Posts tagged books
Posts tagged books
Sixteenth-century solution to the problem of a deskful of open books. Some of these were actually made, in various forms.
Well worth seeing. Sadly the book itself isn’t exactly affordable ($12,900 on Amazon when the post was written).
More brilliant book titles, including The History and Social Influence of the Potato (I don’t know why potatoes are funny, but they are.)
The full list is wonderful. I particularly like The Treatment of Final Vowels in Early Neo-Babylonian and Understand Your Tortoise, though I’ll admit that at least one of those sounds as though it might actually be quite interesting …
Oddly I find this quite sinister.
kitties love a good book too. ;D
photo by: Dieter Biskamp
Barry Green with W Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Music, Pan Books, 1987.
Not a book review, but some quick notes about the book.
The book is based on Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Tennis. That one developed the idea that in playing tennis you are playing two games: the external one against your opponent, and the another against your own inner obstacles to playing well. The Inner Game of Music takes the same ideas and applies them instead to musical performance.
where potential represents what you’re actually capable of and interference consists largely of your own inner distractions. For example
(These are all distractions which professional musicians identified themselves as suffering from.) Any attention which you’re giving to the distractions isn’t being given to the music, and so detracts from the performance.
The book considers you as having two sides which are referred to as Self 1 and Self 2.
An example from my own experience: if you’ve thoroughly practised the notes of a difficult passage, so that they’re “programmed” into your fingers and you can instinctively play them, then there’s no need when playing to think about what note to play next. If you do, you’re liable to stumble, because thinking about them gets in the way of letting your fingers get on with it. So in this instance, your fingers are part of Self 2.
The book presents a variety of techniques for enabling Self 2 to get on with playing the music without interference from Self 1, often by switching attention from Self 1’s chatter to some aspect of the music or by doing something counterintuitive. One example given is of playing an awkward leap on an instrument. You’ve practised it, and you can do it, but you still worry that you can’t. His suggested cure is to play the leap and try to get it wrong—-thereby (i) making yourself focus on listening to what’s happening instead of on worrying about it and (ii) discovering that, in fact, you can trust your fingers to get it right.
I’d say the basic aim of the book is to allow you to trust and use your instinctive abilities. Conscious learning is still required in order to acquire many of those abilities in the first place (though in some places the book talks as though it isn’t), but once they’ve become instinctive, they should be allowed to flourish. Once things happen unconsciously, there’s no need for conscious interference with them.
“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decoration consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
Brain Dettmer, famed as “The Book Surgeon” uses knives, tweezers and surgical tools to shape-up the old dictionaries and encyclopedias into incredible artwork.