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  • Writer's picturePANTA

Modern expectancy of the musician

We all have or had an image of the general musician. We hear their music, and we think "Wow, how did he come up with that? He must have a very creative, musical brain!" We tend to believe everything is written in their head. Everything is exactly how the musician intended it to be. And yes, most of the part, that was the case with early music. They wrote and compose down a piece that was stuck in their heads. Even today, there are examples of music that is been written down how it was intended. Every single thing you hear started off with a fragment of imagination in someones brain. But with the arrival of the computerchip, and with that, electronic music, this somehow changed it. Musicians don't have to rely on their musical abilities for the full hundred percent, anymore. Simply, because a computer can take over a part of it. Is that making a musicians job easier? No. It actually asks more knowledge from a person. Not only he or she needs to have musical abilities, he or she also needs to understand computers and the way they generate data and process it. Musicians don't have to think in computer language, like zeros and ones, as software developers made it a bit easier to make an interface for the musician. However, they do need to know the possiblities, or even limitations a computer can give them. It's even science, as they use waveforms to bend and shape sound the way they want.

But to come back to the part where musicians had every information stored in their brain, even that changed. There are musicians now who start with a blank mind. They get help from the computer to make a beginning. For example, there are programs that sequences melodies, or randomizes chords, and will give a result the musician would never had suspected. It gives unexpected results which are more commonly used than ever before. Let alone the musician trying to archieve a sound, but is pleasantly surprised by something completely else. ( Happy accidents, to put it like Bob Ross ) Most modern music, especially electronic music, is full of happy accidents and unexpected results. In the end, it's still the musician who performs the approval of his or her work, but not all of it, was or is premeditated. I even spoke to fellow musicians and I get quiet mixed up answers. Some of them accepted the fact, as part of being a modern musician, to which I agree, and there are some who still believe it's a sign of 'amateurism'. For them, they believe that a fully developed and experienced musician knows what he does, and experimenting is not a place for a final product, it's part of a learning process. To me, everything always remain a learning process. Even an end product is a learning progress. Music production or composing isn't static. It's always dynamic. It's evolvement. We get more and better tools to work with. Not to make us lazy, but to open up new possibilities. It also gives opportunities. There is no shame, in using happy accidents in your end product. Heck, some tracks ARE happy accidents. Musicians can focus more on the creative part, during process. They can record what's stuck in their head. But they aren't limited to that. With post editing, they can change the speed of the record, they can change the key, they can even reverse or randomize it, all in benefit of creating something fresh. And there is ofcourse countless of other possibities to stand out. In the end, there is no right or wrong. Music is music. The older music is just as enjoyable as modern music. Both still deserves tremendous amount of respect. No matter how you look at it, there is always a human involved who made all decisions and decided to let you hear the result. This is simply not possible without any talent for music.

So, when you hear someones work, and you don't like it, ( which is perfectly fine ) than think twice before commenting someone haves no talent or is no 'real' musician, just because they use a computer as aide. A guitar is an instrument. Drums are too. But don't forget that, for many, the computer is an instrument as well. Don't you ever feel suppressed by others telling you their definition of music and that you aren't part of it. Never let them. Do what you love to do, and understand that your fellow musicians are doing the exact same.

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