Monday, 29 September 2014

The Piano

I am a terrible piano player. I don't mean that in an annoyingly modest kind of way: I am so bad that it's actually quite pathetic. If I ask my hands to do different things, my brain just laughs at me and tells me to 'jog on'. 

The truth is, I am a bit of a piano hater. The instrument itself can look and sound beautiful, but that in itself is a problem, because every body thinks that they can play it...

The piano differs from most other instruments, in that a complete beginner is able to make a relatively inoffensive sound from it upon their first go. It is easy to sound 'good' at piano, and it is with this that I have an issue. 

Naff pop songs, nursery rhymes and twee tunes form the constant soundtrack in every school music room. Every show-off knows how to play a one-note tune. And they each believe that, having advertised their massive accomplishments, they may now place themselves in the same league as Mozart.

If people want to play the same, irritating tunes from morning to night, and if they wish to revel in their musical skill, then it is not my place to stop them. But those who extend their skill on to other, more emotional pieces, are more of an issue to me. Because music is an art, and art is about expression. Hitting the right notes at the right time may, by some counts, constitute as a talent, but it does not constitute as musical talent. 

It get worse when people take condensed down, 'easy versions' of what were originally big songs or orchestral pieces, and then believe that they sound good: they don't. Playing such music is fine, but playing it like a robot is not.

I don't hate the piano. I think I just hate stupid people....

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