe that a musical performance is a product or that there is an ideal performance.

I believe that musically expressive performances of great music differ from each other according to the differences of emotional response by each performer bringing his own gifts to the score. I do not believe in stylistic imitation by performers for historical purposes, as practiced by choirs and early music specialists. I also do not believe that recordings are worth imitation; they are the product of sound engineers, not musicians.

These tenets are the focus of this book and will, I hope, lead to truths unknown or ignored by present day musicians. Each reader will discover truth according to his or her own capacities.

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

O for a life of sensations rather than thought!
John Keats

“….that which lies against the popular use of all the arts. We are so busy doing things with the work that we give it too little chance to work on us. Thus increasingly we meet only ourselves.”
C.S.Lewis An Experiment in Criticism

The world has never advanced in goodness to the point where common opinion does not still give its approval to what is basically evil.
Erasmus Enchiridion Militis Christiani

None of the great things in human life springs from the intellect; every one of them issues from the heart and its love.
Romano Guardini

the feeling intellect
William Wordsworth

Great literature calls upon us to remember what we are, and so rouses us to questioning and action; sentimental literature invites us to forget what we are and to be content with inactivity.
Dorothy Sayers Begin Here

The acquisition of knowledge is not the same thing as thinking; it is only the first step towards it. Knowledge does not become thought till we have made it part of our lives by relating it to our experience and acting upon it.
Dorothy Sayers Begin Here

…….the frantic quality with which we pursue technique as our way to salvation is in direct proportion to the degree to which we have lost sight of the salvation we are seeking.
Rollo May Love and Will

Certainly nothing is wrong with technique as such, in playing golf or acting or making love. But the emphasis beyond a certain point on technique in sex makes for a mechanistic attitude toward love-making, and goes along with alienation, feelings of loneliness, and depersonalization.
Rollo May Love and Will (substitute music for love, sex and love-making[D.D.])

It is not surprising then, in this preoccupation with techniques, that the questions typically asked about an act of lovemaking are not, Was there passion of meaning or pleasure in the act? but, How well did I perform?
Rollo May Love and Will (read music making for lovemaking [D.D.])