Functional Freedom

Functional freedom means being able to execute, freely and convincingly, interpretive choices that you may not particularly like. ‘Even though the tone colour produced by a certain type of vibrato might be contrary to the taste of a particular place or time…,’ wrote Ivan Galamian, ‘the ability to produce it cannot become obsolete, and, thus, it has a definite place within the inventory of the absolute values of a complete technical equipment.’

Artistic freedom is inconceivable without functional freedom. To give true expression to your musicality, you must first and foremost have the necessary means at your disposal. ‘Functional freedom alone,’ writes [Cornelius] Reid, ‘is able to fully release sensitivity, insight, emotional and intellectual depth, and musical perception.’ In short, true spontaneity will come to you if you pursue not that which you like, but that which is free.

De Alcantara, Pedro. Indirect procedures: A musician’s guide to the Alexander technique. Oxford University Press, 1997.

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