Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip – #314
Tai Chi And Music
I went over to visit a friend, and she promptly sat me down in a comfortable chair and commenced to play me a piece of music on her piano that she was going to be performing that very night. As the melody reached out and enveloped me, my mind formed this comparative insight.
My friend was playing from a piece of sheet music that had been composed by someone quite a while ago. She played each note as written, yet she brought to it all her life life experiences – her intellect, her emotions, her longing. Each person who sits down to play these very same notes will sound different because it is their whole life that plays those notes.
How like Tai Chi, I thought to myself. The forms were composed long ago by people in a far off land, and as each one of us plays the same forms, we bring all our life experiences to it and it appears different than anyone else’s. My friend’s sheet music gives specific directions as to pace and timbre – the Tai Chi classics do the same for me. There are masters at composing music, like Mozart and Beethoven, and masters at interpreting these composers, like Glenn Gould and Van Cliburn. Tai Chi had its master composers like Yang, Wu, and Chen and master interpreters recognized by their contemporaries.
So I thank my friend for her lovely music and the stimulus for these thoughts as well as a deeper appreciation of Tai Chi Chuan.