pianist, composer, musicologist
Recently (July 2022) I moved to Almere Buiten. With a beautiful grand piano and an upright piano in the studio, and a second grand in the living room, the conditions for making music and teaching are ideal.
Enthusiastic advanced students and beginners are welcome for an introductory meeting or a short trial lesson.
…over 200 strings and a complicated mechanism: the piano is an amazing instrument. Through the keys the player makes an indirect contact with the hammers that cause the strings to vibrate. The pattern of black and white keys is a kind of landscape that becomes familiar with through practice, through feeling and hearing, rather than through the eyes.
Music is in the human being, not in the instrument. But the sound is born inside the instrument.
Almost as important as the hammers are the dampers that stop the vibration. These are controlled with the keyboard, but also, for all hammers at once, with the (right) pedal. It is mainly the pedal that allows the piano, a percussion instrument, to ‘sing’.
Playing the piano is a matter of hands and feet, mind and feeling, breathing, rhythm and movement, listening and communicating, and much more.
we’re all musical…
…are we not?
Musicality, the ability to make and enjoy music, is something that sets us apart from all other species. Just like the language. And just like our capacity for language, we mainly develop it spontaneously and involuntarily: by using it.
In contrast to the capacity for language, musicality appears to be very unequally distributed (we all talk, but we do not all make music). Some people clearly have a greater musical talent than others – but are there not those with an exceptional gift for language? It’s just that we don’t have a word that matches ‘musical’ (‘she ’s so lingual’…?).
However, musicality seems to be more composite, less focused than the capacity for language. Music appeals to various abilities, all of which are present in different ways in different people.
A feeling for rhythm and movement, for timbre, for tone patterns, for musical ‘sentences’, for emotional expression, are aspects that can make you feel more or less confident.
Learning to make music is above all: discovering the strong points of your musicality, and developing the weaker ones as much as possible.
a little biography
My main interests have always been music and philosophy. I have studied piano at the conservatoires of Utrecht and The Hague, musicology in Utrecht, and did my doctorate at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin with a dissertation on Classical Music and the Language Analogy. My work as a researcher mainly focuses on various aspects of the connection between music and language.
As a pianist, I have been active as an accompanist and vocal coach. My compositions include Pedrillo Botón, a chamber opera for an audience of children and adults, and the musical soundtrack to Europa, a short film from 1932 that has been shown at such venues such as MoMA New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2021).
More information and a large number of short essays on music and other subjects on my personal website: lodewijkmuns.nl.
On Windows computers turn off ‘audio enhancements’ for unspoiled sound quality (Sound Settings > Sound Control Panel).
My interpretations of a few personal favourites: