Instruments – Musicians – Chicken – Egg

So as the chicken was an ancestor to the dinosaur, so the egg predated the chicken, thus perhaps the vocal cords predated any intentional construction of a pitched instrument — though as natural sounds contain harmonic spectra, our control over pitch and timbre and faculty has been a growing endeavour.

We hear often natural ability on instruments, as well as the idea of music coming from the heart of the musician, and that many great musicians do not or need not “understand” the workings of music theory or the chords that they play.  Firstly, whether or not a great musician can understand an instrument as past scholars have described it, obviously they understand the workings of it deeply.  Natural ability and heart manifest and can be described in many ways – but one aspect of this particularly is what I want to discuss.

If musicians are meant to be vessels for which music can be expressed, is there an innate sense of musicality in these people – something which must transcend our European tuning system of modern history .. as of course this type of musicality transcends this time and cultural constrain.  Or is the instrument the vessel, with which a person with sufficient expressiveness or creativity, and sufficient technical competence will generate beautiful patterns from a frequency set through rhythmic space?

Evidently, the role of instrument designers has been incredible in the shaping of musics around the world.  The inter-relationship between the builders, the theorists, the musicians, and the composers is very intricate.  I am excited to these the development of this in the decades to come.  More thoughts on this eventually.

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