Transcript: Jean-Jacques Nattiez and Diana McIntosh | Sep 30, 1992

Classical piano music plays.
John and two guests sit at a table in a TV studio decorated as a library. They each have a cup on the table.
The TVO Daytime logo appears on screen next to the title "Teaching Music."
John is in his late fifties, clean-shaven, with receding white hair. He's wearing glasses, a black leather jacket over a striped purple shirt, and a patterned burgundy tie.

A caption reads "Jean-Jacques Nattiez and Diana McIntosh." Then, it changes to "John Miller."

John says HELLO,
I'M JOHN MILLER,
AND WELCOME TO
ANOTHER PROGRAM
IN
TEACHING MUSIC.
TODAY, MY GUESTS HAVE
A VERY DISTINCT
CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE.
I'M PLEASED TO WELCOME
PROFESSOR JEAN-JACQUES NATTIEZ
FROM MONTREAL,
A MOST DISTINGUISHED
SEMIOLOGIST, WINNER
OF THE MOLSON PRIZE
LAST YEAR,
JEAN-JACQUES.

Jean-Jacques is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short wavy gray hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and patterned brown tie.

He says HI.

John says AND FROM WINNIPEG,
CANADIAN PERFORMER,
COMPOSER, ARTIST, AND
I THINK AT SOME POINT
AN EDUCATOR,
DIANA McINTOSH.

Diana is in her forties, with short spiky brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a loose gray sweatshirt.

She says THANK YOU.

John says JEAN-JACQUES,
THAT WORD SEMIOLOGIST,
LET'S START
WITH THAT.
IT SOUNDS OMINOUS.
WHAT IS A
SEMIOLOGIST?

The caption changes to "Jean-Jacques Nattiez. Montreal."

Jean-Jacques says WELL,
SEMIOLOGY IS SUPPOSED
TO BE THE SCIENCE OF
SIGNS, OR LET'S SAY
THE DISCIPLINE
STUDYING SIGNS.
AND YOU HAVE A VERY FAMOUS
SEMIOLOGIST WELL KNOWN,
SOMEBODY LIKE UMBERTO
ECO, THE AUTHOR OF
THE NAME OF THE ROSE, HE'S
SOMETHING WHO DEVOTED
A LOT OF TIME MAKING
THEORETICAL WRITINGS
ABOUT THE QUESTION
OF SIGNS.
IN THE CASE OF MUSIC,
THE SEMIOLOGY OF MUSIC
TRIES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT
MAKES A DIFFERENCE,
FOR INSTANCE, BETWEEN
MUSIC AS SIGN SYSTEM,
AND LANGUAGE OR
DANCE OR PAINTING,
IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND
BETTER THE WAY
MEANINGS ARE
INVOLVED IN MUSIC.
WHAT IS THE SPECIFICITY
OF THE ORGANIZATION
OF MUSICAL SOUNDS.

John says LET'S RELATE
THAT TO THE CLASSROOM,
SINCE WE'RE INTERESTED
IN TEACHING.
HOW DOES IT RELATE
TO THE CLASSROOM?

Jean-Jacques says WELL,
IN THE SENSE THAT,
TO TAKE A
CONCRETE EXAMPLE,
I THINK IT'S VERY
IMPORTANT TO REALIZE
THE SPECIFICITY OF THE
VALUE TYPES OF IDIOMS,
WHICH DO EXIST IN THE
WIDE WORLD OF MUSIC.
PERSONALLY, I GOT
INVOLVED, FOR INSTANCE,
WITH THE STUDY
OF INUIT MUSIC.
WHY DID I DO THAT?
BECAUSE I WANTED TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT
IS SPECIFIC OF THE MUSIC
PERFORMED BY THE INUIT
IN OUR OWN COUNTRY,
AND TO UNDERSTAND
IT AS A DISTINCTION
WITH, LET'S SAY,
MOZART AND BEETHOVEN.
AND AS FAR AS THE
CLASSROOM IS CONCERNED,
I BELIEVE THAT IT IS
VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE
THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE
PUPILS, OF THE STUDENTS,
AS BROAD AS POSSIBLE.
NOT TO LOOK ONLY AT
THE TYPE OF MUSIC
THEY ARE ACCUSTOMED TO
IN THEIR OWN CULTURE,
BUT TO HAVE THEIR MIND
OPEN TO ALL THE TYPE
OF MUSICAL LANGUAGES WHICH
DO EXIST IN THE WORLD.

John says GOOD.
I SEE THAT.
LET ME ASK YOU JUST ONE
MORE QUESTION ON THAT.
IS YOUR MUSIC OR WHAT YOU
GAINED FROM THE INUIT STUDIES,
IS THAT AVAILABLE
FOR CLASSROOM USE?

Jean-Jacques says OH, YES.
I HAD A STUDY GROUP AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MONTREAL
STUDYING THE TYPE OF
THROAT GAMES OF THE INUIT
WOMEN, WOW KNOW, HO, HA,
HO, HA THINGS LIKE THIS.
AND ONE OF THE VERY
FIRST THINGS I DID WAS
TO HAVE RECORDS
AVAILABLE, YOU KNOW,
TO CATCH THE SOUND
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THESE
QUITE FUNNY, IT'S NOT
FUNNY IN THEIR CULTURE,
IT'S SOMETHING SPECIFIC
TO THEIR CULTURE,
AND IT'S WHAT THE STUDENTS
HAVE TO UNDERSTAND.
NOT TO LAUGH ABOUT IT,
BUT TRY TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT IT MEANS
FOR THE PEOPLE.
WHY ARE THE LADIES
PERFORMING THIS KIND
OF MUSICAL GAMES
THE WAY THEY DO IT?

John says HAVE YOU SEEN
ELEMENTARY OR SECONDARY SCHOOL
STUDENTS EVER WORKING
WITH YOUR CDs?

Jean-Jacques says NO, FRANKLY.

John says WHAT COULD YOU
IMAGINE THEM DOING
IN THE CLASSROOM?

Jean-Jacques says
WELL, I THINK,
IT COULD BE
RELATIVELY EASY TO,
WITH LOOKING AT THE
RECORD EXPLANATIONS,
TO LET UNDERSTAND TO THE
YOUNG KIDS AND GIRLS,
HOW THIS STRANGE...
STRANGE FOR US...
HOW THESE STRANGE SOUNDS
HAVE BEEN PERFORMED.
AND TO TRY TO ASK TO
THE YOUNG PEOPLE
TO DO IT AGAIN.
SO THEY WILL HAVE
A KIND OF, LET'S SAY,
ANTHROPOLOGICAL
EXPERIENCE BECOMING
THEMSELVES INUIT FOR
A COUPLE OF MINUTES,
AND UNDERSTANDING HOW
FOREIGN MUSICAL CULTURE
COULD BE UNDERSTOOD
FROM THE INSIDE.

John says I HAVE TO
HONESTLY SAY, DIANA,
THE WORD "STRANGE."
TRIGGERS A REACTION I'VE
OFTEN HEARD FROM TEACHERS,
EVEN SOME OF MY FRIENDS
WHO KNOW I'M INTERESTED IN
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC...

Diana says ABOUT NEW MUSIC.

John says EXACTLY.
YOU MUST RUN
INTO THIS...

The caption changes to "Diana McIntosh. Winnipeg."

Diana says ALL THE TIME.
IT'S THE QUESTION
THAT'S ALWAYS ASKED.
I DON'T KNOW.
I THINK PEOPLE SOMEHOW
OR OTHER HAVE TO FEEL
COMFORTABLE OR FAMILIAR,
FOR SOME REASON OR OTHER,
PARTICULARLY WITH MUSIC,
OR THEY CAN'T SEEM
TO GET THROUGH THAT
MENTAL BARRIER.
NOW, THIS IS NOT TRUE OF
CHILDREN, I DON'T THINK.
I THINK IT'S THE TEACHERS
THAT HAVE THIS PROBLEM.
BECAUSE AS JEAN-JACQUES
WAS SAYING,
I THOROUGHLY AGREE.
I THINK CHILDREN ARE
OPEN TO EVERYTHING,
AND I THINK THEY SHOULD
HEAR ALL KINDS OF MUSIC,
INCLUDING POP
AND EVERYTHING.
AND I REALLY THINK THAT
STUDENTS SHOULD REACT
PHYSICALLY TO MUSIC.
I FEEL MUSIC IS A
VERY PHYSICAL THING
AS WELL AS A
MENTAL THING.
AND I LIKE TO SEE
KIDS IN A CLASSROOM
BEING FREE TO DANCE.
I MEAN, ALL CHILDREN
CAN DANCE, MOVE,
MOVE THEIR BODY IN ALL
SORTS OF WONDERFUL WAYS,
AND I THINK THEY SHOULD BE
FREE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES
IN DANCING AND
MOVEMENT TO ALL KINDS
OF MUSIC, AND PLAY
A LOT OF STYLES,
A REAL CROSS-SECTION
OF STYLES IN MUSIC.
AND CHILDREN ARE OPEN,
CERTAINLY THEY'RE OPEN
TO CONTEMPORARY, WHEREAS THE
TEACHERS SEEM TO HAVE TO...
I GUESS IT'S PARTLY
THEY DON'T HEAR ENOUGH,
THEY DON'T
LISTEN TO ENOUGH,
THEY DON'T GO OUT OF
THEIR WAY TO HEAR
ENOUGH NEW MUSIC.

John says I REMEMBER
ONCE DOING A SERIES
WITH SOME NFB FILMS.
YOU TALK ABOUT
MOVEMENT IN DANCE.
I THINK IT'S CALLED
THE NETSILIK ESKIMO
SERIES WITH THE NFB.

Jean-Jacques says
YES, I KNOW IT.

John says AND I REMEMBER THE
MOVEMENT THE YOUNG PEOPLE
WERE DOING THERE WITH
THE KINDS OF SOUNDS
THAT THE ADULTS WERE
SINGING AND SO ON.

Jean-Jacques says YES.
THERE IS A SEQUENCE IN
THIS FILM WITH A BIG DRUM
INSIDE OF THE IGLOO;
IT'S PROBABLY
WHAT YOU ARE
REFERRING TO.
I THINK THIS IS THE
TYPE OF MATERIAL WHICH
COULD BE USED
IN CLASSROOMS.
BECAUSE, OF COURSE,
IT'S ATTRACTIVE.
THE YOUNG PEOPLE
HAVE NO IDEAS TODAY
IN OUR AREAS OF WHAT, HOW
THE ESKIMOS WERE LIVING.
SO IT'S VERY
ATTRACTIVE.
IT DOES SOMETHING
EXOTIC.

Diana says YES, EXOTIC.

Jean-Jacques says AND I
THINK IT'S A VERY GOOD
FRAMEWORK FOR THEM IF
THEY LOOK AT THE PART
OF THIS NETSILIK SERIES
TO THE ONE DEVOTED
TO MUSIC, PRECISELY
TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT SEEMS FOR US
A LITTLE BIT
BORING IS VERY
ENTERTAINING
FOR THE ESKIMOS
THEMSELVES.
AND FROM THIS
DOCUMENT, FOR INSTANCE,
WE COULD TRY TO
UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE
ENJOY WHEN THEY
PLAY THE MUSIC,
WHEN THE MAN IS DRUMMING,
WHEN THE LADIES
ARE SINGING AROUND.
ONE OF THE REASON WHY
WE THINK IT IS BORING
IS BECAUSE WE DO NOT
UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE.
IT IS AS IF AN
INUK, AN ESKIMO,
WOULD HEAR OUR SONGS
WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING
WHAT WE SAY.
AND THESE ARE THINGS
WHICH ARE QUITE EASY,
I BELIEVE, TO EXPLAIN
IN A CLASSROOM,
TO LET THE CHILDREN BE
AWARE OF THE CULTURAL
DIFFERENCES, AND TO BE
CLOSER TO EACH OTHER.

Diana says AND CLOSE
TO THE INSTRUMENTS.
I NEVER CAN SEE BRINGING
IN AN ORCHESTRA
OR STRING QUARTET AND
THINKING THAT'S GOING
TO EDUCATE CHILDREN
MUSICALLY.
IT'S PUTTING THEM
YET AGAIN INTO AN
ADULT-CHILD SITUATION.
I JUST DON'T THINK
IT'S THE WAY.
SPEAKING OF SOUNDS,
CHILDREN ARE NOT ONLY
INTERESTED IN
EXOTIC INSTRUMENTS,
OR ANY KIND OF
INSTRUMENTS,
BUT THEY LOVE WORKING
WITH PURE SOUND,
AND THE SOUND THEY
CAN MAKE THEMSELVES.
AND A FASCINATING
EXPERIENCE I HAD WHEN
I DID A FEW WORKSHOPS
IN A CONCERT UP IN ONE
OF THE CHARMING LITTLE
PORTUGUESE CITIES,
GUIMARAES IN NORTH
PORTUGAL, NORTH OF LISBON,
AND I WAS ASKED ACTUALLY
TO DO THIS AT THE LAST
MINUTE, AND I WAS A BIT
TAKEN ABACK AT FIRST,
BUT I DID IT.
I WAS ASKED TO DO A
WORKSHOP WITH
ABOUT 20 LITTLE FIVE AND
SIX-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN.
NOW, THE OLDER
CHILDREN COULD SPEAK
ENGLISH; THESE COULDN'T
SPEAK ANY ENGLISH,
AND I CAN'T SPEAK ANY
PORTUGAL, EXCEPT BOM DIA,
WHICH IS HELLO,
OR GOOD DAY.
ANYWAY, I DECIDED
I WOULD DO IT.
AND THROUGH
GESTURE AND SOUNDS,
I WAS ABLE TO
DIVIDE THE CLASS UP,
THE GROUP UP
INTO FOUR GROUPS,
AND I GOT EACH OF
THEM TO CHOOSE ONE
SOUND THAT
THEY LIKED.
AND ONE CHOSE A SOUND
WITH THEIR BODY.
AND ANOTHER
VOICE SOUND...
[clicking]
MOUTH SOUNDS, YOU KNOW,
WHISTLING SOUNDS, WHATEVER.
EACH CHOSE A DIFFERENT
SOUND, AND THEN
THEY KNEW THAT
THAT MEANT TO START,
THAT MEANT TO GET LOUD,
THAT MEANT TO GET SOFTER,
THAT MEANT TO
STOP, AND SO FORTH.
AND SO THEN I
SORT OF CONDUCTED
THE GROUP TOGETHER.
AND THEY CREATED A WHOLE
BUNCH OF CHARMING
LITTLE SOUNDSCAPES.
AND I HAD A TAPE
RECORDER GOING,
AND THEY COULD HEAR
BACK WHAT THEY DID.
AND IT WAS ALL DONE
WITH THEIR OWN SOUNDS,
AND NONE OF US
COULD COMMUNICATE
IN A KNOWN LANGUAGE.
IT WAS QUITE FASCINATING
BECAUSE THEY CREATED
SOME VERY
MUSICAL THINGS.
THEY WERE CHILDREN WHO
WERE STUDYING MUSIC,
I THINK, IN A
CLASSROOM SITUATION.
IT WAS QUITE A
FASCINATING EXPERIENCE.

John says WAS THE
TEACHER IN THE ROOM
WHEN YOU DID THAT?

Diana says SHE WAS
AT THE BEGINNING,
THEN SHE LEFT
FOR SOME REASON.
SHE WAS AT THE
BEGINNING BECAUSE
I WANTED TO TELL HER
WHAT I WANTED TO DO.
AND SHE HELPED ME
GET THEM INTO GROUPS.
BUT SHE DIDN'T
EXPLAIN ANYTHING.
AND SHE CERTAINLY
DIDN'T TRANSLATE
WHAT I WAS SAYING.
IT WAS ALL DONE
WITH SOUNDS.

John says I ASK THE QUESTION
BECAUSE AGAIN TO GO BACK
TO THE EARLY POINT, I
WONDER IF THE TEACHER'S
PRESENCE WOULD
INHIBIT THE KIDS,
OR WHETHER THE
TEACHER HERSELF
WOULD BE UNCOMFORTABLE?
I THINK MOST
OF US WOULD BE.

Diana says IT COULD.
DEPENDS ON
THE TEACHER.
THIS WAS QUITE A
CONTEMPORARY MIND.
THIS IS A WOMAN WHO REALLY
LIKED CONTEMPORARY MUSIC.
IT WAS A LITTLE
CONSERVATORY IN A LITTLE
MEDIEVAL CASTLE
UP IN GUIMARAES,
AND SHE WAS THE
ONE WHO INVITED ME.
SHE RAN THE CONSERVATORY,
AND SHE WAS A PIANIST
AND PLAYED A LOT OF
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC,
SO SHE WAS VERY
MUCH WITH IT.
I THINK IT DEFINITELY
COULD BE INHIBITING.
AND I HAVE DONE A FEW
WORKSHOPS WITH CHILDREN
WHERE THE TEACHERS
CERTAINLY DO STAY,
AND IT IS INHIBITING
BECAUSE THEY'RE FOREVER
TELLING THEM TO STOP
MAKING A LOT OF NOISE,
AND STOP DOING THIS,
AND STOP DOING THAT.
YEAH, I THINK IT IS.
I PREFER WORKING JUST
WITH THE CHILDREN ALONE.

John says IS THERE A
LANGUAGE OF NEW MUSIC?

Diana says A LANGUAGE
OF NEW MUSIC?
I DON'T KNOW.

Jean-Jacques says I
WOULD SAY YES.

Diana says I GUESS
THERE IS.

Jean-Jacques says YES.

John says ARE WE UNCOMFORTABLE
WITH NEW MUSIC
BECAUSE WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
THE LANGUAGE OF NEW MUSIC?

Diana says YEAH,
THERE'S A LANGUAGE,
BUT IT'S SUCH
A WIDE VARIETY.
I MEAN, THERE'S
SUCH A WIDE VARIETY
OF NEW MUSIC.
OH, YES I THINK WE ARE
UNCOMFORTABLE BECAUSE
PEOPLE CAN'T UNDERSTAND
THE LANGUAGE.

Jean-Jacques says YES.
MORE AND MORE YOU GO
INSIDE THE WORLD
OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
YOU BECOME ABLE
TO MAKE
DIFFERENTIATIONS.
SOMEONE WHO IS NOT, WHO
DOESN'T KNOW TOO MUCH
ABOUT CLASSICAL MUSIC,
AT FIRST GLANCE
HE IS NOT GOING TO MAKE
DIFFERENTIATIONS
BETWEEN BACH, MOZART
AND BEETHOVEN,
ALTHOUGH WE KNOW
IT'S VERY DIFFERENT.
AND I AM SURE THAT LITTLE
BY LITTLE PEOPLE
CAN LEARN TO MAKE THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
BARTOK, VERDUN,
BERLIOZ,
AND STEVE REICH, YES.
BUT, OF COURSE, THERE IS
SOMEWHERE A BREAK BETWEEN
THE TONAL SYSTEM TO WHICH
WE HAVE BEEN ACCUSTOMED TO.
AND AFTER THE AGE OF
SIX, THE KIDS BECOME
ACCULTURATED TO THE TONAL
SYSTEM BEFORE IT IS TIME
TO EXPOSE THEM TO THE
NEW MUSIC BECAUSE
THEY ARE CAPABLE OF
UNDERSTANDING IT BETTER.
BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT
ACCUSTOMED TOO MUCH
TO THE TONAL LANGUAGE, SO
THEY ARE MUCH MORE OPEN
WHEN THEY ARE
VERY, VERY YOUNG.

Diana says THAT'S RIGHT.
THEN THEY ARE EXPOSED
TO THE COMMERCIALISM,
THE COMMERCIAL
POP WORLD.

John says BUT HOW WOULD
YOU TEACH NEW MUSIC?
IF YOU HAD AN
IDEAL SITUATION,
AND SOMEONE SAID,
HERE ARE...

Diana says VERY YOUNG
CHILDREN?

John says LET'S START WITH
YOUNG BECAUSE I THINK
WHAT YOU ARE SUGGESTING
IS MY NEXT QUESTION,
AND THAT IS WHAT'S THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEALING
WITH THE VERY YOUNG,
AND DEALING, LET'S SAY,
WITH THE GRADE NINES
AND GRADE TENS.
BUT LET'S START
WITH THE YOUNG.

Diana says WELL, THERE'S
CERTAINLY A BIG DIFFERENCE
IN TEACHING THE
VERY YOUNG WITH
THE NINES AND
TENS, FOR SURE.
BECAUSE AS JEAN-JACQUES
WAS SAYING,
THEY ARE OPEN
TO EVERYTHING.
IF I WAS STARTING TO
TEACH - FIRST OF ALL
I WOULD TEACH ONLY IN
A CLASS SITUATION
UNTIL I DISCOVERED THE
PARTICULAR FEW WHO REALLY
HAVE A TALENT FOR
MUSIC, THEN YOU COULD
WORK WITH THEM ON A
ONE-TO-ONE BASIS.
I THINK TOO MANY
CHILDREN ARE FORCED
INTO PRIVATE LESSONS
THAT SHOULDN'T BE.
THEY SHOULD BE WORKING
IN A CLASS SITUATION.
AS I SAY, I WOULD START
WITH THEM USING THEIR BODY
AND MOVEMENT TO ALL
KINDS OF DIFFERENT STYLES
OF MUSIC, INCLUDING LOTS
OF CONTEMPORARY STYLES.
FOLK STYLES AND
EVERYTHING,
AND THEN BIT BY BIT, START
TO PLAY THEM SPECIFIC
PIECES OF MUSIC, AND
HAVE THEM CLOSE TO
THE INSTRUMENTS SO THEY
WOULD EVENTUALLY START
TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN
DIFFERENT STYLES.

John says WHEN WOULD YOU START
COMPOSITION WITH THEM?

Diana says RIGHT AWAY.

John says MEANING AT AGE
FIVE, SIX, SEVEN?

Diana says ABSOLUTELY,
SURE.
NOT WRITTEN DOWN, BUT
COMPOSITION, ABSOLUTELY,
THEY'RE SO CREATIVE.
YES, AND I WOULD DO IT
USING THE SOUNDS
THEY CAN MAKE THEMSELVES
BEFORE THEY ARE
EVEN USING
INSTRUMENTS, I THINK.

Jean-Jacques says I HAVE A
FRIEND IN QUEBEC CITY
WHO MADE A VERY INTERESTING
COMPARISON BETWEEN
THE FACT A VERY YOUNG CHILD
IS ABLE TO MAKE MUSICAL
COMPOSITION THE SAME
WAY HE WOULD BE
MAKING A DRAWING,
YOU KNOW?
SO HE WAS GIVING
TO VERY YOUNG KIDS,
LITTLE TAPE RECORDERS,
LEARNING THEM HOW
TO DEAL WITH THE
MAGNETIC TAPES.
AND SO YOUNG PEOPLE
WERE ABLE TO COMPOSE
ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC PIECES
OF MUSIC AS THEY
WOULD HAVE BEEN DESIGNING,
DRAWING A MONKEY,
OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT, AND THEY ENJOY
TREMENDOUSLY BECAUSE THEY
CAN KEEP IMMEDIATELY
THE RESULT OF THEIR
COMPOSITION ON THE TAPE.

Diana says RIGHT, RIGHT.
ANOTHER THING I'VE
DONE WITH THE VERY
YOUNG CHILDREN, AS I
WAS EXPLAINING,
USING THEIR OWN SOUNDS
TO CREATE SOUNDSCAPES,
LITTLE PIECES OF MUSIC;
I WOULD HAVE A BIG
BLACKBOARD UP AND ASK THEM
TO DECIDE WHAT SYMBOL
THEY WOULD USE FOR
A PARTICULAR SOUND.
[pop]
THEY WOULD HAVE FOR A
PARTICULAR TYPE, AND WHOO!
THEY WOULD HAVE ANOTHER
TYPE, AND BRRR,
DECIDE ON THE SYMBOL, AND
THEN GO AND DRAW IT
ON THE BLACKBOARD,
SO THE BLACKBOARD
IS FULL OF SYMBOLS.
AND THEN ASK THEM IN TURN
IF THEY WOULD LIKE
TO TRY TO CREATE
A PIECE OF MUSIC
FROM THOSE SYMBOLS, AND
DECIDE HOW THEY WILL USE
THE REST OF THE CHILDREN,
HOW YOU'LL CONDUCT IT.
ASSIGN TO CERTAIN
CHILDREN CERTAIN SOUNDS,
OR HALF THE CLASS
THOSE SYMBOLS,
AND THE OTHER HALF
THOSE SYMBOLS,
AND IT GETS THEIR
IMAGINATION GOING,
THEIR CREATIVE IMAGINATION
GOING RIGHT AWAY DECIDING
HOW THEY WILL UTILIZE
THESE SYMBOLS
AND CREATE A
PIECE OF MUSIC.
SURPRISING WHAT THEY
CAN DO AT A YOUNG AGE.

Jean-Jacques says OH, YES.

John says LET ME ASK ABOUT
PERFORMANCE AS WELL.
ONE OF THE REASONS I FIND
NEW MUSIC FASCINATING
WHEN I THINK IN TERMS
OF YOU IS BECAUSE
YOU ARE A PERFORMER.
I GUESS THE TERM IS
PERFORMANCE ARTIST IN FACT.
WOULD YOU HAVE THE YOUNG
PEOPLE NOT ONLY COMPOSE
AND CREATE AND USE
THEIR TONGUES AND LIPS
AND SO ON, BUT WOULD
THEY PERFORM AS WELL?

Diana says YES.
OH, YES, OF
COURSE.
I THINK SO.

John says HAVE YOU SEEN
THAT IN OPERATION?
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN
KIDS DOING THIS?

Diana says YES.
BUT THE PARTICULAR
WORKSHOP I DID
WAS AT QUEEN'S
UNIVERSITY.
IT WAS INTERESTING.
THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL,
I WAS ASKED TO DO
A WORKSHOP, AND I WAS
GIVEN ABOUT 20 STUDENTS,
ABOUT HALF OF WHICH
WERE MUSIC STUDENTS,
AND THE OTHER HALF
WERE DRAMA STUDENTS.
NOW, I'D NEVER WORKED
WITH DRAMA STUDENTS.
AND I SAID OKAY, I
DID THE BUSINESS
WITH THE BLACKBOARD THINKING
UP SOUNDS AND SYMBOLS.
AND I SAID, NOW,
FIRST OF ALL,
I WANT TO CREATE
SOME SOUND PIECES
JUST USING THE SYMBOLS,
THEN AFTER THAT,
I WANT YOU TO USE MOVEMENT
AND MAKE IT THEATRICAL
AND BECOME
PERFORMANCE ART.
BECAUSE I KNOW
MUSIC STUDENTS
ARE VERY CONSERVATIVE,
VERY RESERVED,
BUT THERE WERE DRAMA
STUDENTS THERE,
AND IT ABSOLUTELY
FASCINATED ME.
BECAUSE ONCE I
GET THEM GOING,
AND I JUST SIT BACK
AND WATCH THEM DO IT,
RIGHT AWAY, BEFORE I EVEN
SAID GET INTO MOVEMENT
AND SO FORTH, THE
DRAMA STUDENTS
WERE VERY UNINHIBITED,
CRAWLING AROUND THE FLOOR
AND DOING ALL SORTS OF
STUFF WITH THE MUSIC
BEFORE I HAD EVEN
OPENED IT UP TO THAT,
AND THAT ENCOURAGED
THE MUSIC STUDENTS
TO DO THE SAME THING.

John says IT'S CREATIVITY
ON TWO FRONTS.

Diana says VERY, VERY.
I HAVEN'T DONE SO MUCH OF
THAT WITH YOUNG STUDENTS,
IT'S MOSTLY
BEEN THE SOUNDS.
BUT I SEE NO REASON WHY IT
WOULDN'T BE A PERFORMANCE
RIGHT OFF THE BAT IN
CHILDREN IN PARTICULAR.
THEY'RE VERY
UNINHIBITED.

John says IF WE FOCUS ON
THE NINES AND TENS,
THE YOUNG TEENAGERS,
THERE'S A GREAT DEAL
OF CONSERVATISM.
THEY WANT TO BE ADULTS,
AND THEY DON'T REALLY
KNOW HOW TO BE ADULTS.
SO CREATIVITY, I FOUND,
IS NOT SO EASY FOR THEM.
THE BOUNDS ARE THERE, AND
THEY DON'T WANT TO BREAK...
HOW DO WE BREAK
THROUGH THAT?

Diana says WELL, YOU HAVE TO
ENGAGE THEIR IMAGINATION.
ONCE THEY SEE
THEY ARE CREATIVE,
THEY HAVE AN IMAGINATION
TO DO THINGS,
THEN YOU'VE ENGAGED
THEIR INTERESTS.
DO YOU HAVE ANY
IDEAS ON THAT?
I THINK, I WOULD DO IT
PERSONALLY BECAUSE
THE KIND OF PERFORMANCES
I LIKE DOING USE,
AS YOU KNOW, NOT ONLY

MY BACKGROUND
IS A CLASSICAL PIANIST,
BUT NOT ONLY THE PIANO,
I LIKE TO PLAY A LOT
OF HAND PERCUSSION,
BUT PARTICULARLY USE
MY MOUTH AND VOICE
FOR SOUNDS.
SO PROBABLY WHAT I
WOULD DO IS PERFORM
A COUPLE OF PIECES USING
MY MOUTH AND VOICE,
AND SOMEHOW RIGHT AWAY
THAT IS EITHER SO
ASTONISHING TO THEM...

John says SHOCK THERAPY.

Diana says YEAH, PROBABLY.
THEY RIGHT AWAY, IT
KIND OF BREAKS DOWN
A CERTAIN BARRIER.
HOW WOULD YOU DO IT?

Jean-Jacques says WELL, I
HAVE PERSONALLY NO DIRECT
EXPERIENCE AT THAT LEVEL
BECAUSE I AM TEACHING
AT THE UNIVERSITY THE MAIN
THEORETICAL PRINCIPLES
ABOUT THE MUSICAL
SEMIOLOGY, SO...

John says MAY I JUST EXPLORE
ONE OTHER AREA WITH THIS,
JUST CHANGING
THE TOPIC.
YOU'VE BEEN IN TORONTO
FOR THE GLENN GOULD
CONFERENCE.
AND I KNOW PARTICULARLY,
JEAN-JACQUES,
YOU WERE SO INSTRUMENTAL
IN THE PUBLICATION
OF GLENN GOULD'S
COLLECTED LETTERS,
AND THE FRENCH EDITION
THAT'S BEEN OUT FROM PARIS,
GLENN GOULD
CORRESPONDENCE.
DID GOULD HAVE ANYTHING
TO SAY TO TEACHERS?

Jean-Jacques says WELL, I
THINK HE HAS SOMETHING
VERY IMPORTANT TO SAY
TO EVERY MUSICIAN.
WHAT STRIKES ME IN
THE KIND OF STUDENTS
I DO HAVE, COMING FROM
THE CEGEPS IN QUEBEC,
AND I KNOW THERE IS VERY
STRONGLY THIS CRITICISM
AMONG OTHER COLLEAGUES
IS THE FACT
A LOT OF STUDENTS ARE
TOO MUCH SPECIALIZED
IN ONE SPECIFIC AREA.
THEY ARE STARTING
STUDYING MUSIC,
AND THEY DON'T EVEN THINK
THAT IT COULD BE USEFUL
FOR THEM TO HAVE SOME
INTERESTS, LET'S SAY,
IN LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY,
SOCIOLOGY, AND SO ON.
AND I BELIEVE VERY
STRONGLY GLENN GOULD,
AS A GREAT
CANADIAN MUSICIAN,
IS A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE
OF ONE OF THE GREATEST
PIANISTS AND MUSICIAN
OF THIS CENTURY.
PRECISELY WHEN WE
STUDY WHAT HE DID,
NOT ONLY AS A PIANIST,
BUT AS A WRITER,
AS AN ESSAYIST, AS A
MAN OF COMMUNICATION,
AS SOMEONE WRITING
LETTERS IN A BEAUTIFUL
LITERARY STYLE
AND SO ON.
WHY WAS HE A
MUSICAL GENIUS?
HE WAS A MUSICAL
GENIUS ALSO BECAUSE
HE WAS A PHILOSOPHER.
HE WAS SOMEONE WHO HAD
VERY LARGE CULTURE.
HE WAS READING A LOT.
HE HAD NOT ONLY A
MUSICAL CULTURE,
HE WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS
THINKING ABOUT THE MUSIC.
HE WAS PROUD OF THINKING
ABOUT THE MUSIC,
AND THAT IT WAS NOT
SOMETHING YOU HAD TO REJECT
AND I THINK HE'S
A GREAT EXAMPLE
THAT IN ORDER TO BECOME
A GREAT MUSICIAN,
YOU HAVE ALSO
TO BE A THINKER.

John says DID HE GET THIS
BREADTH OF EXPERIENCE,
HOWEVER, IN THE
SCHOOLS?
OR DID HE GET IT
OUTSIDE THE SCHOOLS?

Jean-Jacques says THIS I
DON'T KNOW EXACTLY.
PROBABLY HE HAD AN
UNBELIEVABLE
PERSONAL CURIOSITY.
BUT IT'S STRIKING WHEN
YOU READ HIS ESSAYS,
WHEN HE'S TALKING ABOUT
STRAUSS OUR SCHOENBERG
OR BACH, THAT HE HAS
A KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT
WAS THE SCIENCE AT
THE TIME OF BACH.
HE HAD SOME IDEAS ABOUT
THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY
IN ORDER TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT IT IS
TO UNDERSTAND THE
MUSICAL HISTORY.

John says I GUESS I'M
ASKING THAT QUESTION,
JEAN-JACQUES, BECAUSE
WE COULD GIVE SOME
OF THE CREDIT TO
GLENN GOULD, I HOPE,
TO AN ONTARIO
SCHOOL SYSTEM.
NOW, YOU'RE FROM
MANITOBA, DIANA,
YOU'RE FROM QUEBEC.

Jean-Jacques says WELL, I
DON'T KNOW WHAT WAS
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN
ONTARIO AT THE TIME OF GOULD.
OBVIOUSLY, HE WAS
VERY WELL-EDUCATED.

Diana says HE MUST HAVE HAD
TEACHERS THAT GOT
THROUGH TO HIM AND
THAT WERE GOOD.

John says CAN I FLIP THAT
INTO THE PRESENT
AND ASK YOU FROM THE
MANITOBA PERSPECTIVE,
OR THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC,
AND YOU MAY NOT KNOW
THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
WELL ENOUGH TO COMMENT,
BUT I KNOW, DIANA, YOU'VE
DONE SOME WORK IN SCHOOLS.

Diana says YES, NOT A LOT.
I'M FROM ALBERTA.
IT CERTAINLY WASN'T, BACK
WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL,
THE ARTS WERE CERTAINLY
NOT PARTICULARLY PUSHED.
WE DIDN'T HAVE A LOT OF
STIMULATING TEACHERS
WORKING IN THOSE AREAS.
AND I REALLY DON'T
KNOW MUCH ABOUT
THE EDUCATIONAL
SYSTEM IN MANITOBA.
BUT I DON'T KNOW, I
REALLY DON'T KNOW
ENOUGH ABOUT IT.

John says YOU DON'T HAVE
A SENSE THERE'S
A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A MANITOBA SYSTEM
AND AN ONTARIO SYSTEM,
OR IN YOUR CASE QUEBEC?

Diana says NO, I DON'T THINK
I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
I THINK IT'S
VARIABLE.
THERE IS A LOT OF GOOD
TEACHING GOING ON
IN WINNIPEG FROM
WHAT I HEAR,
AND WHAT I SEE
OCCASIONALLY.
BUT I DON'T KNOW
THE COMPARISON,
NO, I REALLY DON'T.

John says JEAN-JACQUES,
IN QUEBEC,
THE TEACHING OF
MUSIC IN QUEBEC?

Jean-Jacques says WELL, IT
IS TAUGHT LESS AND LESS
AT THE PRIMARY AND
SECONDARY SCHOOL.
THIS IS A REAL SHAME.
SECOND, I WOULD SAY
WHEN IT IS TAUGHT,
OR WHEN YOU REACH THE
LEVEL OF UNIVERSITY,
IT IS HIGHLY IMPORTANT
IN MY OPINION
NOT TO ISOLATE THE
MUSICAL EDUCATION
FROM THE OTHER
AREAS OF EDUCATION.
THAT'S WHY I WAS QUOTING
GOULD AS AN EXAMPLE.

Diana says I AGREE.
SORRY, I WAS GOING TO
SAY I AGREE WITH THAT.
YOU WERE ASKING ABOUT
HOW WE WOULD TEACH
GRADE NINE AND TEN'S,
AND THAT'S TRUE,
I THINK ANOTHER WAY I
MIGHT WORK WITH THEM
IS THROUGH ANOTHER ART
WITH A CONTEMPORARY DRAMA,
CONTEMPORARY VISUAL
ART, AND APPROACH
THE CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
THROUGH THESE OTHER ARTS.
COMBINE THEM.
I CERTAINLY AGREE IT
SHOULDN'T BE ISOLATED.

John says WE'VE HIT ON SO
MANY DIFFERENT TOPICS.
WE'VE TALKED ABOUT MUSIC
FOR CROSS FERTILIZATION
IN OUR OWN COUNTRY, TO
GET TO KNOW ANOTHER
AREA OF THE COUNTRY.
WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THE
LANGUAGE OF NEW MUSIC
AND THE POTENTIAL
CREATIVITY THERE.
IT'S BEEN AN
INCREDIBLE HALF HOUR,
AND I THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR BEING HERE
WITH US ON THIS.

Diana says VERY ENJOYABLE.

John says IT'S BEEN A
WONDERFUL PERFORMANCE,
FOR OURSELVES,
I THINK, TODAY.

Jean-Jacques says
THANK YOU.

John says OUR PROGRAM
IS BASED ON IDEAS
THAT WE RECEIVE
FROM TEACHERS.
AND WE WOULD WELCOME YOUR
COMMUNICATING WITH US.
PLEASE WRITE TO US AT...

A striped blue slate pops up that shows the TVO Daytime logo and reads "TVO Daytime. Box 200, Station Q. Toronto, Ontario. M4T 2T1. Phone: 416-484-2866. Fax: 416-484-4742."

John continues THAT FAX MACHINE
IS WAITING,
AND SO IS THE ANSWER
MACHINE ON THE TELEPHONE,
SO DO COMMUNICATE
WITH US, PLEASE.
MY THANKS TO
DIANA McINTOSH,
TO JEAN-JACQUES
NATTIEZ.
PLEASE JOIN US AGAIN
FOR ANOTHER PROGRAM
IN THIS SERIES.
MY NAME IS JOHN MILLER.
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING
TEACHING MUSIC.

Classical piano music plays as the end credits roll.

Theme music, Glenn Gould, Piano. Courtesy Sony Classical.

A production of TVOntario.

Copyright 1992, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Jean-Jacques Nattiez and Diana McIntosh