As mentioned in my last post, I’m taking piano lessons. With five kids, my immigrant parents couldn’t afford them. Now that I have lots of time on my hands, I’m treating myself to something I’ve always wanted to do.
In the last while, I’ve attended quite a few musical performances. Some of astonishing virtuosity. Others…not so much.
One virtuoso we were privileged to hear is Thomas Pandolfi. Totally blew me away. Between pieces, Thomas chatted about his work with Chopin’s études.
An etude is a study, or exercise, composed to develop a particular technical skill like moving one hand over the other. Thomas also mentioned studies by Hanon. In 1873, Charles Louis Hanon wrote a book of finger exercises for beginners like me.
Recently, my piano teacher assigned me some studies written by Carl Czerny (1791 – 1857). Beethoven was Czerny’s teacher. Czerny in turn taught Franz Liszt who went on the write some real finger-twisting studies.
The music I’m using now has been studied by countless students before me and will likely be played by countless more after me. Though Thomas is a genius, he likely played them, too. The continuity is awe-inspiring and comforting.
Everybody starts in the same place.
So what’s all this got to do with writing?
Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are familiar names to writers of romance, paranormal and mystery genres.
It doesn’t matter if a book is issued in vellum, parchment, paper, or bytes, all writers are part of the continuity of the story.
And whether that story is told in music or words, we all start in the same place–with a wish in our hearts to entertain.
© Joan Leacott 2012, x-posted at Voices from the Heart