Motives for Playing Music

Ted’s Notes on Motives for Playing Music

As I might have mentioned before, Ted constantly pondered ideas and occasionally wrote somewhat detailed notes to himself similar to the example below, especially in his younger days.   Written in May of 1974, Ted had not yet turned 28.  Here he contemplates some of the reasons for playing music, how he perceived beautiful music produced particular impressions in others, and the influence of those impressions.

Considering the possibility that Ted’s handwriting may be difficult to read, here is a typed version (with a tiny bit of clarification by me):

“Some musicians play only for themselves not caring if they reach others, just trying to be true to what they want to hear.  Some musicians play only for others for fame, money, wanting to be liked, or other reasons out of selfish motivation.  Some musicians play only for others out of pure love or wanting to give, or as (a) sense of responsibility to family, needs of listeners, etc. Most common are mixtures of above, (like me).

Ted – It is your duty to get out and play pretty music for people to 1) balance the onslaught of chaos, violence, excessive volume, etc. that have crept into music more and more as time goes on, 2) to help others not to feel ashamed to express their feelings of tenderness, gentleness, love of beauty, etc. (which lead to a more benevolent attitude towards others).  (Those feelings) seem to be innate parts of human nature that get covered up in our society.   The reasons for this are possibly that it is not considered “masculine” to express these feelings, rather a male is expected to express how “hip” or “cool” or “funky” or “tough” he is to impress his peers and especially the ladies, and unfortunately in our male dominated society, a distortion happens where women feel they have to act like the men too.  It would be considered “lame” to say that a song inspired a feeling of tenderness or other non-aggressive, “hip” emotions.”

This is another one of my favorite photographs of Ted.   By the expression on his face, he appears to be in a state of ecstasy over the sound he is creating.   Not unusual for Ted, but to have captured that moment was just luck.   Look at how blissful he is!


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