The Craft of Musical Communication
by Keith Hill and Marianne Ploger, ©2005
"The Craft of Musical Communication," an essay by Marianne Ploger and Keith Hill, is the product of decades of careful observation, close listening, and musical experience. Marianne and Keith present the reader with concrete techniques and strategies for creating musical performances that connect with, move, and inspire the listeners.
In this online version of the essay, the descriptions of each technique are accompanied by a video clip of a performance that illustrates the successful use of the technique under discussion - it is highly recommended that you take the time to listen to these while reading the essay. In the table of contents below, you'll find a link to each part of the essay; each page contains "previous" and "next" navigation links for easy, sequential reading online. To read through from the beginning, choose "Introduction to The Craft of Musical Communication" from the menu below and use the "next" navigation links at the bottom of each page.
Sandro Botticelli's 1486 painting The Birth of Venus literally serves as a backdrop for this article; the header of each of the sections of the essay contains a selection of the painting which demonstrates the technique under discussion. Though the 11 techniques are described here as they apply to music, their employment is the source of successful communication in all of the arts. Click below to view the painting in full.