Music is great because it's (mostly) understood that it will never be perfect. (True, people who only consume music through recordings might not understand this, but all musicians do). Aside from the imaginative and creative aspects of music that appeal to me, I feel like it encapsulates all aspects of humanity in its creation and performance. That is, when it's performed perfectly and spectacularly, it is a moving experience that affects all who participate in the audience and the performance. Performances like that give me the chills, whether I'm performer or listener, and afterwards there's a stillness in which all in attendance seem to have reached a mutual awareness of that brief moment of perfection--a slice of heaven, if you will.
And, then again, when music is performed with flaws, it can be a reminder to all that we are only mortal and fleshy creatures that strive for perfection but often do not achieve it. This isn't a bad thing, because it can bring people together in a way that emphasizes their shared humanity. A perfect performance often sets the performers apart. The flawed performance is inclusive--if the attitude of the performer and audience is right.
I'm reminded of the famous roof-top performance by the Beatles in London at Apple Studios in 1969. This was a period of the band's existence that was full of tensions and interpersonal problems, as revealed in the film "Let It Be". However, when they began to play their impromptu concert in downtown London, the joy shown on their faces is telling. The performance was rough, to say the least. The most obvious screw-up is John forgetting a line of lyrics to the song "Don't Let Me Down". But he's grinning as he stumbles over the words and he and Paul share a look that reveals their deep friendship, based on their music and love of performing together.
Anyway, I hadn't meant to expound at such length. All I was really planning to do was preface the fact that I edited and reposted my piece "The Beauty of the Earth" after having performed it last week. The changes are really pretty slight; just little tweaks and additions that I wanted to add as I rehearsed it with Elaine Austen, a flutist in the church band. The performance actually went very well and was well-received by the congregation. However, I think that many people who create things--whether art, research papers or presentations--can understand that those creations are never quite finished. Maybe that's okay... as long as we meet our deadlines.