What is Musicality?

Hello fellow music lovers,

I am upgrading my system like a lot of us who follow Audiogon. I read a lot about musicality on Audiogon as though the search for musicality can ultimately end by acquiring the perfect music system -- or the best system that one can afford. I really appreciate the sonic improvements that new components, cables, plugs and tweaks are bringing to my own system. But ultimately a lot of musicality comes from within and not from without. I probably appreciated my Rocket Radio and my first transistor radio in the 1950s as much I do my high-end system in 2010. Appreciating good music is not only a matter of how good your equipment is. It is a measure of how musical a person you are. Most people appreciate good music but some people are born more musical than others and appreciate singing in the shower as much as they do listening to a high-end system or playing a musical instrument or attending a concert. Music begins in the soul. It is not only a function of how good a system you have.


Yes! And not to forget Art Tatum.

If you look up Monk's Youtubes you can have a look.The explanation about how he developed his unique style came from his wife -- related to his short fingers. On the other hand, some people who witnessed Monk playing say he was capable of playing with lightning speed.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me, that Monk was more interested in chord structure and chord changes, which he hammered out with aplomb, whereby his timing often made for a desired tension between his playing and his rythm section. An effect which to me always seemed an essential part of his "musicality".
Yes, he could be very fast indeed, but when he was, to me he did not seem to care much for his phrasing usually. As I said, to my understanding his emphasys were on his timing and his chords, which he put beneath the melodic lines provided by his co-players.

Monk was most interested in composition and the spontaneous interplay of musicians afforded by live performances. He allowed the creative process to take care of things.
I have seen many clips of Monk, saw him live once, though I had no idea what I was seeing .
Art Tatum was great, I just think Tristano must of went to school on Bach because he had that same quality of balance is which first thing I notice, or try to, in musicianship.
It seems to me, as lowly listener, music is like most things in life, talent is great but for most of us its a question of whether you do/did your homework or not.