On Musical Knowing


We have a recurring sense that we don’t know much about music.
A sense that we tried to learn a lot, but came up short.
A sense that we can’t commit to one musical thing.

But we know some musical things,
a knowing that lives in experience,
which includes the musics we’ve heard
and the musics we’ve made and studied.

Most of all, we know musical things through our hands:
experience resides in our hands.

Hands have knowledge earned from
the terrain of musical instruments,
the labor of practicing and trying to play better,
the urgency of copying others,
the exploration of chord shapes with no idea how they might sound,
the uncertainty of failing yet persisting over time,
the intuition that the best music is physical. 

We don’t know much about music, but our hands do.

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