A Bach and Biceps Day

It’s a common practice in working out to isolate muscles for different days. Mondays could be back and biceps while Wednesday is legs and shoulders. The thought process is that focus and alternation of routine will yield better results than an aimless free for all in the weight room.

Trying to analyze and really get to understand pieces of music can be like going to the gym…and not having a routine. A couple measures here, a couple there. Oh let’s move to a different composer, this string quartet was boring me anyway. I don’t understand this, I’ll work on the next movement instead. Sometimes it’s like being in the gym and going all over the place.

How do you yield results that count that way?

Maybe taking the focus and alternation of work out routines would be better.

For instance, I’m trying to analyze the slow movement of each of Mozart’s six Haydn String Quartets (a future blog post?). There is focus: I’m just doing one movement from a group of quartets and the same movement type from each. There is alternation: With six quartets I can go back and forth as I please. The focus and alternation will both help me take a bite out of Mozart’s catalogue but also give me a specific understanding of how Mozart approaches writing slow movements.

Focus and alternation: building our biceps and hopefully our knowledge and understanding of the music around us.


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