(cover image by Rawpixel)
I’m sure both of my readers are tired of hearing me pontificate and reminisce about the blog every time we hit a milestone, like 900 posts, or 600 pieces of music, or a million words, all relatively recent achievements, but here’s one that will apparently only come around every four or five years. We’re adding a digit to the total number of posts, from 999, with this post, to 1,000.
It doesn’t really mean much, honestly. No one else in the world would know if I hadn’t written this article, and broadly speaking, even though I did, still no one will know. But in the quality vs. quantity debate, that four-digit number says I have at least one of those, even if probably not the other.
When I started writing this blog, it was not my intention to aspire to elucidate the finer points of how Beethoven navigated through a sonata-form movement or rondo form in a sonata or concerto or symphony, or what sleight of hand Brahms uses to introduce themes, change keys and take us somewhere we didn’t expect, or try to convey how Webern or Schoenberg (or, terrifyingly, Boulez or Babbitt) uses serial methods to achieve unity and structure in a piece. However, in writing these 1,000 posts, I’ve found myself trying to do just that, and often rather poorly.
There’s a balance to be had, though. What is the average listener (this sentence could stop right here with a question mark) listening for? What does he want to hear? For the majority of listeners, especially those without any kind of musical training or education, it’s about emotion, beauty, etc. But there’s an underlying, very technical layer there that gives you rewards and insights commiserate with the effort you put into learning about it.
I’ve clearly opted for quantity over quality, but I’d give myself at least the credit to say that I’ve learned a lot, and have gotten better with handling some of the finer points. There’s no mission statement or resolution or anything to pass here, save to acknowledge 1,000 posts. We’ll reach 700 pieces of music in the fall, and I already have no. 700 picked out, and maybe even 800, but that’ll be sometime in the spring of ’19, if we’re all still here by that time.
So that’s all, just a small article to say thank you to all three of you for reading however much or little you do, and leaving comments and all that. I enjoy writing here much more than you may realize, and I hope that you enjoy reading it even just a fraction as much as I enjoy writing it. Stay tuned for more of my words. Thank you.