music making metaphors for teamwork

Following is an excerpt from a write-up on ABQ. I insert it here for its being relevant to how small teams of highly skilled professionals get to work.
Asked what has changed over the years, Pichler says the quartet's "feeling for tempo" has improved. Their sense of both security and freedom has grown too. "The freer you are, the better you breathe and the more easily you can get across what you wish to communicate." He says he does not practice much alone, "really only to strengthen my feeling of psychological security." But this is made up for by the amount the quartet rehearses together: "You can achieve 90 percent relatively quickly, the rest takes a very long time." And you can get on each other's nerves a bit in the process. How can that be avoided? For a long time they tried being polite. But that politeness was too much for viola player Kakuska, who joined the quartet in 1981. "Make rules," he said, "otherwise I feel nervous!" So that is what they did. Rule No. 1: Everyone is allowed to try playing a passage three times. If after that it's still not right, he has to go away and practice in "isolation." Rule No. 2: If someone wants to end an argument, the argument has to end – as in "Shut up…" Another rule was introduced by cellist Valentin Erben: "Please don't criticize me until I can play it!" You don't need other people to tell you about the mistakes you notice yourself. And if it isn't clear where the problem is, "you don't have to figure it out right away," says Pichler. Everyone should first try to find out: "Is it my fault? Whose is the dominant voice? Who blends in? Even if two violins play absolutely perfectly, if they don't blend together well it doesn't sound right."
Rules evolve slowly over time. Each team member is likely to insert a rule. Rules should be kept to a minimum, like everything else. When all is said and theorized, it (r-)evolves round conversations.

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