Cut Tails, Not Corners

In order to prove that paternal injuries were not inherited by offspring, biologist August Weismann proceeded with an experiment. He cut off the tails of a group of mice to see if their offspring would not have tails. Sure enough, the offspring had tails. He tried again with this second generation, cutting off their tails. Same result. The third generation underwent tail shortening and, like the other generations, the fourth had normal tails. This went on for eighteen generations of mice and each of its offspring had tails. Weismann proved his point.

Usually with a piece we’ll perform it a couple times. When we get the desired result two or three times we drop the piece and move on to more repertoire to perform. It’s as if we got to the third generation of mice and thought the point was made.

But what if we had the persistence of Weismann? What if we kept a piece in our repertoire for longer than seemed normal? Would its beauty and artistry be as emphatically obvious to everyone as Weismann’s results eighteen generations later?


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