On Guitar Technique and Musical Interpretation: A Conversation With John Williams

Interview by Chris Kilvington and Colin Cooper | From the January and February 1990 issues of Classical Guitar

Chris Kilvington: Do you think there’s any mileage in the idea of running a masterclass on television?

John Williams: Well, I don’t like masterclasses in that way. But with a group of very talented students, I think one could have a very interesting class—not that I could teach them anything, apart from one or two tips I could pass on, but because of the way I do classes, and the fact that normally, as everyone knows by now, I don’t teach individual lessons at all. Nor do I take anyone privately at the colleges; only ensemble.

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Occasionally, I must say, in exceptional circumstances, if Gordon Crosskey wants me to hear someone, I will. But with exceptional students, I could do a TV masterclass which would be along the lines I did the last time I was in Córdoba, as I do at Manchester and London. It surprises them and it takes them a couple of days to get used to. Because I involve everyone in the discussion, and I don’t tell people what to do, I don’t just say, you know, that this should be fingered with this finger, and this should be a little bit more rubato and a little bit up there, so I get people coming up to me afterwards and saying “X played this piece completely differently from that record of yours, but you didn’t say anything”—and I have to go into a whole explanation of why there are different ways of playing a piece, and if it’s successful or expressive in its own way, then that’s fine. If it’s not, if it’s doing nothing by not having any shape, if it’s not conveying any kind of expression, then obviously it would be my job to try and initiate some kind of suggestion. But I think that should be a matter for the class to discuss.

I believe in a class becoming involved actively and critically, and I always start off with that fact whenever I’m taking one-off classes on tour, such as in Australia. The only time I will include individual playing is on these visits and you’re doing one-offs, and people who’ve got a solo or something like that expect to be able to play it and to have your comments. I always make it quite clear at the beginning of a class, when I say, “Right, now, when you’ve finished playing this piece, first of all I want us, the class, to know what you were trying to do, what you felt about the piece.” I then want to hear anyone else in this class—because sometimes there are a hundred people there. I want to hear suggestions from all the other players. I don’t want them all hanging on my words: “Mr. J. W. Goody­Goody is going to tell you how to play it”—I don’t want any of that at all. None! I want to see a discussion, what justification they can give for the feelings they had about the piece. No matter if they felt that someone played something out of style: did they like it? Did they enjoy it, did they have an emotional response to it? Plus or minus, negative or positive.

To the person who’s played I also say, “Now, don’t go and feel nervous; we’re all going to lay into you when you’ve finished, but the good news is that when someone else is playing, you can do the same.” You’d be surprised at how people relax. When they’re playing to the “big teacher,” people don’t play their best; they’re so nervous, it’s an emotional thing. The mistakes don’t matter; but they also inhibit the expression of what they’re doing, and they’re never going to give a good show. Even more on television. I’m completely against television masterclasses being done in that way—because the student is at a disadvantage.

There are many occasions on other instruments—not the guitar—where they’ve had teachers who can’t play as well as the students. But they can always make the students play, and then the teacher can come and play the easy bits, and make a nice tone for five minutes. A degree of that happens in masterclasses.

Honesty, and absolutely nothing else, forces me, having said it once, to repeat it now: this was one of the old styles of teaching which Segovia did. I get fired at for being disloyal to Segovia, but you have to be honest in terms of what we, I if you like, think of that kind of teaching whereby the student in front of other students is nervous, where the atmosphere is in a way almost designed to make them nervous. It’s not deliberate, but a convention has built up which puts the student in an inferior position, and the student doesn’t really learn; the student, after years of a reasonable amount of brain­washing in that style, will obviously by imitation take on a lot of the good things of a great musician like Segovia. Of course they will; but whether that is in place of some real learning that they might otherwise have done—that is the question.

The great thing about classes is that it is easier to bring people out of themselves.

That’s a problem I had at college in the early years, back in the sixties. I didn’t quite know how to cope with it then, because I at that time was fitting the mould of what was expected of a teacher, certainly a teacher at an institution like the Royal College of Music, where it was the responsibility of teachers to tell. We can use the word educate and help, but it boiled down to telling someone how to do it.

I don’t chicken out of responsibility where I can help; there’s no question of that. It’s a question of the way you do it. And in those days I found it very difficult, because it requires, on a one-to-one basis, more effort for the student, and a lot of students don’t like it. You’re back to authoritarianism and all that sort of thing, and unfortunately, a lot of people like it.

The great thing about classes is that it is easier to bring people out of themselves. Because they’re not only faced with you; in fact you’re negating yourself as a teacher. They can come out of themselves on an equal basis with the other students. I think that is the critical thing. And that is why classes are infinitely better than one-to-ones, excluding circumstances where there may be a particular student who has special needs.

CK: This one-to-one business: no matter how much the student may want to give a performance, it’s difficult to perform for that one person, isn’t it? But put 20 people around you, and it’s inevitable: human experience is to play for everybody, and then the performance will be different.

I usually start these classes of mine, which are fundamentally the same as yours, with the same principle in mind—I kick off with an hour and a half of ensemble playing, put them through it, establish some really firm musical principles, be a bit rough with them, but at the end of all that it’s going to be a cathartic experience. They’ve got a group unity, everybody’s had a play, everybody’s loosened up, then we start doing the solo work. Could that work for you, or are people expecting The Masterclass?

That’s terrific! I wish that was done all the time everywhere. It’s actually what happened increasingly in Córdoba. In the first couple of years we didn’t refuse to do any individual teaching. But I like to hear a discussion about it from all the other students, and I will sometimes keep out of it entirely. When I do contribute it’s basically to say that it can be played in a different way. I don’t mean that I never say that I think something is (A) not successful, and even (B) wrong.

I’ll give two examples. One was a French girl who played Mallorca, and another was when someone played some Bach. The Bach was wonderful, just full of expression. But it was completely out of style. You can say, from the point of view of stylistic things, it was wrong, quite clearly wrong; it took no account of inégal or double-dotting and all that it was supposed to have—but it was fantastic! I said that—and the discussion went on for an hour and a half, with everyone contributing. I contributed, but only as a sort of catalyst, and finally I said to the player: “Well, I’ve got to say that I’ve supported you, and I thought it was lovely. But there is another view of this piece, which is based on the stylistic view. It was written in this style because it expressed a certain kind of movement, of emphasis, which you may or may not like but I have to point this out. And I actually prefer it. I find that the structure of the piece, the strength of its communication, is stronger, it fits in more with the notes as they are than the way you’re doing it.”

Then my question would be: “Have you done this in any other piece?” To make sure that they’ve had the experience of what a declamatory, double-dotted feel is, and having made sure that they do, I say, “Well, maybe you hadn’t thought of it like that, or maybe you want to go on playing as you’ve been playing it. In which case—fine!”

That’s what some students and some people don’t understand. Having done all that, the student might still say, “Well, I really like it the way I’m playing it.” That’s great! Now if they’re playing it in entire ignorance, they don’t know about the declamatory style or double-dotting and are just playing it in a sort of airy-fairy musical way which they thought was quite nice, and maybe it was quite nice, but without any idea of the importance of the piece and not because they had a very strong emotional idea that they liked it like that, then I’ll say, “Well, you really need to think about what you’re doing in music. Are you trying to explore something, or are you just playing something reasonably nicely because there are a lot of pretty notes? Are you just playing this because the guitar’s a nice instrument? Bach is about more than that.” I’ll weigh in very heavy on those occasions. But I won’t if I think there’s a shared feeling in the class that it’s very important to this person to play it like that.

With Bach it’s a question of style. You can take something completely opposite—the French girl who played Mallorca. It was very expressive, beautiful, absolutely lovely. In that case you couldn’t say it was wrong in any way, but there was still something that might be useful to say, in terms of how the piece might be better. I felt that she was doing so much rubato that she hadn’t conveyed the barcarolle 6/8 rhythm in Mallorca, which is lovely. I said it might be something that I could leave with her, because she obviously played it so expressively that she feels something, therefore there’s no point in saying “play it differently.” As long as she can go away with some ideas as to how it could perhaps be better. But don’t, for example, think that by playing something more in rhythm, e.g. a barcarolle rhythm, that it becomes less expressive. There’s a sort of idea, especially on guitar, that rubato equals expressiveness. I said, “Don’t disregard that possibility. Have you thought about the middle section? Do you know Majorca?” It so happened she didn’t. I told her how beautiful it was, in the middle of this wonderful blue Mediterranean. When you come to the major section, you’ve got this mystery of a partly Basque, Arabic, French, Spanish island with the mallorquín language and all these different elements that I feel in this simple and mysterious barcarolle section at the beginning. The middle major section quite simply feels to me like a lovely peaceful jewel of an island in a calm sea—it just comes in like that. And it builds because it’s such a wonderful piece; it builds emotionally. That’s why I play it the way I do. That’s all that needs to be said.

CK: Do you tend to rely on imagery a lot in your own playing?

Only sometimes. I can’t think of many pieces. Impressionist pieces like the Albéniz—definitely. Absolutely. But I don’t start from that. You justify it later!


CK: The last time we spoke, you were talking about your experiences with ensemble playing at the Royal Northern College of Music. I’d be interested to know what’s been happening.

The students in Manchester under Gordon Crosskey got themselves extremely well organised very quickly after I first suggested it. I still go up there once a term. I have in fact missed a couple of terms. I’m going up in December, so there is no question of lack of interest, either on my part or on theirs—in fact the reverse.

London is the same. I mentioned it to both Charles Ramirez and the students at the RCM, and they’ve all taken to it absolutely immediately. I haven’t been there since the beginning of this year; I’ve been too busy at the wrong time.

The whole teaching and standard of things and activity seems to me constantly improving.

One of the reasons that I’ve not worried too much that I haven’t been that regular is because it’s going so well. The first two or three years since we started it, they took to it so well and quickly and they were so evidently and obviously able to continue on their own that I didn’t feel “Oh God, this all depends on JW turning up.” So half the achievement is that I don’t feel at all worried. I just feel, like this year, a little bit disappointed in not being able to get up there myself. I’m going to rectify that, just for my own benefit—not that they need it!

I don’t think Paco (Peña) would mind my saying this, but when I was, in a way, “growing out” of how I’d been teaching in Córdoba, and finally deciding that ensemble teaching was almost an exclusive priority, he’d said, “But go on! If you feel it’s so important, you do it.” I said that obviously I would, to start with. He said, “More than to start with; you must do it.” But the whole point of something like this is that it grows. My own, and I think everyone’s, ideal kind of teaching is guiding people to teach themselves.

So the best thing possible would be, in a way, that I would become dispensable. But of course I’ll continue out of interest.

I think that’s what’s happened. And the fact that I’ve just been a bad attender this year is irrelevant. Gordon is doing it with a slightly different accent and emphasis in Manchester to what they were doing in London, but I found in both cases, perhaps more in London, that the students perhaps were working on their own a little bit more. But those are details.


I’d started off at the Royal College in London with the Haydn quartet, one that I knew was really good for people starting off, and some of the Anthony Holborne dances. After one term they were coming back, groups of them, having sorted out some Haydn trios or another Haydn quartet—and a Mozart quartet: they did the D minor, one of the really dramatic ones (K421), which I thought, would have been ridiculous. But it worked fantastically.

So that was an immediate example of how inevitable the whole idea was. It just shows you. It was just waiting to go somewhere.

My general impression is that at all levels, whether it’s a Mozart or a Haydn or whatever it is, the whole teaching and standard of things and activity seems to me constantly improving.

Improving sounds a rather sober word for it. And I find this very irrelevant to the so-called—and I choose that word very carefully—the so-called drop or lack in enthusiasm for guitar concerts and that sort of thing, which I think is a completely misunderstood phenomenon. But that’s another subject, even though they are linked. I genuinely found it terrific. I get emotionally quite enthusiastic about it; it’s just the feel. Maybe it’s something to do with my age!

COLIN COOPER: One meets people who still maintain that they get nothing at all from their guitar professors. Do you find students who expect everything to be handed to them on a plate? Or are they all outgoing and determined to make the best of their time at college?

I’m not in touch enough with the day-to-day life of the students. My impression, in both the ones I go to, is that overall they’re very different from a generation of students ago. They seem to me more involved in what they’re doing. And quite realistic. There was one very good chap at the Royal College of Music last year or the year before, one of the best there, who in fact had a sober look at all the prospects, and went off to work in insurance in the City. And just be an amateur. One’s first reaction is “Oh, what a shame!,” but looking at the positive aspects, he’s got his life sorted out.

I think there is one sort of pocket where there are odd guitar students—not so many as there were ten years ago—who are actually not musical at all. There are more of those on the guitar than there are on any other instrument. That’s not to do with our bad sight-reading, our age-old problem, which is improving as we speak. But I think the reason is to do with the nature of the technique. It’s perhaps an idea to consider. One of the reasons I’ve thought of it is that technique is very much a “study” technique—you know, all fingers and scales and arpeggios. The guitar is more than most instruments lacking in natural rhythm. The older instrumental styles, including the lute, all had a natural movement in the technique, where there was not only a lot of strumming—used all the time in the Renaissance—or with the thumb down and finger up for single-note passages. It was the equivalent to stringed instruments where you have an up and down bow. You try and make the tone even, but there is a natural rhythm inherent in the physical structure.

The classical technique doesn’t take account of any rhythmical nature in the music. So it’s possible for people to learn the guitar technically and intellectually quite well without actually having a feel for it.

On the modern guitar we don’t have that. In fact, our studying avoids it. The classical technique doesn’t take account of any rhythmical nature, in the popular sense, in the music. So it’s possible for people to learn the guitar technically and intellectually quite well without actually having a feel for it.

That happens in all instruments to some degree, but I get the feeling that it happens more on guitar than on other instruments.

CK: This may correlate with what we’re talking about. Primarily people come to the guitar and are taught in the first and second positions, 19th century studies if you like. I really believe that from the word go, in addition to all that, theory should be taught right in the top part of the fingerboard, say from the 9th to the 12th fret. Technique comes ‘round better, frets are closer, tonalities are different

Hector Quine always used to say this. When he started setting the Associated Board Grading exams, years ago. Fifth position for Grade I, he used to say!

CK: I think the technique develops better there. It’s easier to play better there. At the same time you have the opportunity to phrase a little more. Down there, on the big frets, you’re inevitably stuck with the C chord, you’re twisted across the fingerboard after lesson three, and so on. I don’t think anybody’s phrasing; they’re just making notes. Or making an F and a G and big stretches that people can’t make, and fingers collapsing and so on. Up here, these things don’t happen. There are one or two disadvantages, but a lot of good things happen providing you stick to single-line notes and don’t try to make intricate little campanela chords. Students start phrasing and using vibrato very early on; it’s not as difficult to do as people say.

Perhaps it may relate, because if you’re free high up here, on single notes, then perhaps the right hand might move more rhythmically.

I’m certain it would connect to it, in the sense that it would make the rhythm easier to get. But it’s really conjecture, I haven’t thought it through enough, it’s a feeling from vague observation. It’s the very nature of the movement itself. Alternating two fingers of uneven length, crossing strings, etc.

CK: You’re relating now to something like scales, which are obviously at the root of it all. I can see how they may be a very functional thing and not rhythmic.

But they should be!

CK: But something like tremolo can be very rhythmic. Or rasgueado

Immediately, you’re coming to an idiosyncratic thing on the guitar, tremolo; and a popular style in rasgueado. That’s why I said “popular.” Rasgueado equates with that—the whole hand becomes rhythmic.

CK: The book of music can’t be reduced to scales, all the same.

But the single-note and the strum are such basic things in music…

CK: You know how people can phrase beautifully with the left hand. I wonder if those people who sing don’t also sing with their right hand? Isn’t there something to do with the movement here?

I absolutely agree. I’m going to the nature of the thing, which we have to get at—between the two hands, doing exactly what you’re saying. But, in a way, I suppose I’m conjecturing as to whether we’re “fighting” nature in the way we’re doing it; not only in the way we’re learning or teaching or being taught, but in the very fact that we are playing scales with the first and second fingers, and not with thumb and finger.

What I find fascinating is that the whole school of inégal playing—and I’m talking now about keyboard technique, not what the dance steps were or what kind of inégals and all that—the whole technical thing on keyboard is derived from 15th and 16th century French guitar playing, popular guitar playing, where all those dances were played on plucked gut strings—before there were keyboards! That’s where they derived from. All those French courantes and gigues were played on gut strings and bowed instruments before there was ever a keyboard.

The problem with a keyboard was even worse than with a modern piano in that every note was even; not only was the technique even, but the notes were too. Gradually, over the years, we have been unearthing all these treatises telling you how to play an inégal. To a guitar player of the period, it would have been entirely unnecessary—because it comes out naturally inégal, naturally unequally. They had the strumming too—and of course the keyboard can’t do the strumming at all. I find this very interesting in the wider sense of looking at our overall modern technique.

I’m not suggesting we can change it easily or entirely, because it has other elements that come into it. But just in terms of the inbuilt, natural rhythm of the movement, how we can control it and teach it—it’s a thing to bear in mind.

Incidentally, of course I think that musically it’s very important, because it shows how absolutely sterile this whole argument is as to what is inégal and what is a double-dot, as if you can measure it in microseconds. lnégal develops from the technical nature of the instrument, and depends on what instruments of the period were playing it. Music was played on a wide variety of instruments, some of which could do good inégals easily—even unavoidably!—and some of which couldn’t. The subject has become a bit of an academic farce! So-called “double-dotting” is entirely different, and to do with musical style: personally, I think the term is misleading—a dot is a dot is a dot! As we know now, until around 1800 a dot implied a dotted rhythm of some sort; double dots were never used or even thought of.

One thing I think is useful for us is really working out and understanding how the notes are grouped together, say in a Bach courante, and simulating the kind of phrasing that a natural inégal technique would do—but with our ordinary technique. To do that, it’s quite good for people to practise scales with non-apoyando, with tirando—which my dad always used to call “surface picking”—so as to have that flexibility. For example, the Courante of the 3rd Lute Suite—the same as the cello 5th Suite—which I recorded in 1975 (CBS 79203) when I did all the lute suites. I started doing all this with Rafael Puyana back in 1960. I got all his notes—I found them the other day—which he did for his harpsichord class in Santiago de Compostela. So interesting! All the original writings from the French keyboard players. Really fascinating. I remember quite clearly, back in ‘64, doing the 4th Lute Suite and playing the Loure as a dance, which it should be—that sounds very emphatic of me, but it should be a slow two in a bar really, though it’s often played as six.

But I remember playing it with that rhythm and getting comments—”unaccountably unrhythmic in the Loure.” Because if you listen to certain emphases in a different context, of course it will sound unrhythmic: it depends also on how you listen. But this courante (in the 3rd Lute Suite) is a particular example because it’s technically so awkward to get right with our modern technique. The phrases seem to go across the actual musical feel—the little groups of notes, and whether they’re slurred or not, become very important to the feel of the piece. It took me ages to work out that particular courante.

Another one is the Courante in the First Lute Suite. In this, it’s very difficult to do an inégal which is not a double dot, which is an entirely different thing.

Those “rules” of a generation ago: on the one hand, students would say to me, “We’ve learnt all these rules, and you’re saying it doesn’t matter if no one obeys them. So tell us, what do you mean exactly?” Then I had to think about it. I knew exactly what I meant, but the way of communicating it was the problem. I suddenly realised how to put it. All these habits or so-called rules are things that you may do in order to express the rhythm—that are there as a part of the idiom. But you don’t have to do them; they’re not things that have to be done, they are things where the nature of the music probably entails doing them in order to express itself.

CC: Do you think that the early music people are tending to turn music into a museum piece rather than a living organism?

Not at all! Not at all! Absolutely not. I feel, looking back at the Early Music revival in its early days, both on the keyboard and in terms of the ensembles—I’m thinking back a generation or so—a lot of these rules were so academic and they were so rigidly applied. You know, every time you saw a dot, it had to be double, and every time you saw what was supposed to be an inégal, you used to dot that, which is an entirely different thing.

It was in danger of putting music of that period into a museum. Maybe that was a necessary thing to go through. On the contrary, the whole early music thing now has, I think, filtered up into our awareness of rhythm and expression, right the way through. Everybody is aware of the timbre of old instruments. There will still be preferences and discussions: do you like, for example, fiddle sound without any vibrato? Or is it a question of “how much no vibrato?”—you know? A little bit—or a lot?

Intellectually, and out of academic interest, I’m interested in what’s right or wrong, but that’s not the reason I like it.

Which is fine. In some pieces I find some people still apply the so-called old style so rigidly that I think it sounds like, in the old bad joke, a tape being played backwards. But that’s only the way some people do it. The thing itself, and the life it’s brought to music, is wonderful! And what about Roger Norrington’s Beethoven symphonies? They’re absolutely electric!

CC: What do you do if an early music person says in categorical terms “this is wrong?”

I don’t care! The reason I like old music played in the right style is not because it’s “right”; I just like it! I think it sounds better. It sounds more articulated, it sounds more lively, it’s more expressive, more earthy. Renaissance music played in that way is real, sensual, earthy stuff. It shouldn’t sound all gluey and indulgent, as if somebody’s poured a pot of molasses over it.

Intellectually, and out of academic interest, I’m interested in what’s right or wrong, but that’s not the reason I like it.

CC: Your phrase about “how much no vibrato?” raises one or two questions. Can you believe that there was no vibrato 300 years ago?

It’s an interesting subject on its own. I find it impossible to believe. But you see, as when I say that I don’t care whether it’s right or wrong—this would be another example—if it sounds right with none or practically none, if it sounds nice and if I like it, it’s irrelevant. Who knows? There must have been some people who liked to put in a bit of vibrato. But perhaps not with the sort of continual emphasis that we put on it.

CC: The lack of it sounds refreshing to us because we’ve had so much of it for so long. It’s a kind of reaction to it, in one way. But the rules are laid down now.

I don’t know how rigidly those rules are applied, actually. They tend to put bits of vibrato in for expression. I’m not sure about this, but I don’t think those rules are so rigidly adhered to. All I would say is that, even if, in those days, they never did any vibrato, it still doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t do it. I’m not concerned with the right or wrong of it. The reason that a Bach or Vivaldi fiddle concerto with typical modern strings and typical modern vibrato sounds all wrong, however beautifully played by the individuals, is not because we happen to know that it wasn’t done like that, but that it just sounds gluey and not articulated properly. Maybe if someone had thought of it in 1600, they would have said “Wow! This vibrato is great!.” But not like a modern vibrato; it’s clear to me that they wouldn’t have done a modern vibrato, because it obviously sounds wrong.

CK: Vibrato is a changing of pitch, and it’s a personal expression. How you choose to use it and where you choose to use it are subjective things. Maybe when people sang the old motets, they sang, purely and simply, those clean lines, and didn’t choose to influence the whole thing with vibrato. We find it difficult to believe because it’s been part and parcel of our musical lives.

As an example of what you’re saying, take Bach’s E major fiddle concerto, with the wonderful slow movement: it’s got the first fiddle note on a G sharp over a few bars. Now, given that all those books were published for fiddle playing on decorations and improvising, and all the things on the harpsichord on how to sustain a note with trills—if they felt it was necessary, which expressively it obviously is, to fill in the trill or decoration—how come Bach writes a note for four bars? Would he have assumed it was meant to be made without any movement of the finger? It seems to me an unnatural supposition; there must have been some kind of vibrato. But whether they viewed it as important enough to write about in the way we do—I agree with you. But in the end it’s a question of what sounds best.

CK: That’s what makes it half right anyway. The lines of a fugue do become muddied by a lot of vibrato. If you’re teaching a class and perhaps raising a number of points for discussion, do you find sometimes that a student will stand up and say “No, I don’t agree with you?” Or do people tend, in their own way, to take on board what you have to say?

There is the odd student who will say that when you’ve said something. Maybe that’s played its part in making me far less critical of students!

What’s difficult, and this is always a problem, is where is the line, and who is going to make this judgement? Whether it’s right or not, whether there’s reason for it. And quite often it’s happened like that: “I like it like that, and I don’t feel it the way you’ve been saying.” And generally I’ve found, with one or two exceptions, that when people feel strongly enough to say it, especially if it’s in a class, there’s been something going for it. And I’ve usually come to terms with that immediately and said “OK, as long as you understand that.” And I have had one or two cases where I’ve not been pleased to the extent that I haven’t felt that they really understand the alternatives, they’re so intent on doing it.

So on those occasions I’ve had to insist, not on making them play differently—of course not—but explaining and saying to them: “I hope you understand this,” so that they’ve gone away to think about it. It’s been actually their positiveness that in the end has sparked a good reaction from me. In the end it’s been a very good thing.

There have been one or two occasions where you get eccentrics who, in a funny sort of way, are also talented, but they’re completely eccentric, and they have a view—and this I don’t understand—a view of the music which is pure fantasy. And not in a good sense—it’s just plainly nothing to do with what the music is about! No one wants to spell it out and prove it; it’s not that important. But you feel like saying, “Well, if you don’t feel it like it obviously is, thank you for playing—but we’re obviously speaking a different language!’