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Dale Henderson on The Unique Power of Music.mp4
Michelangelo famously said that "every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." This is possible with a statue because it exists in one place, at one time. You can look at it and see the whole thing. But how does this apply to music? How do you "see" the whole of something that unfolds in time? As soon as each note is played, it disappears forever.
The strange, crazy, exciting answer is that you can never grasp a piece of music as a whole. We can see the printed page, but that's not really music – it's just a symbolic representation of music. Actual music only exists as a living thing in real-time – inseparable from that one, never to be repeated moment when the sound is born, makes its impression on every soul there, and then vanishes permanently.
My unique thrill and pleasure as a musician is the endless mystery of discovery. I can never know how a piece of music will unfold until I'm actually performing it, and then it becomes something that stretches above and beyond just myself. Then it's no longer just something I'm "doing" – it's something myself and the audience are experiencing together, being constantly shaped by and interacting with. This is music's unique power.
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