- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

The Inner Games of Music

Page 1 of 5

The Inner Games of Music


Institutional Affiliation


The Inner Games of Music

The Inner Game of Music by Green, B & Gallwey. W. T of the year 1986 was inspired by Gallwey's books of inner games like the Inner Games of Tennis. Green wanted to know whether some approaches that are applied in sports were also applicable to music. The book therefore bases its ideas on how to think about, approaches used in playing music together with the music practice. The book claims that for performance to be successful, one should not have any form of interference. Since Green was a university tutor and a skilled symphonic bass player, he wrote things he is aware of, how it affects people and what they can adapt to achieve success. Through this, the book has aided many individuals who were worried about their solos and auditions to become confident and proficient musicians. Therefore, in this paper, I will discuss the authors' aim to reduce the degree of mental interference that prevents tremendous performance by providing several approaches that one needs to consider.            

First and foremost, the books explains that performance is achieved when one has potential and lacks interference. Potential is the ability one has in doing something while interference is something that distracts one from achieving the underlined objectives. The authors described various forms of interference which included, one having a fear of losing control in the performance, being worried about the player, having fear that you may forget the music that you have already memorized, thinking that the equipment or the instrument might not function appropriately or doubt whether your ability is good or bad. For the identified interferences, the books explains that people should not give any attention to the distractions since, in case of any, it detracts the performance thus leading to failure of achieving success.

 Additionally, the book provides the formula P = p – I, which is claimed by the authors that it contributes to good performance in music. P is the performance's level, p is the performer's potential while i is the performance level of mental interference. In this case, Green explained that for good results in music, i should be decreased for the P level to become close to p which will help the musician achieve what he or she desires. They also addressed the ideas of self 1 and self 2 which are vital in the music industry. Self 1 is the analytic, rational, judgmental self hence described as personal interference during the presentation. Self 2 is the body-centered, emotive and more holistic thus containing people's natural abilities and talents. For these reasons, Green and Gallwey described how the both selves are important, but each plays its role in music presentation. However, he claimed that his culture emphasized more on self 1, but self 2 also possessed its strengths which people should consider. He advised people that in their performances, they should ignore self 1 and allow self 2 to dominate uninterruptedly to express their talents exemplarily.

To disregard the self 1, Green presents and discusses various techniques that enables self 2 get on well with playing music or any other performance with no interference. It is often considered when one switches attention from the chatter of self 1 to some characteristic of music or doing anything that is counterintuitive.  For instance, the book presents a case where one plays an obstinate leap on an instrument. In this case, you may have practiced the action but you are worried whether you can manage it or not.  For this situation, Green together with Gallwey suggests that one should play the leap frequently while trying to get it wrong. Through it, one will make himself or herself pay attention to what is happening without worrying about it. They also advocated that trying the action helps to discover that you can have faith that your fingers will get it right always. Eventually, one achieves success since practice makes perfect.

Download as (for upgraded members)
Citation Generator

(2017, 12). The Inner Games of Music. Retrieved 12, 2017, from

"The Inner Games of Music" 12 2017. 2017. 12 2017 <>.

"The Inner Games of Music.", 12 2017. Web. 12 2017. <>.

"The Inner Games of Music." 12, 2017. Accessed 12, 2017.