“a tune tells us a story”March 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Posted in learning | Leave a comment
“A tune tells us a story. The better the story and the better its telling, the better the tune. Great tunes tell unforgettable, timeless stories, that delight us anew with each hearing. I am not talking about the feelings and experiences of our lives evoked by the tune. I am referring to something deeper – the way the tune is about itself. A great tune takes us on a unique little acoustic journey – a travel story told in the language of melody and rhythm – without necessary reference to anything outside of itself. And the more fun the journey, the better the tune.
The journey of a tune should of course surprise and delight, by providing interesting and unforeseen elements. But in order to surprise us the tune needs to establish expectations – which are then in some way pierced. Finding an enchanting balance between establishing expectations and piercing them – that is what separates a great tune from a merely good tune. In a great tune, we respond upon first hearing as if we have always known it. You don’t have to “break in” a great tune. It is like a brand new “old friend”, talking to us about new and exciting things, but talking familiarly, confidently, in a language we understand, have always understood. Somehow it is new and simultaneously very old – fresh and even strange perhaps, while being intimate and conversant with our personal universe of musical experiences.”