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Fabiano Formiga de Carvalho
Suppressing the word 'violinist', one may enlarge the question, avoiding the cloister of  the violin technicality. In this open way, we can walk until the concept of music, which underlies all this discussion.

What about asking if  Luciano Pavarotti was a musician? If a drummer is a musician?

If I consider a person as a musician, am I refering to the division of labour in certain society? Or to certain affinity degree of a person towards Music?

Violin technique is a mere means of producing sound or is itself a goal? What is the difference between a violinist virtuoso and a juggler?

On the Music: why a large number of Muslims ban the Music in general?

Fabiano Formiga de Carvalho
4 Responses
Posted: January 11, 2018
Last Comment: January 12, 2018

Inge Black
Posted: January 12, 2018
I think some time ago when for some reason a "being" question came up and I pondered it, I realized that I will never be able to define myself that way, and that I can only relate to "doing".  I can tell you what I do, but not what I am.  I learn to play.  I play.  I try to produce a sound in a passage and learn how to do that. I am sad, pick up my recorder, play something, and am comforted.  I hear something familiar played in a moving way and ask "What did that person just do here?" and maybe experiment if I can play that instrument well enough.  I can only relate to doing.

Pavarotti said "I am a student." while at the height of his career.  That I can do.  I can relate to this.  But then, what am I doing in the act of being a student?

Meanwhile, "professionals", "musicians" etc. are also defined by money earning capacity.  Some people play terribly, with some gimmick, or render lousy service in their profession, but still collect money.  That doesn't attract me.  Hm.  I think I like "student".  Discoverer. Explorer.  Something like that.

Fabiano Formiga de Carvalho
Posted: January 11, 2018
How many poems must somebody construct to be considered a poet? Isn't a violin a poem?
How many sonatas to play to be considered a violinist? 

Fabiano Formiga de Carvalho
Posted: January 11, 2018

It seems that it's the same question: what's a poet?

I think these are essential questions for us, adult violin learners. They help us to understand ourselves. To understand why we are tied to the violin.

Thinking of Al. How many volins must somebody have constructed to merit the title of LUTHIER?

Beth Blackerby
Posted: January 11, 2018
Fabiano, I agree that there are probably different definitions of what a musician is. In some contexts, at least here in Austin, TX a musician is someone who is making at least a little pocket change playing music somewhere for someone. We have non profit that sells cheap health insurance for "musicians". I think to qualify you must be "poor" but still play music somewhere. Even if you'd only played a guitar for a few years and play with a band somewhere, you can call yourself a musician. So where I live, musician definitely refers to a status of employment. But in the general sense, one might think of a musician as a person who has developed basic skills in which to make music. My husband took violin for a few years as an adult. He quit midway Suzuki book 1. He can sort of carry a tune and can clap to a beat, but can't sing and stay within a key, nor clap simple subdivisions of a beat. So in my opinion he's not a musician. My daughters on the other hand have studied music to the point that they can play their instruments to the degree of "making music". Their rhythm and intonation are more or less decent, they can read music, but neither have any plans whatsoever to pursue it as a career. I still consider them musicians... :)