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The Musician

The Vocalist – “Anyone can sign! Everybody knows that! All you have to do is open your mouth and let the sound out.” Well, what everybody does not know is that there is a lot more to it. You need to match the pitch to others you are singing with or the accompaniment you are singing with (easier said than done). You have to have the tones rise and fall to match the song. You need to keep the rhythm and beat of the song. And most of all, you need to pronounce the words so that the listener can understand what is being said. While you are trying to do all of that you have to breathe also. Now, that is a lot. To sing well, you need to do all of these things all at the same time. And many people do that, studying for years to get all of this technically correct. However, even if everything is technically correct, you still might not think of it as real music. When you hear the song you ask yourself; “what is wrong? What is missing?”

 

The Instrumentalist – “Everybody knows that in order to play an instrument you only need talent! Well, okay, I guess that you do need some lessons on how to get the sound out of the instrument. But, if you have the talent you really don’t have to study or practice much. Why, look at all those people who just sat down at the piano or picked up an instrument and started playing it right away.” Well, now, what everybody does not know is that you still need to study and practice even if you have the talent. What everybody does not know is what sounds go with what sounds, now long to hold the note, how to beat out the rhythm and finally what sound to play with that dot or circle on the paper. It takes a lot of study to learn the technical part of playing an instrument. However, you can have all of the technical correct along with the most talent and the sound coming out of the instrument could still not be music. When you hear the supposed music you ask yourself; “what is wrong? What is missing?”

 

The Musician – It use to be that a musician was someone who played an instrument. However, in more recent times a vocalist is also included in the term of “musician” because it is felt that a good vocalist is using their voice as an instrument and that he or she is playing that “instrument” the same way as an instrumentalist does. However, if we are talking about an instrumentalist or a vocalist, the musician need more than technical knowledge in order to produce music. The Musician is drawn to music because the Musician is missing something in the Musician’s own being. From the first time the Musician heard music the Musician heard what was missing in their being. There it was! Standing out in the music! “Don’t you hear it?” The Musician wonders about those around them. “Can’t you feel it?” It is that feeling, deep inside that is being touched by the emotions of the Musician playing or singing the music. It’s that feeling that causes you to gasp when you hear it and brings tears to your eyes. It’s that feeling that caused you to release those pent up emotions and not worry about anyone seeing them. It’s that feeling that is too intense for words. It’s that feeling that can only flow out of you through the notes of music. The song can be technically correct, but without this release of emotions, without this injection of emotions, it is just noise.

What happens when a Musician cannot release these deep emotions through his or her music? Well, that is hard to say. Many times the pressure inside seems to build up, and then starts to dry up. If it dries up the Musician will dry up. He or she will not feel the joy any more. The Musician becomes sullen and will try to find other ways to replace the emotions that he or she once experienced. To feel again! As the Musician tries to replace those feelings, it takes more and more to try to feel. The harder he or she tries other replacements for the music, the more the pressure builds and the more damage is done to the body, mind, and spirit. The damage keeps building over and over, more and more, until …

 

The next time you hear a vocalist sing a song or an instrumentalist playing a musical piece, listen! Listen for those deep emotions that the musician is releasing through his or her music. With any luck, that emotion will reach out and touch that deep place in you and cause you to gasp for air and bring a tear or two to your eyes. Listen for it!

James Krauss
February 28, 2011

 

 

Up-dated February 28, 2011
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