“Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent.” – Miles Davis
For some reason, this quote by Miles Davis has been swirling around in my head lately. About once every couple of months I engage in a conversation with someone about whether or not art should be judged purely at face value or if it’s appropriate to consider details about the artist’s life when assessing a piece of music (or art).
It’s a difficult question to answer, if not impossible, since pretty much any piece of music that we find appealing, naturally fills us with at least a fleeting desire to learn more about it. But once we do, how we hear that music is never really the same.
Going back to the quote, it seems as though Davis is saying that the effect of knowing personal details…
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