Here here! I was hesitating about saying exactly the same thing, only you put it better than I could.

Philip Gruar wrote:

I think Peter makes just the point here that I was going to make, when Anthony (I think) first started the debate. Also, Dick made very good points. The "flatness" and mechanical playing problems which many people perceive with "playing from dots" is only inevitable for people who struggle with the reading, and those who think that the dots represent *exactly* how music should be played. Only a computer plays music exactly as written - good musicians will always lengthen/shorten certain notes, pull the rhythm around subtly and put life & expression into the music as they read it. I'm sure everybody with a so-called "classical" music training here (and jazz or whatever) - i.e. anyone for whom the purely mechanical act of reading written music is completely second nature, does the reading without consciously thinking about doing it. Playing the music sensitively, with the right style or expression or whatever, is what you do with it "on top of" the reading so to speak - well or less well depending on your musicianship and understanding of the music. People who do jazz or early music maybe depart from the written notes more than "main-stream" classical players do - but all competent musicians would surely reject idea that reading inevitably leads to "flatness".

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