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Is a musician always an artist? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 14th January 2017
  #271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
I don't know quite what you mean, but I do thank you for pointing out any notion of self conceit I am conveying to you. By no means is it intentional, and in any case, if you notice it, not only to you, but to me it's unbecoming and reprehensible as well...sorry you feel that way.

OK, bro,
Old 14th January 2017
  #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Is Pablo Casals not an "artist" because he is only playing things that have been "done before" like Bach or Schubert?




So you are saying John Coltrane isn't an "artist" because when he played My Favorite Things, he was "covering" Rogers and Hammerstein?



what a dumb premise
maybe I didn't click the submit reply button, but I will post my remark to this:

1. this is my opinion and there is no right or wrong questions here. you may not like my opinion but covering someone else's song is not artistic. The only thing that might seem artistic to the listener is the performance. This of course is based on how talented someone can rehearse and recreate the song with maybe their own flair to it. Because repacking a song to me is just talent based on performance.

2.Creating the songs itself is the art. Now weather or not someone else can perform, produce or reproduce the song better than the song writer, does not change the origin of the artwork, just its presentation.


There are a lot of musicians that are cover song performers: from John Coltrane to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Postmodern Jukebox. Are they artist in the sense they created the song? no. They are just talented performers/entertainers of an artist's work.
Old 14th January 2017
  #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allengriswald View Post
maybe I didn't click the submit reply button, but I will post my remark to this:

1. this is my opinion and there is no right or wrong questions here. you may not like my opinion but covering someone else's song is not artistic. The only thing that might seem artistic to the listener is the performance. This of course is based on how talented someone can rehearse and recreate the song with maybe their own flair to it. Because repacking a song to me is just talent based on performance.

2.Creating the songs itself is the art. Now weather or not someone else can perform, produce or reproduce the song better than the song writer, does not change the origin of the artwork, just its presentation.


There are a lot of musicians that are cover song performers: from John Coltrane to Stevie Ray Vaughan to Postmodern Jukebox. Are they artist in the sense they created the song? no. They are just talented performers/entertainers of an artist's work.
Jazz by in large is defined by interpretation and improvisation within established structures, and the artistry is gauged by the performer's originality and virtuosity within those means.

Your shortsighted analysis is wantonly disrespectful, dismissive and ignorant of the many generations of incredibly gifted, brave artists, many who've risked their lives furthering this unique African American art form.
Old 14th January 2017
  #274
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Jazz by in large is defined by interpretation and improvisation within established structures, and the artistry is gauged by the performer's originality and virtuosity within those means.

Your shortsighted analysis is wantonly disrespectful, dismissive and ignorant of the many generations of incredibly gifted, brave artists, many who've risked their lives furthering this unique African American art form.
Improvisation is not limited to Jazz, and its been a creative performance aspect for centuries. But its not artistic as creating a song. Its just creating an entertaining performance. And none of this has one country of origin either.

Playing with a 4/4 box actually dates way back to 500AD in Eastern Europe. It was suppressed due to the illogical Catholic church claiming it has "Peganistic" and/or "Santanic" origins. So was a lot of minor chords and key signatures too.
Old 14th January 2017
  #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allengriswald View Post
Improvisation is not limited to Jazz, and its been a creative performance aspect for centuries. But its not artistic as creating a song. Its just creating an entertaining performance. And none of this has one country of origin either.

Playing with a 4/4 box actually dates way back to 500AD in Eastern Europe. It was suppressed due to the illogical Catholic church claiming it has "Peganistic" and/or "Santanic" origins. So was a lot of minor chords and key signatures too.
Wow...all I can say is OMG. OK, I'll leave it alone.

Otay man, have a good life.
Old 14th January 2017
  #276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allengriswald View Post
maybe I didn't click the submit reply button, but I will post my remark to this:

1. this is my opinion and there is no right or wrong questions here. you may not like my opinion but covering someone else's song is not artistic. The only thing that might seem artistic to the listener is the performance.
This is one of these absolutist positions that is easily dismantled because it falls hopelessly short of any sort of answer for the question of "what is art?". Question: if I take a improvisation and write it down, does it then become a composition?

EG "Donna Lee" by Charlie Parker. It's a written improv in his style using his characteristic scales etc. However at it's heart it is an improv over the chord changes to "Indiana". So by your definition it could be just a performance-

In practice it is a legally copyrighted piece of music, it is a staple composition in jazz pedagogy, and is heralded as one of (if not) the quintessential compositions that define the bebop genre.

I think outside of songwriters looking to pat themselves on the back, you would be EXTREMELY hard pressed to find anyone else in the arts who wouldn't recognize Donna Lee as art, and Charlie Parker as an artist.



Which is all why these conversations are ultimately fruitless. Ostensibly this *debate* primarily serves as a justification for someone who wants to find a way to 'put down' some other sort of talent. One day the songwriter wants to make himself big next to someone who has much more technical facility. In reverse the *snobby Jazz soloist* will argue that his 'art' is high art and the lowly *pentatonic danny-boy-changes" songwriters do nothing to contribute to the evolution of mankind...

Yawn. Find what you like, make music, make art, learn, grow... stop worrying about if someone else is *better* or *worse* or more or less *arty* than you.
Old 14th January 2017
  #277
Quote:
Originally Posted by allengriswald View Post
Improvisation is not limited to Jazz, and its been a creative performance aspect for centuries. But its not artistic as creating a song. Its just creating an entertaining performance. [...]
Well, there you go. Clearly we have an unequivocal and authoritative comparative valuation of improvisation versus formal composition.

No squishy gray area or annoying nuance here. Just straight out I said so, that settles it self-certainty.


Old 14th January 2017
  #278
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Well, there you go. Clearly we have an unequivocal and authoritative comparative valuation of improvisation versus formal composition.

No squishy gray area or annoying nuance here. Just straight out I said so, that settles it self-certainty.




well, what's the point of having a thread about "what is art" or "who is an artist" without some Objective Facts?
Old 14th January 2017
  #279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allengriswald View Post
Improvisation is not limited to Jazz, and its been a creative performance aspect for centuries. But its not artistic as creating a song. Its just creating an entertaining performance.
Taking the above at face value I'd say it's just wrong. Improvisation is really only real-time composition.

If you're juxtaposing playing a song that one has composed versus laying a song one has not composed, all else being absolutely equal, then of course more went into the former as it involved composition. That's not what you imply above though.
Old 14th January 2017
  #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
Taking the above at face value I'd say it's just wrong. Improvisation is really only real-time composition.

If you're juxtaposing playing a song that one has composed versus laying a song one has not composed, all else being absolutely equal, then of course more went into the former as it involved composition. That's not what you imply above though.
In principle you're right - improvisation is just real time composition.
In fact I write a lot of my vocal melodies and even some lyrics just improvising vocals on mic.

But I think the average Joe when thinking of a composer pictures someone at the piano with a pencil and manuscript paper pouring great intellectual thought and process into every note, structure, harmonic progression and arrangement element.

Where an improviser is lost in the moment and allows notes to flow though him/her in some magical unrepeatable performance.
Old 14th January 2017
  #281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
In principle you're right - improvisation is just real time composition.
In fact I write a lot of my vocal melodies and even some lyrics just improvising vocals on mic.

But I think the average Joe when thinking of a composer pictures someone at the piano with a pencil and manuscript paper pouring great intellectual thought and process into every note, structure, harmonic progression and arrangement element.

Where an improviser is lost in the moment and allows notes to flow though him/her in some magical unrepeatable performance.
Right, I don't entirely disagree.
Old 14th January 2017
  #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
This is one of these absolutist positions that is easily dismantled because it falls hopelessly short of any sort of answer for the question of "what is art?". Question: if I take a improvisation and write it down, does it then become a composition?

EG "Donna Lee" by Charlie Parker. It's a written improv in his style using his characteristic scales etc. However at it's heart it is an improv over the chord changes to "Indiana". So by your definition it could be just a performance-

In practice it is a legally copyrighted piece of music, it is a staple composition in jazz pedagogy, and is heralded as one of (if not) the quintessential compositions that define the bebop genre.

I think outside of songwriters looking to pat themselves on the back, you would be EXTREMELY hard pressed to find anyone else in the arts who wouldn't recognize Donna Lee as art, and Charlie Parker as an artist.



Which is all why these conversations are ultimately fruitless. Ostensibly this *debate* primarily serves as a justification for someone who wants to find a way to 'put down' some other sort of talent. One day the songwriter wants to make himself big next to someone who has much more technical facility. In reverse the *snobby Jazz soloist* will argue that his 'art' is high art and the lowly *pentatonic danny-boy-changes" songwriters do nothing to contribute to the evolution of mankind...

Yawn. Find what you like, make music, make art, learn, grow... stop worrying about if someone else is *better* or *worse* or more or less *arty* than you.
nice...

One minor quibble, I'd just like to point out, Donna Lee is actually a Miles Davis tune, even though the original attribution on the initial premiere on a Savoy Record date when to Bird, and widely accepted as such, which is ironic, because that's Miles' go to move post Kind of Blue, to claim ownership of tunes actually written by others - i.e. Bill evans, Wayne Shorter, Herbie, and others, I mean Miles was shameless in that regard...
Old 14th January 2017
  #283
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AuldLangSine's Avatar
 

According to Ibanez's marketing team in the 1970's and 80's, in order to be a Musician and an Artist, you had to purchase both models.
And if you wanted to be a Roadstar, you had to purchase still another guitar or bass.
Old 14th January 2017
  #284
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTW View Post
Ałl art is objective. Art is a communication. It becomes subjective only by the ability to comprehend that communication. Ignorance of it is not a qualification, although, by listening to some on this thread, it seems that their ignorance is.
Your definition of objective and mine differ. Which make it - by definition - subjective.

Ignorance notwithstanding.

Last edited by johnny nowhere; 14th January 2017 at 11:58 PM.. Reason: Clarity is under-appreciated, nontheless we strive to please.
Old 14th January 2017
  #285
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Well, there you go. Clearly we have an unequivocal and authoritative comparative valuation of improvisation versus formal composition.

No squishy gray area or annoying nuance here. Just straight out I said so, that settles it self-certainty.


Old 15th January 2017
  #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
This is 'exactly' the conversation that was had in the other thread. Too bad it was closed.

The problem with your view above is that you can't ever be 100% certain of my true intent of course. So if that is the criteria for something being art then me placing a burrito on a window sill is art as long as I say it is. I still maintain that's nonsense, because at that point anything can be art as long as someone claims it is, and then in turn the meaning of the word is nil.
Intent is Everything : https://www.google.com/search?q=burr...HVJgBgcQsAQIGQ
Old 15th January 2017
  #287
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
I tend to think that the term 'objective' is one that humans cannot apply to any given subject without turning it into a subjective term. In other words, every comment made thus far has been subjective.

If this were not a fact, someone would have suggested breaking art down into objective and subjective forms before going any farther in the discussion. But no one among us can recognise objective art, because we are not equipped with the proper apparatus to do so. Once we filter anything through the brain, all hope is lost.

For us, everything is a combination of 'Schrödinger's Art' and Quantum Physics. Is it 'good' or 'bad' music? We don't know - we will have to listen to it first. However, once we listen to it, our brain has effected the tune - my impression and your impression may be 180 degrees out of phase. Human objectivity is a dream.

If objective art exists, how can it's existence be proven through subjective means? Would it leave no impression at all, or leave the same impression on everyone? It would, out of necessity, have to have one effect or the other.

All of the above really only boils down to questioning objective reality as a whole. It's a fairly pointless endeavor.

Using the above I can't really tell if you exist. For all we (I) know I might just be a Boltzmann brain and you're my imagination.

Completely pointless a point to make from the standpoint of being productive, even philosophically, if there is such a thing as productive philosophy....
Old 15th January 2017
  #288
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I feel like the collective cultural IQ on this thread is taking a precipitous nosedive for the worse...is there some sort of GS cultural revolution going on?

Gang of four resurrection of sorts? Do they not teach about art and music in schools anymore? WTH is going on?!?...I'm feeling like friggin' Mugatu over here...

Old 15th January 2017
  #289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post

There are simply two kinds of music, good music and the other kind ... the only yardstick by which the result should be judged is simply that of how it sounds. If it sounds good it's successful; if it doesn't it has failed.

-Duke Ellington
That's pretty much what I said. When I say it, I'm an idiot, when Duke Ellington says it, he's quotable. It just goes to show ya!
Old 15th January 2017
  #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhamilton View Post
That's pretty much what I said. When I say it, I'm an idiot, when Duke Ellington says it, he's quotable. It just goes to show ya!
Come on man, you're great and all that, but Duke is at another level...if you looked up smooth in the dictionary, you're liable to see one of his publicity shots...just sayin'

If you ever seen footage of him talk, I think you'll concur...a rare concatenation of dignity and hip if you will
Old 15th January 2017
  #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
Your definition of objective and mine differ. Which make it - by definition - subjective.

Ignorance notwithstanding.
Well it shouldn't differ. Art is done with an objective in mind by the individual,not an attempt to expect someone to have an unbiased opinion of it , because that would be silly besides being pretentious. Unless of course you have your own personal definition???
Old 15th January 2017
  #292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Come on man, you're great and all that, but Duke is at another level...if you looked up smooth in the dictionary, you're liable to see one of his publicity shots...just sayin'

If you ever seen footage of him talk, I think you'll concur...a rare concatenation of dignity and hip if you will
For sure.

That's the whole thing really. I can (attempt to) say the same thing, or a different thing, whether words or music, and mine falls flat, and his sounds good.
Old 15th January 2017
  #293
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
All of the above really only boils down to questioning objective reality as a whole. It's a fairly pointless endeavor.

Using the above I can't really tell if you exist. For all we (I) know I might just be a Boltzmann brain and you're my imagination.

Completely pointless a point to make from the standpoint of being productive, even philosophically, if there is such a thing as productive philosophy....
Boltzmann brain was a theory, if I recall. Which brings that whole notion into question as well. Apparently you believe more strongly that I exist, since you chose the option to reply to my statement.

Last edited by johnny nowhere; 15th January 2017 at 12:22 PM..
Old 15th January 2017
  #294
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTW View Post
Well it shouldn't differ. Art is done with an objective in mind by the individual,not an attempt to expect someone to have an unbiased opinion of it , because that would be silly besides being pretentious. Unless of course you have your own personal definition???
I only postulate at this point, that objectivity must be the polar opposite of subjectivity. Indeed unbiased - much like maths. By your definition, a scientific equation would be silly and pretentious, however it is neither of these.

What you have defined is subjectivity, it would seem. In other words, let's say that my goal in creating a piece of visual art is to evoke anger in the viewer (this of course, would not necessarily make it art - but in any event let's say I did this), but only 50% of the people who looked at it got pissed off - and the other 50% laughed their asses off. Would I have succeeded in my 'objective'?
Old 15th January 2017
  #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny nowhere View Post
I only postulate at this point, that objectivity must be the polar opposite of subjectivity. Indeed unbiased - much like maths. By your definition, a scientific equation would be silly and pretentious, however it is neither of these.

What you have defined is subjectivity, it would seem. In other words, let's say that my goal in creating a piece of visual art is to evoke anger in the viewer (this of course, would not necessarily make it art - but in any event let's say I did this), but only 50% of the people who looked at it got pissed off - and the other 50% laughed their asses off. Would I have succeeded in my 'objective'?
The obvious answer to your question is,Yes. You would have succeeded, at the very portrayal of it. If 100% laugh, it has no bearing on your work, how about the subjectivity of the people seeing it ?
The truth is, objectivity and subjectivity in individuals views, have no bearing on art, other than a hope by the individual creating it to communicate their ' anger' for reason communicated. Many voices cry in the silent wilderness, my friend. It doesn't mean they are not there.
As for scientific equations and scientists being unbiased , don't get me started!
Old 15th January 2017
  #296
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTW View Post
The obvious answer to your question is,Yes. You would have succeeded, at the very portrayal of it. If 100% laugh, it has no bearing on your work, how about the subjectivity of the people seeing it ?
The truth is, objectivity and subjectivity in individuals views, have no bearing on art, other than a hope by the individual creating it to communicate their ' anger' for reason communicated. Many voices cry in the silent wilderness, my friend. It doesn't mean they are not there.
As for scientific equations and scientists being unbiased , don't get me started!
Ah! Then this is where our specific definitions deviate. I often attempt to achieve a particular objective in my music - but rarely seem to succeed - to my own satisfaction.

LOL - which seems to suggest that I am subjected to my own objectivity? Or perhaps object to it? Hahaha!

Last edited by johnny nowhere; 15th January 2017 at 01:10 PM.. Reason: After thoughts abound.
Old 15th January 2017
  #297
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This thread remins me of the old joke.

A guy goes into a butchers and asks if he can buy half a rabbit - and the butchers replies "sorry we don't split Hare's here" (boom - tish)

When I think of an "Artist" I think of David Bowie, Fredie Mercury, Bob Dylanetc etc

When I think of the people playing in their backing bands I think of excellent musicians, I don't think of those musicans as being "Artists" in that setting. Although of course they may be "Artists" in their own right.

Beyond that known colloquial context, the OP original questions seems to have triggered an exercise in semantics.
Old 15th January 2017
  #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
Beyond that known colloquial context, the OP original questions seems to have triggered an exercise in semantics.
It definitely triggered some antics, that's for sure.

As for excercise, plenty of lactic acid was produced overworking the futility muscle.
Old 15th January 2017
  #299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
When I think of an "Artist" I think of David Bowie, Fredie Mercury, Bob Dylanetc etc
Those three are artists for sure, of the highest order...but for me, someone like Eno is even a greater artist.

It's interesting in the three you mention, all very individual, and eccentric in their own way, with Freddie Mercury carrying the obvious Diva baggage, with Dylan and Bowie being persnickety in their particular mannerisms and whatnot.

Which leads to : a diva does not an artist make, nor a person who thinks of themselves as an "arteest"...though it's entirely possible they maybe - an 'artist' is only one when others think of them to be, for the criteria they choose. There are probably scores of people thinking Gene Simmons is an artist, though I may not agree, but it's true for those who believe so.

It's not to say someone can't think of themselves as an artist - again they maybe for many reasons, but one is not truly an artist until other than the self recognizes artistry in that person. Otherwise, it'll be like giving yourself your own nickname...I guess it's a relativistic thing.
Old 15th January 2017
  #300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Those three are artists for sure, of the highest order...but for me, someone like Eno is even a greater artist.

It's interesting in the three you mention, all very individual, and eccentric in their own way, with Freddie Mercury carrying the obvious Diva baggage, with Dylan and Bowie being persnickety in their particular mannerisms and whatnot.

Which leads to : a diva does not an artist make, nor a person who thinks of themselves as an "arteest"...though it's entirely possible they maybe - an 'artist' is only one when others think of them to be, for the criteria they choose. There are probably scores of people thinking Gene Simmons is an artist, though I may not agree, but it's true for those who believe so.

It's not to say someone can't think of themselves as an artist - again they maybe for many reasons, but one is not truly an artist until other than the self recognizes artistry in that person. Otherwise, it'll be like giving yourself your own nickname...I guess it's a relativistic thing.
Sure Eno is an "Artist" but here it get's complicated.

If Eno hires me in to play drums on a track and I play like a perfect, squeaky clean studio musician that might as well of been Slate Digital Samples programmed .... am I an "Artist" or just a jobbing musician an "artist" small "a"

But if Eno, hired me in and I was eccentric as heck in my approach and had a unique set of drums, tuned in a unique way, and I played in a unique way and made unique other worldly sounds when I played that everyone immediately could identify as being "thehightenor" then would I be called an "Artist" Yes I think I would be.

To me the "Artist" always begins with a capital A an "Artist"

Some are an "artist" the unique and gifted are an "Artist" - it takes something very special to earn the capital "A" in my view of the arts.

I appreciate other peoples definition is completely different.

By the way if you did hire me to play drums on your track I'm afraid you get the former description above not the latter :-)
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