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Play by ear

Created date

December 29th, 2009

The origin of this phrase is rather straight forward and comes from the musician s world. Originally, it refers to playing compositions without the benefit of sheet music. Instead, the musician would simply use his/her ear to feel out the composition and follow the musical progressions. Today, we use the phrase to refer to any action handled as it unfolds rather than by predetermined planning. "I don t know if we ll be able to meet next Friday. Let s just play it by ear."