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Put Soul Into Your Music

A man without a soul, if conceivable, would be a colorless, irresponsible sort of creature with no influence in the world. Music without soul is just as worthless. Music with no depth of feeling is not music. It is merely rhythm and noise.

A thorn in the side of the music teacher is the pupil who never infuses any emotion into the interpretation of even the most beautiful of compositions. For the singsong monotony of such playing is beyond endurance to the real musician.

Any student can overcome such a defect. Playing with "feeling" or "soul" can be cultivated. Suppose you have mastered the technical features of a composition, or of several compositions, and yet your interpretation is dull and uninteresting. It lacks that passion or fire which moves people. You have failed because you did not put yourself into the music. You do not enter into the spirit of it; your imagination has been inactive while your hands were busy; you got nothing out because you put nothing into it.

Cultivate this vital something by "living your music." If you are playing a pulse-quickening, brisk-stepping march, lose yourself in the spirit of the piece. Can't you see the band, resplendent in their new uniforms, marching proudly down the street? Join the crowd at the curb and listen to the tune.

When you have finished playing and "come back to earth," you will find that you have gotten a thrill; and your listeners will feel the difference too. This is but one illustration. Play one of the beautiful serenades, and find yourself rambling through a moonlit night listening to strumming guitars and whispered vows of love.

Put soul into your music by giving your imagination a free rein.

About the Author

*This article, written by Roy Lee Harmon in the July 1923 issue of "Etude Musical Magazine," is featured at http://www.thepianopages.com, along with other articles, free piano lessons, sheet music, products, and more.*

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