This process of developing and articulating a new practice, one well-founded in scientific research, was never a theoretical exercise for me, but part of my own desire to resolve for myself the paradox of the orchestra as agent of social change vs. orchestra as the most anti-social mode of cultural expression. One of [Geoff] Baker’s major arguments is this contradiction, pointing out how the practice in reality so often channels the authoritarian characteristics of the latter while making claims to the former.
The fact that the paradox exists is itself informative. It reflects the near-axiomatic acceptance of the idea that a musical ensemble can serve as a vehicle for positive social change, while simultaneously representing centuries of an unvaryingly autocratic tradition. So the issue isn’t with the idea, or the ensemble, or even the genre, but simply with the current lack of alternatives.
But I believe there is an alternative, and I have spent the last four years making it part of my own work...
Continue reading on Jonathan's blog; download his article in American String Teacher Journal here.
Jonathan Govias, Sistema Fellow '10