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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000623.txt from 1997/12

From: Bill Hausmann <>
Subj: Re: Practitioner vs. Musician
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 05:38:38 -0500

Well put, Neil!!

At 11:29 PM 12/11/97 -0600, you wrote:

>On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Melissa Norman wrote (in reference to Kenny G.):
>> Does he play an instrument? Yes, therefore it is music. Whether or not
>> you think it is good music, that is a different point.
>This is a very interesting statement, and (in my opinion) well-worth
>discussing. The question: Is it true what Melissa Norman says? Do
>the sounds that come out of an instrument constitute music by default,
>or is there an additional ingredient involved which qualifies those
>sounds as such? My brother, a non-musician (but the person who in-
>spired me to take up the clarinet 20 years ago) made a similar state-
>ment to me a few days ago, and I internally balked at it. Why? Be-
>cause my perspective on the subject is based on the notion that an
>instrumentalist is not a musician by default. I've come to perceive
>the clarinet as a tool, a means to an end, and not an end in itself.
>That is one of the dangers of having an instrument-specific mailing
>list: we become so focused on the activity of manipulating the tool
>that we lose sight of the real object of desire,..namely, making music.
>If the clarinet is similar to, say, a hammer, then just becoming a
>skilled practitioner -- as admirable as such an achievement might be
>-- does not result in the intended purpose for doing so in the first
>place. You can hammer all the nails you like -- and quite skillfully
>at that -- but ultimately, what's the point? A carpenter becomes a
>virtuoso hammer-handler so that he can ultimately build a house, or
>a boat, or something else as a result of endeavoring to get so good
>at using a hammer. Otherwise, (s)he ends up simply driving nails into
>pieces of wood, an nothing else comes of it. For some, I suppose that
>might very well be fulfilling. But it's hard to imagine, except in
>the case of kids. Is the clarinet vastly different in this regard?
>An example: personally, I find Stanley Drucker's tone thin and edgy
>and thoroughly unappealing. It is sometimes hard for me, as a trained
>practitioner of playing the clarinet, to suspend my developed notion
>of what constitutes good clarinet tone and listen for the music which
>Stanley Drucker is making. Violinists, flautists, trumpeters, per-
>cussionists -- when these people hear Drucker play, they're quite
>impressed with the music he is making, and I feel it is a weakness
>on my part that my tool-based bias inhibits me from recognizing
>the music beyond the manner in which Drucker utilizes his particular
>How do others feel about these ideas?

Bill Hausmann
451 Old Orchard Drive
Essexville, MI 48732
ICQ UIN 4862265

If you have to mic a saxophone, the rest of the band is too loud.

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