Think of it this way. Which would you rather have to memorize and perform? This:
- Beep scelo pi sovon yoaxals axage eep baxathols fleudd belth upen zis cenkinonk pit jod naxatien, cencoivow din rifoltupp, pi podicaxatow te zo plepesitien zaxat axarr von axalo cloaxatow oquaxar.
- Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Most likely you’d prefer to memorize and perform the second sentence. Why? Because the first sentence is gibberish. The second sentence is something you understand. Comprehension confers meaning. And meaning makes something easier to work with. It’s easier to remember and easier to craft into a convincing performance.
The more you know about music, the more meaningful it becomes. Here’s an example. Suppose you encounter a deceptive cadence in a piece you’re playing. That’s a useful bit of information. Knowing a cadence is deceptive colors how you might play it. You’ll understand that the essence of a deceptive cadence is its surprise. You’ll want to heighten that surprise. Somehow, you’ll put it across.
But suppose, on the other hand, that you’ve no idea what a deceptive cadence is. In that case, why bother doing anything with it? Hey it’s just a bunch of notes. And one bunch of notes means pretty much the same as any other.
Just like gibberish.
South Euclid, OH