On Musical Literacy

“Art and life are not two separate things.”

~ Felix Mendelssohn

In hindsight, one of my biggest regrets is not having taken my piano lessons more seriously as a child. Music plays an integral role in the development of the human identity, and the musicians of the past only become more relevant and phenomenal with time. A great musician, like a great painter or novelist, transcends technical proficiency. He brings to his work his upbringing, his faults and his strengths, enabling him to produce a unique work of art through which to tell his story. And just like a good painting or a good book, a good musical composition can have a unique effect on its listener.

Whilst the deliberate improvement of musical literacy cultivates the obvious character traits commonly associated with learning a new craft – perseverance, patience, introspection – it also allows for the integration of emotion into one’s work, particularly in composition. And simultaneously, one is able to explore these emotions on a deeper level through one’s work. I hope in the future to be able to go beyond the appreciation of good music and fully experience the beauty of musical composition for myself.


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