Transcribing Music

I spent the last couple of days transcribing the song "At Fate's Hands" by Fates Warning (see below). This was a ridiculously intense musical exercise, a real challenge. More importantly, though, it gave me a fresh appreciation for the level of musicianship possessed by the members of that band. The attention to detail in this piece is utterly mind-blowing.

It got me thinking about music in general. In today's world of Garageband and Guitar Hero and samples and synthesizers, it is a rare individual indeed who will learn to appreciate music on the same level that our forefathers enjoyed it.

Those of you who do not play an instrument will have trouble conceiving of this, but... Music is so much more than the sounds you make and the things you hear. There is something physical that happens when you learn to play a really challenging piece. This magic is raised to a much higher level when you perform a challenging piece with others, in an ensemble. Multiple minds coming together to create something that is impressive and cohesive and beautiful... that is what music is all about.

I can't help but feel sorry for the children of today, so many of whom will grow up with no incentive to learn about what music really is and why people like myself put ourselves through the wringer just to learn an obscure piece of progressive metal history.

But I guess that's life.

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