Monday, February 8, 2010

First movement of multi-movements

Dr Daphne Loke 

COMMENT Three school girls from the Chung Hwa High Chinese School stayed back at least three times a week after school for band rehearsals.
Yen had to refine her handling of the baton – throwing it into the air then catching it again, while marching. May was the trumpeter and Fei, my little girl, was the flutist. Mom, the driver designate, never heard her utter a word of complaint about her team members in the rehearsals.
Besides being members of the school band, the three girls had other things in common: top scorers in the same class, all had passed piano grade 8, idealistic, artistic and very demanding of their own performance.
How many pieces of musical instruments are needed to compose a school band? 20? 30? Or more!

The basics:
They vied to be in the school band because they shared the same love for music. They qualified because they have the basic training in music, the same temperament of being patient and willing to help team members so that the whole band could harmonize in symphony. The reward was the opportunity to perform in public, perhaps less than sxi times in a year – in top form - representing the school.

Synchronize or be ostracized :
Chung Hwa High, being a top-notch Chinese school in town was never short of candidates for the school band. So if the student wanted to be in public performance, perfection, unison, and excellent team work were the imperatives.
Could anyone of the band members dislike a note in any of the tunes they played? How many times could a member boycott rehearsals? Or not take care of the musical instruments assigned to them? The Band Master was a renowned composer in the country. How many of the band members would be in a position to tell him to change his formation? The degree of tolerance of being out of tune was zero.

Highest level of social organisation:
Eusociality is a term to represent the highest level of social organisation in a hierarchical colony - this time it is about insects such as bees, ants and even termites. In an insect colony, how many worker ants mutate to become drones?
If a band member were to tell the band master he/she would not want to play a certain tune, that member would straight away be replaced. That is because the choice of songs was not a mere minnie-minnie miney-mo affair. Each member's capability to contribute needed to be carefully evaluated for the best rendition. Who would take the lead position in the march depended on how well the members behind him or her could follow .

Dealing with waywardness:
I have stated earlier that in the case of the school band, a wayward member would be replaced. In the insect colony, the units from the back would merely stomp on those who boycott advancement, or refused to, or did not progress. Their organisations had no choice but to relinquish such dissidents and advance with the demands of a progressive society. Not even the termite colony could contain such wayward action, as the speed of destruction of the building would be side-stepped.

Are you in the right colony?
MCA is a hierarchical organisation. Those vice-presidents, the chairmen of the Youth and the Wanita factions are high up in this hierarchy within the party. This recent declaration of boycotting events organised by the president and deputy president is simply shocking behaviour per se of the 13 members in the party. Yes, they have down-graded themselves from the level of leaders to mere members, who may not lead, perhaps, may not even know how to follow in the first place.
Their declaration of boycott, was not a mere announcement. Rather it was a call for other members to join in the boycott. How should we look at this type of action?
In labour terms, the act of boycott falls under a category of industrial action which this country has an Act of Parliament to deal with. So what action should the party take in this case?

I remembered Fei's piano teacher telling her that all great musical compositions were created with passion. Ants have the passion to construct. Termites have the passion to destroy. Are you in the right colony?

NOTE: Sonata, the very popular musical form is referred to as the First Movement of Multi-movements

* This article is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The blog owner does not endorse the view unless specified.

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