>[I think the musician deserves the artistic freedom to ignore rests in
>order to "get on with it" and keep the short-attention-span cadre from
>losing interest. -Dave]
Though Dave Lampson's quip may be the last word on this subject, I will
weigh in with a perspective also. It seems to me that the rest is the
most important single aspect of music! Why? Because it is from silence
that the meaning of any sound must emerge. And, ultimately, even the most
boisterous sounds eventually return to silence. In fact, any note struck
on the piano begins to deteriorate as soon as it is sounded.
As a piano student my teacher is always stressing to me the importance
of counting the final rests at the conclusion of a piece before relaxing.
"It's not over until after the rests," she says. (Also, as a practical
matter, a pianist needs the rests in order to move his hands to a new
position for the coming phrase.)
So the rest is essential punctuation which allows the surrounding sounds
to have meaning.
As one serious follow up to Dave's comment: Perhaps someone can explain
the manner in which technicians of sound can rob from the "rests" to fill
more airspace. I know this compression is especially common in interviews.
Are there examples in recorded music as well?