The Psychology of Music: A Survey for Teacher and Musician

By Max Schoen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 8
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MUSICAL APTITUDES

MUSICAL APTITUDES ARE OF TWO KINDS, namely, those for musical reception and those for musical production. The first we may call musicality and the second talent. The two are supplementary, in that the greater the degree of musicality the finer will be the performance in musical value, provided the requisites for musical production are present. But musicality can be present without much talent, and much talent without musicality. Thus, there are many more very musical persons than good musical performers, and there are musical performers whose production is technically superior but musically only acceptable or even inferior. There is also the relationship between the two, that a highly musical person will have an inner drive to attain increasingly higher technical proficiency in order to give adequate expression to the inner musical experience, while technical aptitude is in itself an encouraging factor because it results in satisfactory accomplishment. In other words, the person of insufficient musicality will have no incentive to push on to technical proficiency, while he of insufficient muscular adaptability will be discouraged from trying by poor results. Satisfactory accomplishment in performance is basically dependent upon muscular dexterity. But it is obvious that without a sufficient endowment in musicality there can be no sufficient incentive for attaining dexterity in performance, and even if such dexterity is attained the performance will be empty.

Consequently, musicality is the primary requisite either in musical receptivity or in musical performance, and the attention of research workers in the field of musical talent has centered in the main on the discovery of the attributes of the musically inclined personality, although the musical production aspect has not been ignored.

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