Sunday, March 16, 2008
Elaine Fine has a great post about that phrase "classical training". Musicians don't exactly have an equivalent to the (varieties of) classical technique practiced by dancers in daily classes (or Cunningham or Graham technique, for that matter), at least not beyond the warm-ups and exercises native to each instrument. As for practicing composition, there's probably no closer equivalent than a counterpoint exercise; I often find myself in a train or plane or waiting room doing a series of solutions to a single cantus firmus or inventing some fugal answers. Perhaps it is a bit archaic, but it does keep ear and mind nimble, in practice, and ready for something more.