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Is a musician always an artist? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 9th January 2017
  #61
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bitman's Avatar
Heavens no.

Some musicians just paint houses.
Other musicians can paint new vistas on a blank canvas.
Old 9th January 2017
  #62
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sfilipee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
there's more to "taste" than whether you like it or not!

Whether you believe the person is "bringing something new" is ALSO a matter of "taste".

What's so hard to understand about that?




whether someone is bringing someone new to the table or not is completely objective, unlike taste which is subjective.

You can pick up Death Grips and trace back their influences, but you can't show me a band that sounded like Death Grips before them, they created something that didnt existed before - that's objective. Now, do you like it? No? It's ok because what's good or not is subjective.
Old 9th January 2017
  #63
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Yogi was a linguistic artist of the highest order.

Casey, not too far behind...

Bob Uecker - perhaps the greatest exponent of the malapropistic arts, bar none.

...go Giants!!! Start an odd year thing!
Well, you're in my league so I can't root for your team.
What was the deal with the Hunter Pencisms a while ago?
Weren't people around the country holding up signs at games
pointing out Pence being guilty of absurdly benign invented offenses?
Like Hunter Pence doesn't brush his teeth, or Hunter Pence
doesn't pay his parking tickets, or stuff like that?
How'd that start? I like Pence, he has this gangly thing
at the plate, kind of swings the bat around casually waiting
for pitches. Big goon.

No, I like the Giants. How could I not, every other year
San Fran. My damn team I can never quite figure out.
You know, that team in Flushing? Now we got rid of
Bartolo. Jeez, Sandy's been doing pretty good past
few years. He went and got us that fantastic shortstop
finally, he's the man. When he gets hurt, I'm always like
oh well, now we're going to lose some more games till
he's back, and we do. And we got the slugger, him I'm
not all that jazzed about, but he gets rbis, half of them
his own home runs. He's lazy in the field, and not the smartest
tool in the dugout. Okay, let me not usurp this thread too
drastically into baseball of all things.
But I didn't see the point of letting Bartolo go.
42 years old, who had our best record last year?
All these young supermen, oh my elbow, I can't play.
Bartolo is so freaking cool, now he's with the enemy.
AND Dickey too.
Old 9th January 2017
  #64
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
whether someone is bringing someone new to the table or not is completely objective, unlike taste which is subjective.\
this is why all threads like this suck!

Because people come on with their opinions and pretend there is an objective basis for their opinions.

I am sure everyone here agrees with you 100% on who is "bringing something new to the table" - since it is an objective fact, and not an opinion at all.

Yep, one of those objective things we can all agree on. Like who is over 6' tall. Or who weighs more than 150 lbs. Who has sold 1,000,000 records. And who is "bringing something new to the table".

Old 9th January 2017
  #65
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by General TAWH View Post
Well, you're in my league so I can't root for your team.
What was the deal with the Hunter Pencisms a while ago?
Weren't people around the country holding up signs at games
pointing out Pence being guilty of absurdly benign invented offenses?
Like Hunter Pence doesn't brush his teeth, or Hunter Pence
doesn't pay his parking tickets, or stuff like that?
How'd that start? I like Pence, he has this gangly thing
at the plate, kind of swings the bat around casually waiting
for pitches. Big goon.

No, I like the Giants. How could I not, every other year
San Fran. My damn team I can never quite figure out.
You know, that team in Flushing? Now we got rid of
Bartolo. Jeez, Sandy's been doing pretty good past
few years. He went and got us that fantastic shortstop
finally, he's the man. When he gets hurt, I'm always like
oh well, now we're going to lose some more games till
he's back, and we do. And we got the slugger, him I'm
not all that jazzed about, but he gets rbis, half of them
his own home runs. He's lazy in the field, and not the smartest
tool in the dugout. Okay, let me not usurp this thread too
drastically into baseball of all things.
But I didn't see the point of letting Bartolo go.
42 years old, who had our best record last year?
All these young supermen, oh my elbow, I can't play.
Bartolo is so freaking cool, now he's with the enemy.
AND Dickey too.
Ah...the Mets.

I like them better than the Yankees, must say...at least they're not the evil empire with draconian rules on facial hair, among other things.

Really liked them when Kevin Mitchell was on the team - that team was cool, one that anyone could root for...I mean Mookie was on that team!

Hunter was hurt last year - he's sort of like their heart and soul, and without him 100%, they really weren't going to win it all...and all the Hunter Pence sayings - "Hunter Pence puts ketchup on his hot dogs", yada yada yada...I never got why it took off the way it did, sort of stupid if you ask me, but hey the dude was a good sport about it and played along, maybe too much.

my favorite Hunter Pencism: 'One-Hunter Percent', which is about as real as it gets, he actually gives 110% all the time.

Bartolo... wth, I mean only he could get away with an adulteress/double life affair with aplomb...“Big Sexy” as they say...
Old 9th January 2017
  #66
Gear Nut
 

He's a smoothy all right.
Old 9th January 2017
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
But see, when did I say I don't like Coldplay? I like Coldplay, I actually love their first couple of albums, but to me they are not artists, they just took a Radiohead formula and ran with it for those couple of albums.
If you like something done by people who aren't "artists" in your book, and you don't like something by people who are "artists", what difference does it make?
Old 9th January 2017
  #68
Gear Nut
 

This is really getting pretty semantically absurd.
I mean you could say musicians playing anything
they didn't write, whether it's Louie Louie or
Beethoven's Fifth, aren't necessarily artists,
like paint by numbers isn't really art.
But as much as I loathe Coldplay, it's their original
music, so it's art. Everyone has some flavor of who
came before them. Everyone on earth learns everything
from the people who were born before them, mixing
concrete or using a pottery wheel or a skill saw.
Coldplay are not good artists, they are bad artists.
I don't have to qualify that with the words 'in my opinion',
anyone who either hears that from my lips or reads that I wrote it
knows it's my opinion. To say they aren't artists at all, it's semantics,
it has a point, you're not even giving them credit for any sort
of originality at all. Point taken. For all of us to take this so deep
into a definition of the word artist, well, we certainly have plenty of time
on our hands. We could keep it going and discuss synonyms for artist.
Google: designer, creator, originator, old master.
Old master? That's me all right. I'm starting to look like Yoda.
Old 9th January 2017
  #69
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattpyter View Post
is an artist someone who convincingly mixes stolen ideas from a wide range of genres?
Good artists borrow, great artists steal. - Pablo Picasso

It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. - Jackson Pollock

I've always taken this to mean that a great artist takes a vocabulary and makes it his own. A weak artist just dabbles in other people's ideas, and uses them as a temporary vehicle. As far as the ideas being from a wide range, I'd say it doesn't have to be. There are some great artists whose output is very narrow. I'd say the key word here is 'convincingly'. When the artist says something, has something been said?
Old 9th January 2017
  #71
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kafka's Avatar


Well, that's right. Is the artist working with the ideas, or just hanging them on the walls?
Old 9th January 2017
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
whether someone is bringing someone new to the table or not is completely objective, unlike taste which is subjective.

You can pick up Death Grips and trace back their influences, but you can't show me a band that sounded like Death Grips before them, they created something that didnt existed before - that's objective. Now, do you like it? No? It's ok because what's good or not is subjective.
Could you elucidate for us the criteria you would use to completely objectively identify those who do 'something new'?

Seriously -- I'm dying to see the measurable criteria that will allow anyone to objectively rate that creativity.
Old 9th January 2017
  #73
Gear Nut
 

whether someone is bringing someone new to the table or not is completely objective, unlike taste which is subjective.

No. A long time ago, I determined that humans really cannot be objective.
It's a false word, it isn't possible. That's a little pedantic, and not whole
true, but the point is, everyone is subjective about pretty much
everything. It's just the way it is, having a human brain inside
a human soul that views everything totally alone, apart from
the 7 billion other subjects who are also viewing it.

Whether something is new to the table or not is subjective.
One person might thing it's the most refreshing innovative
new thing in town, another person will say it's trite and
been done before. Subjectivity. Whether someone is bringing
something new to the table is a part of taste.
Old 9th January 2017
  #74
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Lenzo's Avatar
Once you reach the point of style it's only between you and you how far you take it. Call it what you will.
L.
Old 9th January 2017
  #75
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
Good artists borrow, great artists steal. - Pablo Picasso
Ha! He stole that from Stravinsky...and thus he was great, with chutzpah to spare, and no doubt got laid more than Igor, despite being an all time mysoginist.
Old 9th January 2017
  #76
Old 9th January 2017
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Ha! He stole that from Stravinsky...and thus he was great, with chutzpah to spare, and no doubt got laid more than Igor, despite being an all time mysoginist.
Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal | Quote Investigator
Old 9th January 2017
  #78
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
The Picasso reference came from none other than world class serial appropriator Steve Jobs...so I don't know how much stock to put in that.

Whereas the Stravinsky attribution came from noted scholar and critic Peter Yates, whom I'd put more credence in, in that it was a first hand account.

In any case, similar sentiments have been espoused by others, in their momentary lapse of unusual candor.

It reminds me of what the great Lennie Tristano said about Charlie Parker:"if Charlie Parker wanted to invoke plagiarism laws he could sue almost everybody who’s made a record in the last ten years.

...which I guess is a corollary - all artists steal from the great ones.
Old 9th January 2017
  #79
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitman View Post
Heavens no.

Some musicians just paint houses.
Other musicians can paint new vistas on a blank canvas.
or some paint signs...the great Jazz guitarist Tal Farlow was a professional sign painter.
Old 9th January 2017
  #80
Deleted User
Guest
I'd turn the question around. Is someone who doesn't earn a living from music a musician?
Old 9th January 2017
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
whether someone is bringing someone new to the table or not is completely objective, unlike taste which is subjective.
Er...I rather think not. Whether or not someone is bringing something new to the table is just another personal value judgement. It depends on what you mean by "new" and on your own frame of reference. Is someone performing someone else's song "new" enough? After all, their version or interpretation will be new (parhaps strikingly so) compared to the original. What about someone playing their own arrangement of someone else's song? Is that "new" enough? Or does it have to be a completely new composition? But what if that composition is really just another cookie-cutter soundalike in a particular genre? Where do you draw the line?

Well, guess what, it's up to each individual where (and how) they draw that line. There's no objective standard or criteria at all (and for all practical purposes never will be).

So you hear something and think "Hey, that's new and different!" but that's only because it is new and different to you. Someone else, who is familiar with a different range of music and styles, might hear it and think "Oh God, more derivative, unoriginal crap!" You're both right and it's because - once again - we're just talking about arbitrary criteria and subjective judgement.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a total relativist - there are many things that are clear cut and objective and measurable and capable of widespread agreement. It's just that questions of "art" or "artistry" (in any shape or form) aren't one of them and any attempt to make them so is necessarily doomed to failure.

Last edited by adrianww; 9th January 2017 at 02:22 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 9th January 2017
  #82
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boombapdame's Avatar
@sfilipee who do you like and don't like musically and why or why not? Stop getting caught up in semantics and create.

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one when we grow up." Pablo Picasso

Last edited by boombapdame; 9th January 2017 at 05:13 PM..
Old 9th January 2017
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boombapdame View Post

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain one when we grow up." Pablo Picasso
Picasso gets credit for everything!

Every Child Is an Artist. The Problem Is How to Remain an Artist Once He or She Grows Up | Quote Investigator
Old 9th January 2017
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianww View Post

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a total relativist - there are many things that are clear cut and objective and measurable and capable of widespread agreement. It's just that questions of "art" or "artistry" (in any shape or form) aren't one of them and any attempt to make them so is necessarily doomed to failure.
There are measurements though, even if some people don't buy into it, or don't want to believe it matters.

Success, recording contracts, money, chart success, awards, halls of fame....
Old 9th January 2017
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhamilton View Post
There are measurements though, even if some people don't buy into it, or don't want to believe it matters.

Success, recording contracts, money, chart success, awards, halls of fame....
Yes, but none of those things really have anything to do with who gets to be called an artist by whom.

You and I (and many others) might very well agree that someone who achieves some (or all) of the above things probably could (or even should) be called an artist. However, I'll bet that this will then include a whole bunch of people that many other folks around here (and elsewhere) wouldn't even regard as decent musicians, much less real "artists". We'd almost certainly be including several whom the OP wouldn't regard as artists according to their definition. So we're back to square one (or even square zero) again - your (or my) definition of "artist" versus someone else's.
Old 9th January 2017
  #86
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koontzness's Avatar
My insignificant opinion is that unless you are predominantly writing songs, you are a 'musician'....or maybe even just a 'guitarist' or 'bassist'. If you ARE writing your own songs, I think you are for the most part, an 'artist'. I also think that if you like and want to be 'umbrella'ed' under the categorization of 'artist', it sort of requires you to write a fair amount of material, too. I don't think the guy/girl who's written 4 or 5 songs in 10-20 years qualifies as an 'artist'. I think it's partly a lifestyle, too. Most of those folks who play Nickelback and 3 Door Down cover tunes every weekend at the local pub, are most likely categorized as 'guitarists', 'drummers', 'bassists' and 'singers'....quite likely NOT 'artists', proper. But, then again, if they are writing tunes and are driven to create their own songs as something they feel they HAVE TO DO...then I'd personally refer to them as artists. If an artist truly is an artist, then I think they have no other choice than to be continually creating...it's a calling.

Only my $.02...
Old 9th January 2017
  #87
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boombapdame's Avatar
@hhamilton that quote is one of my faves as I hate when people put an age limit on art and creating it. However what grinds my axe in any genre is juvenile lyrics.
Old 9th January 2017
  #88
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhamilton View Post
There are measurements though, even if some people don't buy into it, or don't want to believe it matters.

Success, recording contracts, money, chart success, awards, halls of fame....
By your measure, KI$$ and Britney Spears are greater artists than someone like Conlon Nancarrow or Harry Partch...sorry, can't buy into such thinking, or nonsense, whichever the case may be.

Sure subjectivity play a major role in defining what/whom an artist is, but those things you mention are at best subordinate/ancillary factors, not necessarily the meat and potatoes of it...
Old 9th January 2017
  #89
Obviously the question is one of definition or connotation.

Dictionary.com lays it out thus...

Quote:
artist

noun
1. a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
2. a person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor.
3. a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.:
a commercial artist.
4. a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer:
a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
5. a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
6. a person who is expert at trickery or deceit:
He's an artist with cards.
7. Obsolete. an artisan.

Some of us here obviously prefer 'definition number 1' -- perhaps because they might consider it to be the root, basic definition. To them, the artist is someone who performs an (aesthetically driven) art.

Others appear to prefer what is, above, definition number 5, with an inherent and inherently subjective, potentially arbitrary, connotation of excellence or merit -- and the corresponding implication that there are those who perform the same actions but without the 'required' excellence. To them, only those of a certain level can be considered artists. If this is not to be an entirely subjective and personal valuation, some form of aesthetic measure must be constructed and applied. (Many who head down this path of discourse seem to balk at the latter and fall into the rhetorical fugue of argued self-evidence of excellence; eg, The genius of this work is self-evident; anyone with ears has to recognize that.)


Really different words. Just spelled the same.

Last edited by theblue1; 9th January 2017 at 10:12 PM..
Old 9th January 2017
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrianww View Post
Yes, but none of those things really have anything to do with who gets to be called an artist by whom.

You and I (and many others) might very well agree that someone who achieves some (or all) of the above things probably could (or even should) be called an artist. However, I'll bet that this will then include a whole bunch of people that many other folks around here (and elsewhere) wouldn't even regard as decent musicians, much less real "artists". We'd almost certainly be including several whom the OP wouldn't regard as artists according to their definition. So we're back to square one (or even square zero) again - your (or my) definition of "artist" versus someone else's.
Right, but I think that's where the whole semantic thing throws everyone off.

If the OP had phrased his question differently, left out anything about who's an artist and who isn't, than he probably could have had the conversation he wanted, which is obviously more about what is it, subjectively speaking, that one may think makes someone a great artist...hit songs, great melodies, passion, luck, humor, dedication, juvenile lyrics, originality, money, no money, fame, musical dexterity, ego, drugs, good publicist, nice face, mental problems, blah, blah, blah......

This was the same thing in the other thread...the OP insisted on saying people who were artists, weren't, and that just won't work. Although the thread went on for millions of pages, so maybe it did work. Because who really wants to have a serious conversation about what makes a great artist?
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