Jan 18, 2012

There Are No Mistakes on the Bandstand

In my journal "A Baby Starts Learning Language From When They Are In Their Mother's Womb" I wrote about TED, which offer lectures on a wide range of topics on the Internet. I'd like to write a new journal about another TED lectures.

In this lecture, Stefon Harris, who is a jazz vibraphone player, talked about "mistakes" in Jazz music and actually played some examples of "mistakes".

I didn't know the name of Stefon Harris before, but it was enough fun to listen to his music and his lecture was more interesting.

He said, "There are no mistakes on the bandstand". In fact there is the notes that the audience interprets as a mistake. He played such a mistake. But at the same time he said that every mistake was an opportunity for jazz music.

What is different between just a mistake and an opportunity? He explained that if other band members ignore it, the note would be just a mistake. But if the other players responded to it, the note would be a new music. And then they actually prove it with their playing the nice music.

I think that his words are deeply meaningful for us. Why is a mistake a mistake? Because people think that it is one. If people don't think that it is a mistake, it will not be a mistake.

When we live in our everyday lives, it isn't efficient for us to doubt if every mistake is really a mistake. But sometimes we should think radically and deeply if a mistake is a mistake or not.

Efficiency often conflicts with creativity. Stefon Harris is always trying to be creative when he plays jazz music, so he said, "There are no mistakes on the bandstand".

I'm likely to say, "It's a mistake!" But now, before I say that, I'll give it some though.

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