something about the musical surface

Is our culture shallow? Yes, of course it is. Day by day we face pure superficialness, because it is the surface area where we learn about any cultural things. And these things have to sparkle like diamonds to be discovered by us. We want things to sparkle, because then we are more happy and satisfied. That is a crucial part of our biology. Animals have to tout for their courtship display, using only the best they could develop in their evolution - just to be more showy. So, the surface is the first encounter we meet when we have to decide if we are interested in something or not.

That is also true for any music genre. Especially the honorable classical music always did everything to polish its sounds with twinkling effects, figurations and timbres. Music in an ivory tower, aiming at ultimate intellectuality, is rather rare. Music normally wants to be heard. It has to polish its surface – at least a little bit. Even if a sound is intentionally ugly and rough, we have to admit, that this message is primarily made to draw attention by dialectical opposite. Beauty may twinkle in the dark, too.

But how can we know then, if a musical gem is really worth to take a bit more of our tightened time. We have to listen to its explicit ways of time-articulation. Listen to how the musical pulse is played. Do you feel an agile dancer or an annoying machine? Or is the beat machine charming, ready to enter your body without violence?

Again, Mozart is a perfect example. His musical pulse is supposed to be easy and flowing, providing the rhythmic flow for charming melodies. But there is a deep gap, overlooked by interpreters much too often. Mozart delivers smooth sound surfaces to us, where we may slip. His music wants us to explore if the musical surface is identical with its subtexts. Mozart is brutal exactly in the moment when he pretends to be smooth and tender. So his rhythm articulation can’t be a harmless flow, garnished by some idle melodies.

The timing for this music should be enterprising, ready to face any melodic inventions with a maximum musical power of a specialized rhythm feeling. A musical timing which knows how to enter a melody phrase in order to make it swing and to make it expressive.
So the musical surface of an accompaniment-pattern has to be napped by minimal accents or minimal rubato-playing within the patterns.

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