From: Keith Alexander Carl <;>; (Keith A. Carl)
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 95 15:39:53 -0600
Subject: Message-Id: <;>;

>;>; In the final analysis, what any of us thinks of John's work is almost besides
>;>; the point. He has created a new style and approach to playing the harmonica
>;>; which cannot be ignored by harmonica players, any more than classical
>;>;pianists can ignore Beethoven.
>;Poor parallel, which weakens your argument. Pianists can TOTALLY ignore
>;Beethoven. Many of them do. A lot of jazz, rock, blues, etc., pianists
>;have absolutely no idea of Bethoven. And it is possible there are classical
>;pianists who don't like Beethoven and exclude him from their repertoire,
>;thereby "ignoring" him.
>;Just as not all pianists are classically trained, not ALL harmonicists
>;desire to play "just like Popper" - so they can - and many will - ignore
As you may know, there are musicians that play only one style. This
may be so because that was the only style that they were ever exposed to.
These types of players may totally be ignorant to other styles (this is not
a cut-down), but are good at what they do and only in that style. Also,
they may have no knowledge of musical notation which means they are reliant
on there ear and creation of their own music. There are many of this
"breed" of musician that have developed a high standing for themselves (B.B.
King for instance).

The untrained musician is definately outmunbered by trained. And
not only trained to read music, but trained in different styles. The music
world is definately seeing the combining of all styles in every performance.
More jazzers are hiring players with classical background. The reason being
that they have a greater knowledge of notation, sight reading skills, scale
study (essential for soloing). The same goes for classical (subs.
specifically). The audition board will hire someone with jazz background
because of a good sense of musicality, quick response, and pleasant personality.

Classical musicians don't dare performing a piece without studying
its historic background. For instance, take Smetena's (a Polish Romantic
period composer) "The Moldou". In order to understand the piece, you must
know about traditional Polish folk music. Another example is the American
composer, Aaron Coplan, and the work "Rodeo". The movements are based on
American folk music.

As you may or may not see, the music of today is inter-twined; even
music of yesterday was the same. Today's musician needs to study the music
from all previous periods in order to develop and create tomorrows music.

It may be a contradiction, but did you ever realize that J.S. Bach
wasn't a genre innovator? Most of the forms he used were created in the
Rennisance period. He did, however, create ideas used today such as equal
temperament (hence comes the pianists "bible" "The Well Tempered Clavier"
which proved the theory). Bach also didn't play and write one style; he
created sacred and secular music. Mozart wrote for opera, oratorio, the
concerto, and sacred. Today, Branford Marsalis has performed in jazz and
rock bands (the rock band is "Buckshot Lafunque").

It is important to be familiar with all styles of playing. Not
because we have to but to have that knowledge handy during a performance. I
was playing with a big band once in Minnesota for a New Years party. Even
though our sets contained 1930-40's pop, we needed to have waltz, polka, and
even some recent tunes at hand (which we did use). So, to wrap this up,
even though some people may not like Mr. Popper's play, we need to be aware
of what he is doing and why his audience enjoys his music.

Sorry about the length, but I wrote this in "stream of concienceness".

Thank you for your time,
_============================== ,----------------._/' `---..._______...---'
(_______________||_) . . ,--'
/ /.---' `/ -To Boldly Harp,
'--------_- - - - - _/ -Where no man has Harped Before
Keith A. Carl
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

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