December 17th, 1999
Without technique there is no art. Yet technique is part of the service economy; it does not manufacture goods but facilitates their production. When technique becomes an end in itself, the result is music reduced to scales, chords, arpeggios, trills, octaves, leaps, and other tools of the piano garage. In place of musical ideas and their elaborations, a sequence of skills and formulas is presented, the packaging of the ideas of substituting for their content. Technique then becomes wholly methodical, a set approach to a set list of technical problems involving all pianistic materials, and thus further away from the ideal of servicing the musical imagination.