Being a musician is no simple thing. It’s one of those titles that isn’t exactly clear when one becomes or is made into a musician but we do certainly when someone is one. It’s also confused when it comes to who is doing the labeling. Perhaps to some we are a musician, when to ourselves we feel like an imposter and not really a musician at all.
Simply a musician is someone who makes music. Dictionarily speaking a musician is a conductor, composer or performer of music – which just opens a bunch more questions doesn’t it! Is a musician the one who makes the sound? Or the one who plays the instrument that makes the sound? Or one who writes the sound for the one who plays the instrument that makes the sound? Or the one who conducts the one who writes the sound for the one who plays the instrument that makes the sound?
Whatever it is exactly, it is a beautiful label to worn with pride. It is an important label to be held properly. Musicians rely on one another for the perpetuation of the reputation of our work. Musicians will often give one another a bad name through their own behaviour, musicians have that reputation sometimes – messy, unprofessional, scattered, unprepared and unsuccessful – despite there being many musicians to the contrary.
Musicians too are not always professional. To speak of “Amateur” and “Professional” musicians brings up a raft of images too. A description of the kind of musician, the kind of the one who makes the sound.
Above all it’s an identity that one can hold for themselves, a statement of the value that one places in the music that they might – an identification of self to the art that they do. They are not only making art, but they are the one who brought the music to be, without whom that particular collection of sounds and silences would not be.