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Re^6: Rosetta Dispatch Table [OT]

by davies (Prior)
on Nov 23, 2017 at 10:41 UTC ( #1204126=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^5: Rosetta Dispatch Table
in thread Rosetta Dispatch Table

"I imagine musicians similarly experience intense nerves before stepping onto the stage" - it depends. There's a saying among musicians. "The amateur practices until he can get it right. The professional practices until he can't get it wrong". Music is written to be achievable and a pro who knows and loves the piece is rarely nervous. Usually, they are showoffs relishing a chance to entertain an audience that wants them to succeed. Even so, some are nervous. I can't find the anecdote immediately, but I understand that Fyodor Chaliapin was a bundle of nerves before performances.

Contrast that with sport, where there is another team trying to make you fail and some proportion of the audience wanting exactly the same thing. Even then, nervousness is individual. Keith Miller famously dismissed the idea of there being pressure in test cricket with the words "Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse". Of course, in his era, a day's Ashes cricket was always followed by an evening drinking with old pals like Compton & Edrich. Apologies to those whose geography makes this incomprehensible.


John Davies

Update 2018-05-23: At least one musician reports feeling no nerves on at least one big occasion:

Update 2018-08-09: I was chatting to a professional musician today (we'd both have preferred to be watching cricket, but after 6 weeks of perfect weather, we had non-stop rain) and I asked him specifically abouut nerves. He said (a) that everyone is different, (b) that the young are less likely to be nervous than the old and (c) that most (not all) musicians are very nervous before a performance, but not once the music starts. He said that a certain level of nerves is desirable, as the feeling "here we go again" would lead to a boring performance.

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Re^7: Rosetta Dispatch Table [OT]
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Chancellor) on Nov 23, 2017 at 11:28 UTC

    Keith Miller famously dismissed the idea of there being pressure in test cricket with the words "Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse"
    Yes, and WW2 fighter pilot Keith Miller's famous quote notwithstanding, test cricket brings psychological pressure to a new level, with the quirky extra pressure of sledging and -- if you are unfortunate enough to be playing against England (as we suffered today) -- the intolerable additional pressure of listening all day to the Barmy Army singing vulgar songs about your wife! :)

    Update: During WW2, Miller apparently flew pathfinder bomber mosquitos (Perry's bio of Miller (ISBN 9781845131562) says "pathfinder bomber" (p. 95)). Thanks davies.

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