Western art music is a tradition and a language, and like all such languages it carries with it a certain "dialect" that is almost impossible for a non European to become accustomed to. It requires being raised in an environment where these musical manerisms are constantly heard, and then following it up with years of conservatory training to pull it off convincingly. Playing Mozart without studying and knowing these dialectical traditions is like trying to speak english without knowing how to conjugate verbs. Foreigners playing European music are already at a disadvantage de-facto in this regard. It's not the music they were born and raised with.
The Socratic Method:
Is it possible to convincingly play a piece of European classical music if one is not a European by birth?No, Socrates. That is impossible.
What makes it impossible?Western art is a tradition and a language, Socrates. You of all people should know this.
By your saying that all Western art should be considered a language, are you also implying that the rules of linguistics apply to all art?I would say so.
And what rules, in particular, apply both to spoken language and to music?Dialect, for starters.
So, is it reasonable to say that stylistic touches, personal impositions -- that these are analogous to vocal colloquialisms?Yes, that is reasonable.
Would you, then, concede that an Asian immigrant can learn not only English but also English colloquialisms?Only a fool would argue otherwise.
So, according to your own argument, an Asian can also learn the stylistic touches which Europeans universally apply to their music.I'm not following you.
I'm just trying to understand your position better. Is it conceivable for an Asian immigrant to learn to play a piece of European music in the same manner that an actual European plays it?No.
What, specifically, prevents them from being able to do this?They're not raised in the proper environment for it, of course. Asians aren't brought up around classical music; they don't understand the underlying minutiae of the pieces, as it requires years of training in conservatories to be able to accomplish such a feat! It's analogous to speaking English without knowing how to conjugate verbs.
And can Asian immigrants learn how to conjugate verbs?Anyone with dedication can.
Then why cannot they learn to play European music with the same stylistic touches?Well, perhaps they can, but they don't feel it in themselves; they lack the European spirit which makes renditions of these pieces so sublime.
Ah, but lacking the ability to experience the music as they do, can you be certain?No, I suppose not. But actually playing the music correctly still requires the proper environment!
And are all Europeans brought up around classical music?No.
Then can we reasonably conclude that not all Europeans are able to play classical music -- let alone correctly?Well, most people don't pay any mind to classical music these days, so of course they wouldn't be able to play it. The point is that more Europeans are brought up in such environments than Asians.
Then some Asians are brought up in similarly musical conditions?