>If a composer tries to help us out, what should they tell us?... I
>think of the "Tristan" chord.... But what could Wagner have told us
>that might have helped us to understand better his use of that chord
>and his "resolution" of it.
In this case maybe we would not have wanted him to say anything verbal.
As I think you were suggesting in your previous comment, just the music
and the listener's reactions are enough, usually, even in cases like
this. But in cases of public puzzlement or disagreement, it may help
to have the composer weigh in.
>One of the best hints I think I ever got from a composer came from a
>message Ives wrote on the margin of one of pieces. The message was to
>his copyist...it was something like, "the wrong notes are right, please
>don't correct them."
Indeed. And Ives famously challenged a heckler at a Ruggles concert to
"stand up and use your ears like a man."