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What is a musician?
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Dovdimus Prime



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm. Continuing my theme of avatar fixation, what exactly is yours, jksuperstar?
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's the inside of a Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic I was repairing.
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dovdimus Prime wrote:

I'm not trying to argue that music doesn't require good performers as well as good composers. But I am trying to argue that it needs a good composer as well as good performers, and therefore that the composer's role is as important - he is also a musician.[/b]


Amen to that! Where would someone like me be without other people's songs? I've had writer's block for twelve years or so, and I LOATHE my old songs. Evil or Very Mad
But I still maintain that in order to be a composer, you need to build your skills. Now, whether those skills need to be a result of formal training, or an academic background, that's where it gets interesting. Very Happy
Personally, I say NO, you don't need a diploma to call yourself a musician or a composer, but there HAS to be hard work. You can stumble over a brilliant tune every now and then, but most of the time it's graft and craft.
If it doesn't cost anything to make, it's probably not worth much.

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play



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:

If it doesn't cost anything to make, it's probably not worth much.


I'm resisting the temptation to blow this comment out of proportion ::)


Skill is not a prerequisite for beauty. Like the joy of listening to birds. "That's different," you might say. Yep. It is. Because birds are not afflicted by intellectual barriers like value judgements. No one ever told them they couldn't sing well unless they worked hard. They just exuberate beauty. No matter how hard someone works there is no guarantee of creative genius. This is just my dogma now, but I see the creative genius as something greater than individual acts and when a person opens to it, beauty flows through. Skill can help someone be a more flexible vessel but skill without the creative force is hollow and empty.
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Dovdimus Prime



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I agree with what Play's saying, except for the bit about liking birdsong.
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seraph
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

play wrote:
skill without the creative force is hollow and empty.

and what about creative force without skill Question

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seraph
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thomas Alva Edison said: "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration!" and "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" Idea
I can hear you saying: "he wasn't an artist" but I guess those sayings apply to artists too.

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play



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It has other characteristics such as playfulness, sincerity and beauty.

Skill without creative force is like a fork without food.

Quote:

I agree with what Play's saying, except for the bit about liking birdsong.


Well, there's no accounting for taste. I happen to find of the sound of birds and squirells battling over tree space quite awesome.
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Oskar



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

play wrote:
Oskar wrote:

If it doesn't cost anything to make, it's probably not worth much.


I'm resisting the temptation to blow this comment out of proportion :Smile


Skill is not a prerequisite for beauty. Like the joy of listening to birds. "That's different," you might say. Yep. It is. Because birds are not afflicted by intellectual barriers like value judgements. No one ever told them they couldn't sing well unless they worked hard. They just exuberate beauty. No matter how hard someone works there is no guarantee of creative genius. This is just my dogma now, but I see the creative genius as something greater than individual acts and when a person opens to it, beauty flows through. Skill can help someone be a more flexible vessel but skill without the creative force is hollow and empty.


Where did birdsong enter this? I don't see how that comes in here, and anyway, one of the reasons yearlings often don't get a mate is because they don't sing well enough yet. That's neither here nor there either. Rolling Eyes
Oh well, democratisation of art is a great thing; I suppose now I can call myself a visual artist, despite getting TERRIBLE grades in arts and crafts.
So skill without "creative force" is hollow and empty? Does that disqualify anyone whose skills are purely interpretative?

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:

Where did birdsong enter this?

Through the back door.

Quote:

Oh well, democratisation of art is a great thing; I suppose now I can call myself a visual artist, despite getting TERRIBLE grades in arts and crafts.
So skill without "creative force" is hollow and empty? Does that disqualify anyone whose skills are purely interpretative?


I don't see why it would. That's the beauty of creativity, it's never restricted by where you think you would find it.

But really, who cares what you can or can't call yourself? Do you have to be a visual artist in order to pick up some paint, have some fun and make something nice to look at? Is it more important to appear great and skillful or to have the experience of joy? Not that they are mutually exclusive. And what is a musician anyway?
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
And what is a musician anyway?


2 pages of this thread and we're back to the original question drunken
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seraph
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

play wrote:

Skill without creative force is like a fork without food.

creative force without skill is like having food but no mouth Shocked

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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

And having a mouth with skill is like shooting peas at a submarine. or was it having creative force without food is like a pair of sunglasses on a worm?
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Or playing russian roulette without bullets and a gun ...
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Or playing russian roulette without bullets and a gun ...

I've never been able to win at that game...any secrets to share?
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Michael Chocholak



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The discussion on both of these threads has been fascinating. However, this definitional thing is a problem for me. I certainly understand the need for definition as a marker for general consensus. But when it concerns art, artist, musician, composer, instrument, mastering, then definition seems to me like a mirage. From a distance they appear to have substance and are a distinct, describable aspect of the world around you. The closer you get and the more you examine them, the more they tend to evaporate into either total subjectivity or arbitrariness.

As far as the creative force, I think it will manifest results even in the absence of skill. Skill is good. It can focus the flow of creativity to a specific end. I admire and respect people with musical skill. If not for them I could not, for example, enjoy listening to classical symphonic music.

For me (and I think this has been hashed out in yet another thread somewhere) the question is largely whether or not someone can improvise. That's where the creative flow and skill meet to produce amazing things. If not then I am quickly reduced to polite social conversation about virtuosity and I keep checking my watch. Cool

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2004 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
And having a mouth with skill is like shooting peas at a submarine. or was it having creative force without food is like a pair of sunglasses on a worm?



::)
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Ponk



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting thread here..

I tend to take the position of a complete relativist when it comes to defining art (including music). One day someone can define it in one way, but the very next day new avantgardists will appear and the old definitions don't apply to them. Trying to exclude something from being art is like pointing out that it hasn't been declared art yet.
I think music is everything that someone calls music... Well, maybe it has to have something to do with sounds or silence. Anyone who makes these sounds (or makes their presence notable by pointing at them one way or another) is a musician.
Not all activity that causes sounds is musicianship, though. It has to be made clear somehow that something is a performance or a composition. Or is this again just narrow thinking...? Maybe there are thousands of artists around the world who are making art and not telling anyone that it's art just to break the artificial boundaries...
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Michael Chocholak



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
I think music is everything that someone calls music


Good definition. And I think it answers the second point...

Quote:
Maybe there are thousands of artists around the world who are making art and not telling anyone that it's art just to break the artificial boundaries


Perhaps they're making art and even they don't know it if art finds it's meaning in the perceptions of the beholder. Cool

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gsga



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2004 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

jksuperstar wrote:
And having a mouth with skill is like shooting peas at a submarine. or was it having creative force without food is like a pair of sunglasses on a worm?

Hilarious!
Seriously, having creative force and no skill is completely valid. Look at the early days of punk rock. Playing guitar like your favorite 70's rock god seemed like an unobtainable endevor. So the kids sought to eliminate all the high art / low brow mentality and just start bands and play out. Some of the most groundbraking, innovative things in music came out of NYC in the late 70's early 80's. But most of those musicians aren't schooled players. But they did create beautiful things. The same is true in folk art. There is a raw, real feel to some of it and that's why people collect it. There's truth there and a visceral quality that sometimes can get muddled by years spent studying theory.

I think if you do it (on any level), then you can call it music.

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

gsga wrote:
jksuperstar wrote:
And having a mouth with skill is like shooting peas at a submarine. or was it having creative force without food is like a pair of sunglasses on a worm?

Hilarious!
Seriously, having creative force and no skill is completely valid. Look at the early days of punk rock. Playing guitar like your favorite 70's rock god seemed like an unobtainable endevor. So the kids sought to eliminate all the high art / low brow mentality and just start bands and play out. Some of the most groundbraking, innovative things in music came out of NYC in the late 70's early 80's. But most of those musicians aren't schooled players. But they did create beautiful things. The same is true in folk art. There is a raw, real feel to some of it and that's why people collect it. There's truth there and a visceral quality that sometimes can get muddled by years spent studying theory.

I think if you do it (on any level), then you can call it music.


So you mean that, as long as you "MEAN IT, MAAAN!" you don't have to put any effort into honing your craft (within or outside the confines of formal music studies)?
Great, then I'll just ditch my (mostly informal) thirty years background in music and start painting. I mean, I was useless in arts and crafts classes at school - still can't draw a circle to save my life, but if I define myself as a visual artist, my colossal ineptitude won't matter, as long as I "MEAN IT!". Right?
Seriously though, those artists from the NYC scene, or the London scene for that matter, DID acquire a great level of skill, although highly unconventional by established, academic standards. Bands like the Talking Heads, Richard Hell and The Voidoids, The Sex Pistols and the Clash were accomplished players. Granted, they brought a visceral quality to the table that had been sadly lacking in many practitioners as the 70s wore on, but they could PLAY, and they REHEARSED, and they put some EFFORT into what they were doing.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Interesting.

Oscar, if you started performing in some style you didn't feel accomplished in and you felt "colossal ineptitude", then you wouldn't "MEAN IT" and your music would suck. However, if you suddenly got inspiration - maybe in a dream or mystical experience of some sort - and you created some new music unlike anything else you've done before using skills you didn't know you had - and you really "MEANT IT", then I bet it would be pretty good music.

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Interesting.

Oscar, if you started performing in some style you didn't feel accomplished in and you felt "colossal ineptitude", then you wouldn't "MEAN IT" and your music would suck. However, if you suddenly got inspiration - maybe in a dream or mystical experience of some sort - and you created some new music unlike anything else you've done before using skills you didn't know you had - and you really "MEANT IT", then I bet it would be pretty good music.


Weeeell, I was actually trying to say that it's not enough to say "I mean it, therefore I'm a musician." Or a painter, or a writer, or whatever. Inspiration, yes, but application is also needed.

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paul e.



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oskar wrote:
Inspiration, yes, but application is also needed.


agreed.....the best way to deconstruct an instrument is to learn it inside and out, then learn to 'un-play' it...not the other way 'round

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Oskar



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul wrote:
Oskar wrote:
Inspiration, yes, but application is also needed.


agreed.....the best way to deconstruct an instrument is to learn it inside and out, then learn to 'un-play' it...not the other way 'round


That's RIGHT! Succinctly put, my learned friend!
banana banana banana

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