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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001354.txt from 1998/03

From: Shouryu Nohe <>
Subj: Musician?
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 18:37:39 -0500

Ryan Lowe:
> 2) Several collegues (sp?) of mine and I were discussing the difference
> between a musician and a clarinetist. I am of the belief that a TRUE
> musician is able to do anything with any instrument or musical device, while
> a clarinetist plays only the clarinet. While musicians can also be
> clarinetists, the converse is not true. Clarinetists can be very musical,
> etc... but not musicians... This is just my opinion and I am sure that it
> will change with time. I would just like to know some of your views on the
> differences between musicians and clarinetists (or players of any one
> instrument).

Pardon me, but this is about the DUMBEST stance one can take on the
subject. Do you realize you've just insulted everyone here who doesn't
play anything besides clarinet less than a musician?

A musician is, by the etymology, is 'music person'. How can you say that
someone who is limited to one instrument, albeit the fact that they may
have mastered it, is not a musician?

Do you really think that Beethoven mastered the piano, the strings, flute,
clarinet, horns, trumpets, and trombones? And at the same time, could
sing all parts in chorus? Preposturous! But by your definition, unless
he could, he isn't a musician, simply 'musical.' Nonsense!

My roommate plays clarinet. Barely plays bass clarinet, and maybe can
make tones on saxophone. But he's a damned fine musician, period.

Musicianship has jack to do with mastering all instruments. If that were
the case, no one in history has ever had the right to call themselves so -
there are tons of nonwestern instruments that we never hear about or
rarely see used, but they are valid, musical instruments. No one has ever
learned to play every instrument, let alone, learn them to the point where
they can play anything on them. That's absurd.

Musicianship is a love - you don't simply read notes on a page, you feel
them. The composer comes back to life through your playing, and what
he/she was emoting and conveying blends with your own interpretations, and
you become the creator of an art form.

Saying a clarinetist is strictly a clarinetist is saying that a sculptor
is not an artist, strictly a sculptor. A poet or novelist is not a
writer, strictly a poet or novelist.

It's not the number of tools you have in your box - it's the great things
you can do with those tools that matter. A musician is a child who sings
in church. A musician is a marimba player in a drum corp. A musician is
the guy who plays everything and anything for his school because he can.
A musician is the ragged, old man with the soprano sax on the corner of
Crescent Ave. and Bourbon Street, who plays every note from the heart, in
the city of jazz.

It's not the different ways you can wiggle your fingers that make you a
musician. It's the different ways you love the music.

Shouryu Nohe
Professor of SCSM102, New Mexico State Univ.; ICQ 6771552
Coffee Drinker, Musician, Otaku, Jesus Freak, Admirer of Women
(Not necessarily in that order)
"Everything is kept in my heart. I am satisfied with that." - Ikari Gendo

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