The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #99782   Message #1995359
Posted By: Scoville
13-Mar-07 - 10:24 AM
Thread Name: virtuosity and traditional music
Subject: RE: virtuosity and traditional music
Virtuosity for its own sake is almost always boring. Pyrotechnics on an instrument means nothing without the expression and feeling of a musician.

Which is true for classical (jazz, whatever) musicians just as well as folk, and which does not necessarily mean that technical virtuosity and emotion are mutually exclusive. Why do you think musicians like Doc Watson, Norman Blake, etc. are so well known? It's because they can do both. (Frankly, just emotion, or emotion for its own sake, can be boring, too).

On the one hand, such breathtaking simplicity is the very opposite of "virtuosity"; on the other hand, it's an example of the very highest (or perhaps deepest) level of performance skill.

. . . which I would say counts as one kind of virtuosity. Otherwise you're just a trained monkey with a saxophone.