Blog # 9 音樂 & 香港文化 Music & HK Culture
音樂 & 香港文化 Music & HK Culture
會否突然間記起小時候被琴老師因為彈錯一個音而被打手指? 或者記得一些尷尬情況學校唱歌走音而被人笑? 又或者記得一段被父母逼你學琴考試而不斷重複三首歌練習嘅時間? 又會唔會聯想到典形音樂人, 藝術人那種完美主義性格?
又有可能聯想到古典音樂對你來講哪一種感覺好遠, 好難明白, 好悶, 好似催眠曲的感覺?
又或者你會聯想到一些比較正面的東西: 音樂令你放鬆, 娛樂,唱K, 演唱會,你最鍾意的歌手/樂隊?
最近我發現一個現象, 當我隨意地去問朋友 “幾時得閒一齊玩下音樂啦!”, 九成人回覆我的反應都離唔去:
好直接的說 "Wah, 我唔識玩....我啲節奏唔得..."
如果我將這條問題變成 “幾時得閒一齊玩下boardgame啦!” “幾時得閒一齊去公園/遊樂場玩 啦!” 這兩條問題通常每一個人沒有太多顧忌就能回答.
而這三條問題也是需要一個人的主動參與, 人與人之間的互動, 以及「玩」作為一個有動機, 有意義的行動.
我們小時候的教育是否教我們覺得每一樣事情都有對或錯? 連畫一隻兔仔都有對或錯的方法? e.g “你e隻咩嚟架??兔仔唔係咁樣畫架!! 隻耳仔邊度有咁長呀??”
當所有東西都有對同錯底下, 被老師和家長批評得多底下, 我哋會否覺得自己能力唔夠好? 唔想再將自己暴露在一個有可能被人批評的情況?
或是我哋唔想 “無面”, 唔知道人地會點睇自己?
好像香港將音樂裏的靈魂拿走了, 將音樂塑造到一種高尚的器樂技巧, 一種技能多於一種技藝, 一種所有兒童都應考到級數才可以考入學校的技能. 我們是否太專注技術上造詣(速度, 準確度, 發音技巧)而忘記了音樂上的造詣?
每當彈完一首歌的時候,我們究竟知不知道我們在彈什麼? 知唔知首歌嘅感情, 故事, 想表達嘅嘢? 有冇諗過我哋鍾意彈/聽一首歌背後的真正原因?
如果學音樂只不過是追求純熟, 流暢的技巧, 那不如留返比 A.I,機械人, 電腦彈俾我哋聽, 佢嘅準確度和精準度一定無人能及.
音樂是一種看不到的東西, 遠遠超過我們從一個演奏者看到的技能. 技能當然重要, 能令一個人順暢地用音樂表達自己和與別人溝通. 技能和音樂本身需要作出一個平衡.
如果我們可以將能技能暫時放下, 將焦點放回看不到的、 聽得到的、 感受得到的聲音以及那些不同的音樂元素 (旋律, 和絃,音色和節奏); 玩音樂的動作(彈,掃,吹,拉,打,拍) 以及人與人之間用音樂的溝通, 我們會否發現到一些音樂原始的真正意義, 找回音樂的靈魂?
下一回 Blog #10: 「玩」音樂
下下一回 Blog #11: 音樂的靈魂
Blog #9: Music & HK Culture
What’s the first thing…or the first few things that come to mind when the word ‘music’ is mentioned to you?
Would it be the childhood memory of being smacked on fingers playing the wrong note on the piano? Or the embarrassing moment when you sing out of tune in a school exam? Or all those crazy hours that you’ve put into practicing on the instruments your parents have forced you to learn? Or you associate it with Classical music that’s so distant, so hard to understand, so sleepy? Or you associate it with perfectionist attitude of the stereotype image of a musician?
Or would it be something more positive? Relaxation? Entertainment? Concert? Your favourite singers/band?
Well I guess the word ‘music’ is too broad. Let’s dig a little deeper.
There’s a phenomenon I’ve noticed, that if I go a step further and ask a person ‘Would you like to jam music with me?’, very often the response I received can range from a shock on the face, a questioning tone of voice to the smell of fear, the puzzling facial and body language.
If I change it to “Would you like to play boardgame with me?” or “Would you like to play (a certain sports) with me?” The response are usually positive comparatively.
All three of these actions in the questions require active participations, interpersonal interaction and they are all acts of ‘play’, so what exactly is triggering the rather defensive response of playing music?
I think the answer lies in the HK culture we grew up in.
Our HK upbringing seems to teach us that everything has a right and wrong way to do things. For example “What exactly are you drawing? A rabbit doesn’t look like that!! They don’t have such long ears!!!” or “You CANNOT play the piano with your fist! You are gonna break the keys!!!”
When everything seems to have a right & wrong ways, we are afraid to be criticized, being judged and being told off by teachers and parents. Would it be that we are afraid of not being good enough? That we’re afraid of being told off from playing the wrong notes? Are we afraid of making mistakes? Or we’re concern with how others would see us and judge us?
Music is such a powerful personal expression that perhaps we are afraid to expose ourselves in such direct ways to others?
It seems that HK has taken the soul out of music, mould it into a highly valued instrumental skill that all children should attain as young as possible. Do we focus so much on the technical aspect of handling the instrument i.e. -speed, accuracy of producing the sound, articulations (ways to produce the sound)? When one has finished playing it, do they know what they are actually playing? What’s the story behind the piece? What’s the emotion, feelings or message? Have we ever thought of the reason why we play music? If it’s all about techniques of playing, why don’t we leave it to the A.I, the robots, the machines who certainly can play way better than us in terms of presenting a strict, perfect and flawless performance. What is the point of practicing 8 hours a day, just so that we can move our index finger from that C# to the F# in a millisecond and in such accuracy?
Music is so much more than just instrumental playing skills, yes it is important for someone to be fluent in those, it’s acquiring those skills that enable us to be better in expressing ourselves with music and thus communicating with others. However instrumental skills and musicianship need to be balanced.
And if we just leave instrumental skills behind and focus on the auditory perceivable sound, the different elements that create music (timbre, dynamics, rhythm, melody and harmony), the act of playing (strumming, plucking, hitting, blowing etc) and interacting, would we discover something closer to the original meaning of music, or the soul of the music?
Next up Blog #10: Musicking & Playing
Next Next up #11: The Soul of Music