He also discusses the limitations on musical notation. As an assignment for a class I am in with Dr. Evans (Analysis Toward Performance), I had to transcribe a sentence into musical notation, while paying particular attention to rhythms and speech contours. I found it quite difficult to find an accurate way to capture the rhythm of my actual speech. We don't think about note patterns or durations or whether or not we speak in triplets when we are having a conversation or reading aloud. I feel like this is how creating music is for some composers, at least to start. I am no composer, and would even go so far as to say I have an aversion to attempting to write music form scratch. I think part of that has to do with the challenge of writing it down.
It is interesting to think about the composer vs the performer. A composer has to deal with the charge of writing their pieces out and differentiating between a quarter or an eight note... trying to find the exact notation to document their ideas. While we as performers are challenged with interpreting the language on the page, trying to get into the composers mind, and get the music into out own head. The music takes the path out of one's brain, to a paper, from the paper, and into another's brain. I had never really thought about music in that direct way.
Does this mean singer/songwriters have an advantage? Do composers who perform their own music trump those who don't have to overcome that boundary of notation? What does it mean if you love to perform the music of others, but never want to come up with your own?