What is the relationship between music and discipline?
A great question! While it’s a cliché that in music, practice makes perfect, and that steady, mindful practice requires discipline, perhaps less remarked upon is how the act of playing music is itself a form of discipline. Making music disciplines one’s mind to focus on the sounds here and now, the notes on the page, or the interaction of oneself with one’s band mates. Making music is also discipline for the body to travel and re-travel certain paths along one’s chosen instrument(s), in the process developing a finely tuned sense of one’s capability to do musical things.
Wallace Stevens music.
The American poet Wallace Stevens did touch on music in his poetry. As I wrote in this blog a few years ago, “Stevens was quite interested in musical experience, writing about the power of music to encapsulate the unseen and unsaid. For Stevens, meaning is never a given, but rather something created, and he used music–that presence between body and spirit–as a figure for a desire of spectral power.” You can read more here.
What is perfect time in music?
There is, of course, no such thing as perfect time in music–unless you’re talking about the tick-tock of a metronome, which isn’t really music. Maybe perfect time in music is that sound that effortlessly flows like a stream, or like autumn leaves blown up and around in circles. Or perfect time is a group of musicians–a band, a choir–who work as one. Or perfect time is a musician who doesn’t need to count, but instead lets the music propel the moment.