The harm that accumulates from trivial acts of evil, according to Hannah Arendt, is mostly not the result of a nefarious purpose but rather of a mindless lack of intent.
The harm that accumulates from trivial piano practicing is mostly not the result of a nefarious purpose but rather of a mindless lack of intent.
First do no harm
to the physical machinery of the body,
to the universal principles of music, and
to the ethical responsibility of an artist.
Even Zeus must, in 10,000 pieces, sacrifice
Chronos, the god of time, to
Hēphaistos, the god of craft, and pray to or seduce
Athena, the goddess of wisdom, to win the favors of
Apollo, the god of Music, and
Kairos, the god of the inspired moment, as to not fall into the talon grasp of
Phobos, the god of fear, and avoid the wrath of
Acrasias, the god of bad decisions, on the Olympic Stage.
Schubert threw his hands in the air, cursing, while playing his own Wanderer Fantasy in public, most likely 18 bars before the end of the third movement, and stated in dismay: "This piece is impossible! The Devil shall play it!!"
I deduct that he didn't think of the Dark Lord of Evil, Diábolos, Satan, Master of the Four Horsemen, the Destroyer of Worlds, Enemy of all divine and human,
but rather of the Light Lord of Lies, Mephistopheles, Loki, Lucifer, master of might and magic, not maleficent but cunning, the trickster, the shapeshifter, the illusionist, part of the Power that ever schemes Evil, but always creates Good.
I further deduct from Schubert's vigorous vituperation a virtual pedagogical advice, perhaps his only piano lesson: Read more
How often have we heard from our teachers: "You have to let the music flow".
And when asked further, we were told: "It must be natural". And when we still inquired more, we were given a picturesque metaphor, such as "Imagine a river; your melody must be like a leaf carried by the flow." or "The lines of the bars in the score are like prison bars: you have to escape them." or "Imagine carrying the holy grail slowly towards the light."
At that point we were hesitant to question further, as the impatience of the master increased in proportion to the assumed evidence of our ineptitude. We returned to our practice rooms and tried harder.
But one more persistent quandary would surely have yielded this very practical advice: Read more