Are you using your knowledge right?

There are things that we know we know. But of course, what matters most is not to know it, but to know when and where to or not to apply it.

The most common issues happen when we go from one style to the next, and thinking that because we know one style we know just what to do in the other.

For example, a classical chorus director might be asked to music direct a cabaret-type show, and would transfer his knowledge of pure vowels and final consonances to the cabaret, thus taking out just what makes the cabaret style: the raw and raunchy vocal style.

A big band conductor who is put in front of a classical orchestra might transfer the customary freedom given to big band musicians to the classical world,  which is actually used to more constant direction from a conductor.

A jazz pianist might not realize that improvising and adding stuff when playing a music theatre song with a singer is actually unwelcome in that style and would create confusion for the singer. 

If you are ever involved in a music gig from a style even so slightly different from the one you regularly play and you don't agree with what people around you do or say, consider whether those people are playing in their regular styles before speaking up about what you think they're doing wrong, because you might just be the one who is.

Picture from http://www.flickr.com/photos/scarlet-poppy/280143435/

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