Originally Posted by Anon La Ply
It's ironic for drummers to claim to be musicians and then say rappers aren't - each is focused on rhythm.
The loops programmers are musicians too. Is Bermuda not being a musician when programming parts for some of Weird Al's songs? Or Pat Mastelotto when he was with Crimson?
Good call, Grea. I also like the bit you attribute to Duncan about intent. To me, that and context has everything to do with whether something's music or not, and whether the person doing it is any kind of musician.
But again, I've been brainwashed by enough bad jokes to associate musician with music - as in actual tuned notes, scales, modes, and all that - hell, many of us drummers think we're pretty clever if we can tune our toms in 4ths, or to just get top and bottom heads in tune with themselves. I'm not about to get all worked up by anyone thinking drummers aren't proper musicians, because by many critical measures, we're simply not, despite our contributions to the final product.
Drummers talk in vagaries like bright vs dark, attack vs round, sustain vs dry, but "musicians" speak very mathematically: integer multiples of specific frequencies. If someone's out of tune, a musician can hear it right away - how many drummers can hear when their batter / resos stray from whatever random shell sweet-spot "note" they were tuned to to begin with? Minor and major? Where is there anything similar with drums that isn't just some fleeting state and a happy accident? Sure, there's tuned percussion, but most of us here are kick, snare, a couple toms, and a few cymbals, which can be kind of faux-melodic in a way, but seriously, it's just not the same.
But at the end of the day, I'm as much of a paranoid, knee-jerk, defensive, inferiority-complex ridden wreck as the next drummer, so yeah - we're musicians, man!