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Marek Runowski

Hi Eric, another great article!!! I agree with everything you wrote. And decoding without audiation is nonsense. But I think we MLT teachers should be able to explain the difference between decoding and notational audiation in a more convincing way. Whenever I talk to excellent sight readers they say they can read - it doesn't matter they decode. Whenever I talk to academic teachers they can't believe when I tell them they decode and not read. The other thing is that we MLT teachers sometimes exaggerate and say that audiation (and playing by ear) is more important than reading and playing notated music. We forget that there are distinct differences between improvisation and composition. There are great improvisers (instrumentalists) and at the same time it doesn't mean they are great composers too. It may be subjective but I consider Keith Jarrett one of the best improvisers who ever wlked this Earth but at the same time I don't consider him to be the great composer at all. And vice versa, there are probably many great composers who can't play piano like Jarrett. Best, Marek

Dr. RizzRazz

Thanks, Marek. I agree. Art Tatum comes to mind. Obviously, he was blind and couldn't read. Garner never had the inclination. Monk played and composed but people argue which was better. Both were out of the mainstream. Gordon didn't care as much for Jarrett as others. I was surprised when I heard him say as much. Oscar Peterson may have been more to his liking—standards interpreted traditionally. He certainly was more old school. Bill Evans tickles me no matter how many times I hear his Vanguard recordings. Jarrett with Peacock and Jack DeJohnette was my cup of tea for a long time. I think I'll go back to hear that again with my ears of today. Best to you, Eric

Marek Runowski

Eric, all I wanted to say is that for playing and improvisation reading skills are probably not so important. It is different with composition. Don't you think that to compose you need to develop excellent reading and writing skills too? There are many examples of great improvisers whose compositions lack something essential - at least for me. Their compositions are never as great as their improvisations. Keith Jarrett is one of many example (I thought about his "In the Light" album) but there are many others in jazz and rock genres. Maybe in classical music it was different. Bach was great improviser and composer. The same was Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and many more. And I don't think improvisations are the same as written compositions.

Dr. RizzRazz

for playing and improvisation reading skills are probably not so important.
** probably not. Yes, I agree.

Don't you think that to compose you need to develop excellent reading and writing skills too?
** Usually, yes.

Perhaps in classical music, those folks had to have it all, back then.

I think you and I are on the same page. I appreciate your comments.

Marek Runowski

Yes, I'm sure we are on the same page! Best, Marek

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