Saturday, August 15, 2009

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

I have been thinking a great deal lately about how I want to frame the upcoming year in the NCSSM Orchestra. As you can see from my last post, in the 2008-2009 school year, I had a wonderful book and concept to work with and I referred back to it all year. I have been mulling this over a great deal lately and tonight I found my framework for the year. I am getting a bit tired tonight,so I will expand on this more tomorrow but, I will begin to set it up tonight.

Many of you know that I have been working my way through Daniel Barenboim's latest book, Music Quickens Time. It is heady read and I have really been taking my time with it. I have re-read most chapters before moving on to the next and have been trying to take some time to think about the concepts presented before just moving on to the next chapter. Tonight, I found my framework for the year in orchestra in Chapter 4 of this thought-provoking book.

Tonight, I will give you these three concepts: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. We will be looking at these ideas as they relate to the musical endeavors of the orchestra and as they relate to the community of the orchestra. I encourage you to think about these three ideas and their relationships. Can EQUALITY exist without LIBERTY? Can FRATERNITY exist without EQUALITY? How can music demonstrate this? How can an orchestral community find meaning in this? I spend a great deal of time thinking of the orchestra as a community and, really, isn't a community a fraternity. If so, can the community of the orchestra exist without Liberty and Equality? And don't liberty and equality ultimately lead to Fraternity or the community of the orchestra? How does all of this apply to the music... to the literature?

Liberty identifies the condition in which an individual (musical line) has the right to act according to his or her own will. Classical liberal conceptions of liberty relate to the freedom of the individual from outside compulsion or coercion.

Equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group (or musical lines and ideas) have the same status in a certain respect.

A fraternity (Latin frater : "brother") is a brotherhood, though the term usually connotes a distinct or formal organization. I often refer to the orchestra as a community. Fraternity works just as well.

I believe that there is much for use to explore here. More to come on this later.

These (and other ideas from the book) will become our framework for the year. Should be fun!


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