What makes a musician "good"?

This forum is for discussions of music.
Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 5937
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ

What makes a musician "good"?

New postby Bud » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:10 pm

A discussion along these lines started at lunch today and I thought it would be a good topic for this forum.

So, the title gives the question. What is your opinion?
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
-Richard Dawkins

User avatar
Posts: 3711
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:48 pm

New postby Jeff » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:26 pm

Practice, Practice, Practice.

But, technical proficency does not mean good to me.
If the musician does not impart some feeling with their
music then I find myself unsatisfied, bored and wishing
for the time back I just wasted.

At Disneyland there is a section called Downtown Disney
where they have lots of restuarants and clubs. They let
muscian do street performances and sell their CD's at these
performances.

Everytime we stop to listen to one of these
performers, groups, combo's, what have you; it's always to
the ones that we contect with. There are many we don't stop
at because we don't "feel" their music and, I might add for
clarity, that none of these songs are cover versions of popular
tunes we know.

Is this a good starting point for you Bud?
Jeff
It's a great day to be with my wife,
my friends and alive on my planet!

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 5937
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ

New postby Bud » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:15 pm

JeffHughes wrote:Practice, Practice, Practice.

But, technical proficency does not mean good to me.
If the musician does not impart some feeling with their
music then I find myself unsatisfied, bored and wishing
for the time back I just wasted.

So, it's gotta' have "soul", eh Jeffery? :wink:

So, is that "feeling" written into the music or played out by the artist? (And, if you take the easy route and say "both" I expect some explanation.)
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
-Richard Dawkins

Posts: 3410
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:52 pm
Location: Sitting at the computer

New postby Bill » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:49 pm

I listened to Gregorian chants today and literally got chills it was so beautiful.

Yes, I listen to NPR. :P

Here is the piece I heard. Moving.

No, I'm not changing religions. :roll:

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 5937
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ

New postby Bud » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:47 pm

...speaking of soul, eh? :lol:

I've had a copy of "Chant" by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos for quite a few years now. It is an incredible sound. And, I'm always happy to see the church corrupted by capitolism.

:devil:

Unless of course, they're really successful at it. That'd probalby be troubling.
Last edited by Bud on Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
-Richard Dawkins

User avatar
Posts: 3711
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:48 pm

New postby Jeff » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:47 pm

Bill,
Your link went to a 2 hour and 39 minute program.
Any idea where, in that time, is the Chant?


Bud wrote:
So, is that "feeling" written into the music or played out by the artist? (And, if you take the easy route and say "both" I expect some explanation.)


Both, neither, sometimes part of but not quite.

I have gone to LOTS of recitals, concerts, solos for getting
your grade that symester, etc. and, except for base players
(both guitar and fiddle), it's seems very obvious when the
performers are just phoning it in.

I've heard recordings that have moved me to tears only to go
see the artist live and been so very disappointed that I wanted
to go home and throw the tape/CD/record away.

Some music is written quite sterile or is such a ego stroke for
the composer/performer that most people don't care to play it again. Fran Lietz was known for such dramatic performances
that are so technical difficult that most performers don't try them.

Soul, what a word, is not completely what I look for, but if the
performer doesn't bring some part of the piece alive then I politely
applaude.

It has just occurred to me that Bud is the only person I know of
who is trying to learn music or play music currently. Congratulations!


Bill,

OHM! MONI! PADRI! HUM!!!!
Jeff
It's a great day to be with my wife,
my friends and alive on my planet!

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 5937
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ

New postby Bud » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:06 pm

Alright... we took a bit more of a metaphysical bent than I really had in mind. However, I did want to explore the difference between techique and emotion since I have neither. ;)

I know few who are qualified to say what "good" technique is. So, I'll leave that to my instructor for now. What makes a performance emotionally satisfying? Try to seperate the music itself from the performance of the music. Isolate the playing from what is being played.
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
-Richard Dawkins

Posts: 3410
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 8:52 pm
Location: Sitting at the computer

New postby Bill » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:58 pm

JeffHughes wrote:Bill,
Your link went to a 2 hour and 39 minute program.
Any idea where, in that time, is the Chant?

Try again. It worked fine for me. Click on it (my link). Then click on the "Listen Now" link (on the NPR page it pulls up). It's only 8 min long. I don't know what the 2:39hr thing is you're referring to.

User avatar
Posts: 3711
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:48 pm

New postby Jeff » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:44 pm

Thank you Bill.
The Monk was very interesting.

Bud wrote:
I did want to explore the difference between techique and emotion since I have neither.


I have three instruments that I can play.
Technique is what you learn as you are taught to
play that instrument: Scales, here's how to go from
Tempo to Tempo, how do you trill a note, what cords
sound pleasing together, what chords sound good even
though they are dissonate, how do you finger this passage?,
what does allegro mean?, etc. You are correct that at
this time your teacher is the best judge of your technique.

Performance is the difference between Whitney Houston and
a class of Third Graders singing the National Anthem.

Your choices in how you play will be what makes or breaks your
performance.

And, if you are gifted/ dedicated/ talented/ (feel free to fill
in your own adjective here) you keep growing/ learning as
you play your music, for even though someone else wrote
most of the songs you'll ever play they are still yours when
you play them. There's a story about John Denver, told by
one of his friends and associates in the music industry, and
how his still grew after he worked on a duet with Placedo Domingo.
Look it up sometime if you like.

There, more esoteric ramblings. Since, I am 30 years away from
my last formal training, and I never did learn the guitar, I do not
know the terms in which I can make myself better understood or
less touchy feelly.
Jeff
It's a great day to be with my wife,
my friends and alive on my planet!

Site Admin
User avatar
Posts: 5937
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:12 pm
Location: Gilbert, AZ

New postby Bud » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:41 pm

JeffHughes wrote:I have three instruments that I can play.

I know you gave Jerri your clarinet. What else did you play and for how long?

JeffHughes wrote:even though someone else wrote most of the songs you'll ever play

I realize this is not your point, but at the moment I actually enjoy playing shit I make up myself more than I do other people's songs. That's probably because I only make up stuff I can play. :)

JeffHughes wrote:Performance is the difference between Whitney Houston and a class of Third Graders singing the National Anthem.

Sorry, Jeffery, but this is not really very helpful. Any fool knows the difference between a practiced professional performer and a bunch of distracted school children.

If you've played three instruments, what things did you do differently when you performed for someone? How did you make a piece your own? I'm not so much interested in "making or breaking" my performance. I really don't much give a crap what anybody else thinks of my performance. I'm playing for myself. However, I am interested in what it means to develop my own style. What is your style and how did you develop it?

JeffHughes wrote:There's a story about John Denver, told by
one of his friends and associates in the music industry, and
how his still grew after he worked on a duet with Placedo Domingo.

His what still grew? His nose? :lol:

JeffHughes wrote:There, more esoteric ramblings. Since, I am 30 years away from my last formal training, and I never did learn the guitar, I do not know the terms in which I can make myself better understood or less touchy feelly.

No problem, ramble on. (Hey, that sounds like a song I've heard.) :) I don't mean to bust your chops, I'm just drilling for the real data.
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.
-Richard Dawkins

Return to Music

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest