Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Context: things I didn't know I knew

Image from All About Beethoven

"Context is everything," I used to tell my ESL Academic Prep students. Logic, sense and meaning come from the context.

Part of my context is living for a long time within a certain culture and society. Because I know my native language so well, when reading or listening I often foresee the next word or phrase. 

Singing in the Willan Choir also involves a lot of context. Now that we've finished our performance of Beethoven's Ode to Joy with the NWSO, we're moving on to new music. I was nervous, because the next lot of music was completely unknown to me.

At choir practice the other night, we did a read through of the music we'll be learning. To my surprise, though I didn't know the melodies, and read music poorly, I had an accurate sense, a feeling of where the music was going before it went there. Dido and Aeneas, here I come!

These two examples are probably just the tip of the iceberg.We all know so much we are not conscious of knowing.

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