Definition of Mastery LO28219

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/12/02

Replying to LO28200 --

Dear Organlearners,

Ray Evans Harrell <> writes:

>mastery = zero complexity = virtuosity.
>Virtuosity is the beginning of mastery in the creative.
>That was what I meant. Obviously I didn't make the
>point well.

Greetings dear Ray,

When I read it the first time in LO28186, I thought you had an ax to grind
against complexity ;-) That I do not mind because I myself have found that
complexity is most intimidating. Should we not be aware of this
intimidation and find ways to overcome it, we will become victims rather
than masters of complexity.

One of the problems with the word complexity is that only 50 years ago it
was seldom used. Some pretty standard dictionaries in those days did not
even list it. The word complex itself had in those days two main meanings.
 (1) Numerous different parts integrated consistently into one whole.
 (2) Complication or perplexity involved when fitting parts together.
The meanings of complex nowadays are anybody's guess since
complexity has become one of those hype words. But let us stick
to the two traditional meanings of complex above.

When I think of the Hammerklavier sonata of Beethoven, (1) will fit a
description of it like a glove. In this sonata Beethove used his more than
30 years of mastery to weave thousands of different parts into one
incredible masterpiece.

When I think of a young pianist attemting to play this sonata the first
time, (2) as a description comes to my mind. But give that pianist enough
time to practice and rehash it, (2) will become (1)

So I now want to ask -- did you have
>mastery = zero complexity = virtuosity
"mastery = zero complications = virtuosity"
in mind?

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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