In my journey of playing the mountain dulcimer, fiddle, and even trying the mandolin I always wondered about musicality. Musicality definition: the quality of having a pleasant sound; melodiousness, "the natural musicality of the language". Have you ever watched a performance and went “wow”, that was more than just music, it was awesome?! I have witnessed this with instructor concerts, Winfield, and many other places.
It has always been a goal of mine to bring the musicality out, not just play the notes or chords. Music is a language all its own and I’ve yet to really bring out musicality over note playing but think I have been close. Perhap
s another goal for 2020.
Referring to Stephen Seifert again, if “it’s not fun then don’t play the tune”, keeps coming back to haunt me. If we struggle with a piece even after practicing what seems forever and it just doesn’t work, why continue down that path? Move on to something that can produce the musicality you want. Giving you joy and happiness after the last note is strummed, picked, plucked, or hammered!
A blog by Timothy Seaman, a hammered dulcimer player, touched on the same thought. To paraphrase Timothy, his musical vision is a moment-by-moment experience, always living in the moment with the music and searching for tones, chords, melodies, or phrasing that says what he wants the instrument to say. Talk about musical language!
In a way we all do this. When playing a piece that makes us begin to feel the music and sway with the tune, and it starts to lift us up. Then it will impact those listening and lift them up as well. This is a hefty goal, but one we can all achieve no whatever level we are playing. Timothy says he doesn’t want to just study ways of playing his instrument, which many of you might disagree with. But he prefers a journey with music and finding ways to get the music out into the air. In closing, he sees music as the core and the instrument a means to communicate to others and even to God.
Let’s all see if we can make our instrument play the language of music in a special way as Timothy suggested. Then we can share this wonder with others. Musicality! A way to bridge many peoples together I’m sure.
Keep the music in the air,