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  #41  
Old 01-22-2013, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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I'm sorry, but this is borderline ridiculous.
Far beyond borderline, man.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
I prefer to think of myself as a thespian though.
And I think of myself as a dancer. I dance while holding a couple of wooden dowels as I sit very close to a bunch of round things. Somehow, music is the unexpected result!
  #43  
Old 01-22-2013, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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I suppose this is a dumb question.

Some great replies! I'm thankful for most of them.
You suppose?

Well done, genius.
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  #44  
Old 01-22-2013, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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At least it gave you a good laugh.
So you really question drummers being musicians?
No: Good! Yes: Well, stop questioning and feel like a musician already!! ;)
  #45  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Just check out "Boléro" from Maurice Ravel or if not convinced check
"Concerto for 2 pianos, percussion and orchestra" from Béla Bartòk,
and many, many, many more.

NOW : IMAGINE ALL THIS GREAT MUSIC WITHOUT PERCUSSION!!!

It needs many years of studying to be a good musician and be able to
play this percussion parts, and it needs also a lot of preparation and
experience as a musician to make all kind's of music sound good as a
drummer who play's "only" the Drums.
  #46  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

I think its more important that other musicans call drummers musicans....
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  #47  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Drummers are musicians, but most players of instruments are not.

While guitar players "grow on trees", drummers are few and far between, but the percentage of decent drum players is probably about the same as on other instruments.

As a guitar player in the countryside of a small country I know far to well how hard it is to find any drummer to begin with and having to put up with someone who simple doesn't cut it. Basic music and listening skills are the usual problem. Enjoy the 5 minute, one dynamic money beat song with strange tempo variations.

A drummer who approaches playing music and songs with the same intention as other musicians is a musicians. If not, to me, he's just someone who hits drums.

I don't know if there are translations in other countries, but here in Norway it's become sort of a common dexcription to differentiate between the hitting drummer and the playing drummer, which offcourse means different things to different people.

The drums are also different enough from other instruments that it's really hard for other musicians to appreciate what's truly involved. It's simply a matter of "Does he/she feel good to play with?", with no deeper understanding at all like they can have with other tonal instruments.

So the comments seem to partly be based on bad experiences with drummers musicians find it hard to create music with and partly based on the fact that other musicians are unable to look at musical challenges from the drummers perspective.

Offcourse, at the higher levels of musicianship there shouldn't really be much of a difference at all.
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  #48  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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. . .
Wow.........I think that qualifies as "fish abuse"
  #49  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

For me the question is: Are you are drummer or are you a guy that happens to own a drum set?
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  #50  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
. . .
Now that is properly funny :) :) :) The suspenders are just so wrong - really wrong ;) getting close to Pythonesque bad taste Henri, & I love it!!!!!!
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  #51  
Old 01-22-2013, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Bushmanic View Post
I can't find the exact thread/post at the moment, where larryace (Uncle Larry) wrote down very interesting thoughts about why drummers are not always considered musicians. Would be a great read for all who keeps asking themselfs/others this very question.p
I know the one you mean, Bush (or do you prefer Maniac?) ... if I remember rightly, Larry's comment came from frustration at seeing other drummers at local jams - drummers who bash all the time, who don't listen and just shoehorn their licks into the songs, who step on the vocals and soloists, whose tempo is uneven etc.

He was talking about players who never got past their noob garage drummer habits (guys with drum sets). Bear in mind that Larry started out as a garage player himself (as did I). Over time he gave up his bad drummer habits, got in demand, and became the drumming equivalent of a vehement reformed smoker or ex-junkie evangelist ;-)

Most people question the bona fides of garage-y drummers - likewise garage guitarists, bassist and singers, though history set up drummers as an easier target.

As Earthrocker said, early last century the old guard classical people had enough trouble accepting jazz as a legitimate musical form let alone drummers, who at the time only played a basic timekeeping role and frequently were the least musically educated member of the band. There was also racism and embarrassingly odious snobbery in some who thought of drumming as a primitive black man activity and that white classical music was inherently superior.

My history's a bit dicey (understatement) but I think Chick Webb the first drummer last century to get the general public respecting drummers. Gene and Buddy progressed that line and drew great crowds. I understand that the intelligent, educated and refined Max Roach played a role in turning people's heads around about drummers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvdU5R7ywQ4

Some classical boffins believed that drums were not a musical instrument but merely noise makers. At the time drums did have more of a sound effect role in classical rather than being intrinsically tied to the flow and structure of the music as they are in jazz and other modern music.

Nowadays, of course, noise-making can be a legitimate musical pastime. Duncan and I have talked about this stuff a bit and he pointed me to instances where noise is used in mainstream music and listeners (including me) barely even notice, apart from digging it.

People love to say "that's not music" about music that challenges their conservative and fearful world view, eg. Cage, Stockhausen, free jazz (some say it's not "jazz"). My Dad said it about The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.

Duncan also put me on to the notion that what distinguishes music from non-music is intent. So music need not travel up and down the stave, nor even be capable of being written with conventional notation. If you intend to make music, then you're making music. Whether it's any good or not is another matter.

I don't think gatekeeping is logically valid - "not a musician", "it's not music", "it's not jazz", "it's not rock'n'roll". It's whatever the performers intend it to be and from there others can judge its merit or lack. On one thread Matt Smith referred to Muzak as an "artificial musiclike product", a parsing that I like a lot. Sincerity (or its lack) is a defining factor.

It's hard to imagine this question coming up in places with rich rhythmic traditions like Africa, Asia or South/Central America.
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  #52  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Some classical boffins believed that drums were not a musical instrument but merely noise makers.
Oh, so that's the proper term for [name and relationship withheld to protect the delicate snob]!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
If you intend to make music, then you're making music.
You had me up ’til that bit. For your consideration, I offer any keen kid beginning to learn to play the violin. Music? Not so much, I would suggest.
  #53  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

I am a musician. I play drums, cymbals, and a few other percussion instruments. I can play guitar a little, but why would I want to do that if I can play drums instead? Peace and goodwill.
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  #54  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
... if I remember rightly, Larry's comment came from frustration at seeing other drummers at local jams - drummers who bash all the time, who don't listen and just shoehorn their licks into the songs, who step on the vocals and soloists, whose tempo is uneven etc.
?!? ...I didn't know Larry came to my gigs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Some classical boffins believed that drums were not a musical instrument but merely noise makers. At the time drums did have more of a sound effect role in classical rather than being intrinsically tied to the flow and structure of the music as they are in jazz and other modern music.
A drummer is a musician, of course, and drums are instruments indeed.

But what about some "drummers" who don't have any "musical" background, they don't know and don't understand note value, time signature, rudiments or the application of the sol-fa syllables to a musical scale or to a melody, they can only "bash" the drums , but they can't discuss or explain anything about music, technically, harmonically or melodically, are they still called "musicians"? I'm not talking about beginners, some drummers have been playing like that for years, and although they're obviously not professional they still gig around locally.

Is it OK to just bang the drum to a pulse, not knowing what you're doing (even if it sounds good) and having credit for it? My guess is that our "reputation" lies with those type of drummers, which are seen by the other instrumentalists as non-musicians because of the lack of any kind of education in music.


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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
...getting close to Pythonesque bad taste Henri, & I love it!!!!!!
I was only imaging your post Andy, you called Doc a "naughty girl", lol ... for me it was enough to get to the drawing board :)
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  #55  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post

I was only imaging your post Andy, you called Doc a "naughty girl", lol ... for me it was enough to get to the drawing board :)
& a very funny 'toon it is too :)

Re: the OP's question: Along with the singer, if we screw up (& I mean just missing one backbeat), the audience notices much more than minor screwups from other musicians in the band. Us getting our job done, is probably more taken for granted than with other players. If a singer nails that note, if a guitarist nails that solo, they attract far more praise than the drummer who nails the groove.

Another "reason" for the devaluation of our role, is that most non musos, & some musos too, think they can play drums. I mean, "how hard can it be" eh?
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  #56  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Fish abuse aside, I know some guitar players who shouldn't call themselves musicians. Ergo, it's not the instrument that counts, it's how you use it.
  #57  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

i know various instrument players who deem themselves "musicians" who probably shouldn't. and i'm pretty sure i'm one of them! :-)
  #58  
Old 01-23-2013, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Anduin View Post
You had me up ’til that bit. For your consideration, I offer any keen kid beginning to learn to play the violin. Music? Not so much, I would suggest.
It depends. If the child is attempting to play a song then it's music - just music that's played without much understanding or physical control.


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Originally Posted by Mad About Drums View Post
But what about some "drummers" who don't have any "musical" background, they don't know and don't understand note value, time signature, rudiments or the application of the sol-fa syllables to a musical scale or to a melody, they can only "bash" the drums , but they can't discuss or explain anything about music, technically, harmonically or melodically, are they still called "musicians"? I'm not talking about beginners, some drummers have been playing like that for years, and although they're obviously not professional they still gig around locally.
You already know the answer, Henri, but I'll pretend you don't :)

That, of course, is what Larry was talking about at the open jam nights. Really, there's nothing great about being a musician since a hack is still a musician - a hack musician as opposed to a hack golfer (who is still a golfer) or a hack painter (who is still a painter).

As DocWat said, there are some pretty poor guitar, bass and vocalising hacks out there too. Whatever, people find their own level and have fun with that. I see no reason to insult them by claiming that what they do doesn't exist - if we don't like it we can always just "change the channel".
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Maybe I've taken the old joke too seriously, but I do see a distinction between operating in the realm of rhythm-only vs. operating in the realm of melody and harmony (which still includes rhythm). Copyright law also sees a distinction and music degrees aren't awarded to drummers who only know drums.

If drummer is worried about not being considered a musician, then drummer should consider learning another instrument.
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  #60  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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...If a singer nails that note, if a guitarist nails that solo, they attract far more praise than the drummer who nails the groove.
...
Maybe it's the circles I follow, but I find more praise about recorded drum solos than any other instrument (perhaps besides vocal).

I mean, a cool guitar riff/solo is cool, but when a drummer lets loose, usually everybody watches.

My (then) 8 yr old nephew went to a Rush concert just to see Neil Peart play a solo. Watching the rest of the band was just a bonus.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Okay, so drummer are musicians.

What about rappers? :)
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Rappers!?!?!?!?!?

Does Dr. Suess count?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Regarding rappers:

It depends on the musical instruments being used to perform.

One could argue that the voice is the oldest instrument, and rapping is an operation or manipulation of that instrument.

Whether or not it is considered music is up to the audience (or performer). It is definitely an art. But I define music as being played by instruments. I don't perceive a machine playing loops as an instrument.

Some rappers perform with a band = song.

Others perform to background loops = poetic story telling.

Both could be considered art, and both (to be done well) require some level of talent. It is just a different talent than a flutist (for example).
  #64  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:33 PM
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It is just a different talent than a flutist (for example).
Understatement of the year! LOL
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

some..just like some singers or some pianist should...

...some should not...

The difference is the subjective evaluation of music.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

A oder example of a musician-drummer.
He wrote every single note from all instruments of the playback
and then played live on top of it :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yaob9S6SEXI
  #67  
Old 01-24-2013, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

It's ironic for drummers to claim to be musicians and then say rappers aren't - each is focused on rhythm. In 20 years' time rappers will be as integrated into the music system as synthesisers ... there was a time when they weren't musical instruments either. Not real instruments.

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?
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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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!
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  #69  
Old 01-24-2013, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

i find it hilarious that someone could class themselves as a musician (being a drummer), but then say that a &quot;rapper&quot; somehow isn't, or is in some way inferior. i think this will be a fun thread (;
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:54 PM
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i find it hilarious that someone could class themselves as a musician (being a drummer), but then say that a &quot;rapper&quot; somehow isn't, or is in some way inferior. i think this will be a fun thread (;
I just went back and read the posts. I didn't see anyone who said that a rapper is not a musician. Please direct me to the someone you're referring to.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Some classical boffins believed that drums were not a musical instrument but merely noise makers. At the time drums did have more of a sound effect role in classical rather than being intrinsically tied to the flow and structure of the music as they are in jazz and other modern music.

Nowadays, of course, noise-making can be a legitimate musical pastime. Duncan and I have talked about this stuff a bit and he pointed me to instances where noise is used in mainstream music and listeners (including me) barely even notice, apart from digging it.

People love to say "that's not music" about music that challenges their conservative and fearful world view, eg. Cage, Stockhausen, free jazz (some say it's not "jazz"). My Dad said it about The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.

Duncan also put me on to the notion that what distinguishes music from non-music is intent. So music need not travel up and down the stave, nor even be capable of being written with conventional notation. If you intend to make music, then you're making music. Whether it's any good or not is another matter.
This is where things get interesting for me, as Grea said - we've discussed this at some length (usually in PMs) so I'll add my two Penneth and give some historical context.

With regard to the 'noise makers', yes. Fundamentally, percussion (obvious exceptions aside like the Piano and the Xylophone) are 'noisy' instruments. That is (if we're using technical descriptions) instruments that produce a wide-bandwidth sound with a relatively hard-to-define (or no) fundamental. In reality, although we can describe the pitch of our drums as 'low' or 'high' and sometimes even ascribe a fundamental note value, in general use drums are 'noisy' - particularly snare drums. Cymbals can be the same but that gets even more complicated, obviously.

This 'relegates' drums to rhythmic use in most orchestral situations.

One hundred years ago, a proto-Fascist movement in Italy called the 'Futurists' attempted to write a manifesto that would encompass a wide range of social movements. Within that movement, Luigi Russolo wrote a piece called 'The Art of Noises' in which he describes and categorises noises (inspired by the sounds of industrial machines) and attempts to increase the range of sounds available to performers:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Mad Italian
This evolution toward noise-sound is only possible today. The ear of an eighteenth century man never could have withstood the discordant intensity of some of the chords produced by our orchestras (whose performers are three times as numerous); on the other hand our ears rejoice in it, for they are attuned to modern life, rich in all sorts of noises. But our ears far from being satisfied, keep asking for bigger acoustic sensations. However, musical sound is too restricted in the variety and the quality of its tones. The most complicated orchestra can be reduced to four or five categories of instruments with different sound tones: rubbed string instruments, pinched string instruments, metallic wind instruments, wooden wind instruments, and percussion instruments. Music marks time in this small circle and vainly tries to create a new vari- ety of tones. We must break at all cost from this restrictive circle of pure sounds and conquer the infinite variety of noise-sounds.
Russolo proposed a series of noise-instruments that could reproduce some of the mechanical noises of his day and wrote (quite unsuccessful) music for them. Now these were bespoke, intentional noise compositions and although all of Russolo's instruments were eventually lost (combinations of a lack of care and the toils of the Second World War) the ideas stuck.

What Russolo ultimately did was raise awareness of what was already there. He goes further by categorising and proposing but noise in music is by no means a new thing. If you listen to the envelope of a Violin, you hear the rosin in the bow against the string scraping. If you pick a guitar string, you hear the plectrum hit the string. These are all inherently 'noisy' sounds - you just accept them as part of your everyday listening because they've always been there, as a mechanical part of the instrument. These are almost always the first-motion point of sound generation (i.e. the 'attack' portion of the ADSR envelope) because that is the most mechanical part of sound generation and where we like to focus our technique in terms of playing (as drummers at least).

Noise is in everything we hear, say, do. It's there. The 'intention' part is interesting because if we're talking about 'Noise Music' - then there are a variety of definitions and meanings. 'Noise' usually refers to that which is unwanted - look at the idea of a 'noise floor' in sound engineering or photography - but by consciously constructing 'Noise', we introduce an inherent paradox or contradiction. That's where the field of 'intention' comes into music and that is a whole lot more complicated...

If anyone's interested, 'The Art of Noises' is available as a free PDF:

http://www.artype.de/Sammlung/pdf/russolo_noise.pdf
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post
Duncan also put me on to the notion that what distinguishes music from non-music is intent. So music need not travel up and down the stave, nor even be capable of being written with conventional notation. If you intend to make music, then you're making music. Whether it's any good or not is another matter.
People hear music in places where there was never intent to create any. The expression "music to my ears" comes to mind. I can hear music in the repetitive rhythms and whine of machinery. But those machines were not built with the intent of creating music.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by JasperGTR View Post
Maybe it's the circles I follow, but I find more praise about recorded drum solos than any other instrument (perhaps besides vocal).

I mean, a cool guitar riff/solo is cool, but when a drummer lets loose, usually everybody watches.

My (then) 8 yr old nephew went to a Rush concert just to see Neil Peart play a solo. Watching the rest of the band was just a bonus.
I can agree with that. I was referring to a more general population view (i.e. demographic of an X factor/ American Idol audience).

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Originally Posted by inneedofgrace View Post


What about rappers? :)
There's only one thing missing from rap, & that's prefix letter "C" ;)
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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I just went back and read the posts. I didn't see anyone who said that a rapper is not a musician. Please direct me to the someone you're referring to.
oh i apologize, i didn't actually bother to read the posts. i'm glad we agree rappers are musicians :-)
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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There's only one thing missing from rap, & that's prefix letter "C" ;)
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
... in general use drums are 'noisy'
Well, “noise” is in the ear of the beholder. You have my sympathy for playing an instrument you seem to dislike.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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In 20 years' time rappers will be as integrated into the music system as synthesisers
I’ve pondered that sort of thing now and then. My current thought is that, no, rap will never be “as integrated into the music system as synthesisers.”

Love of drums aside, the part of music that really stays in human minds is melody. There’s some sort of mysterious glue that sticks melodies to neurons. The ability to remember melody is completely innate and comes with the human condition. But that is not so true for rhythm, and since rap has no melody, I think that the whole genre will fade pretty quickly from general public consciousness. There’s just nothing going on in rap that works on the level of melodic music.

And for those who disagree, I suggest that the only way you can remember rap tracks is by extensive repetition. But you remember “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for the rest of your life after only 1 or 2 hearings.

Sadly, I must admit that what I said above also applies to drums, or drum solos, anyway. I mean, I know Peart plays a very cool solo on the latest live video, but I don’t remember much in the way of detail.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

About rappers ... the question was asked so you can only assume that rappers' musicianly cred was considered by the asker to be questionable. There must be lots of musical laypersons who'd question rappers' (and drummers') musical credentials - and a smaller percentage of musicians.

Once you get to noise music (Duncan, maybe I should call it "atonal" since, as you say, "noise" is generally taken to be unwanted sound) most laypersons and plenty of musicians question their bona fides.

As always, you end up with a theory and practice and that comes down to why it matters whether you're considered a muso or not. The only applications I can think of are social and financial. In practice, the detail matters more - not whether you're a muso or not but the role you can fulfil in a musical outfit ... the genres you can cover authentically (or at least satisfactorily), the songs and pieces you know (or can wing) and the degree of improv skill needed.

Even then, none of that matters so much if the chemistry is off. It's all pretty well a moot point.


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Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
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?
Yes, I think it's brainwashing, Mike. Think about it - "a musician can hear it right away". Can they really? Most don't have a clue about drum tones and tuning.

We choose to play a particular cymbal or tom in any given moment because the tone sounds more appropriate to us in that spot ... that is, to play a different tom or cymbal would sound less in tune. How often do the "real musicians" correct us when we get it wrong? Never? To them it might just sound a bit off, but they don't know why. In most musics, we play by ear just like everyone else does.

The fact that other musicians are sensitive to their own tuned instruments and the relationship with other tuned instruments does not make them more musicianly - they know their domain and we know ours, with some crossover. Also, there are plenty of tuned instrument players with a dicey sense of rhythm.

If travelling up and down a stave in a controlled way is what defines a "musician" then, say, Neil Peart is only a musician because he does that diddle diddle dum thing on the glock during the YYZ solo ;)

BTW - "Paranoid, knee-jerk, defensive, inferiority-complex ridden wreck" - I like it :)


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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
Noise is in everything we hear, say, do. It's there. The 'intention' part is interesting because if we're talking about 'Noise Music' - then there are a variety of definitions and meanings. 'Noise' usually refers to that which is unwanted - look at the idea of a 'noise floor' in sound engineering or photography - but by consciously constructing 'Noise', we introduce an inherent paradox or contradiction. That's where the field of 'intention' comes into music and that is a whole lot more complicated...
Thanks for that post, Duncan. It added much depth to the conversation. Still amazes me that a fascist could have come up with such groundbreaking ideas - normally you'd associate fascism with retrograde thinking.

Noise musicians must be the most likely to cop the "no musician" tag (and perhaps the least likely to care). You'd be hard pressed to find a layperson who considered the more edgy noise musos to be musicians. The bar always shifts. Once drummers were considered amusical noise makers, now the bar has shifted - at least to some extent.

So true that we dig noise without realising. I think of someone like Jamie Muir - how much he added to Crimson, yet most of what he added was sound effects ... brilliantly chosen and executed.

Another noisemaker that people might not think of in that context was Michael Cotton and his synth effects with The Tubes (before they had to go commercial to pay the bills). He adds so much to the tracks ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN3ZdIVS9Ac#t=4m33s


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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
People hear music in places where there was never intent to create any. The expression "music to my ears" comes to mind. I can hear music in the repetitive rhythms and whine of machinery. But those machines were not built with the intent of creating music.
Yes, you can hear music in machinery sounds in that it affects you like music. I think theoretically that would mean you subjectively experience everyday sounds as music. In the end, the whole world is a sound track if you're receptive to it - endless textures, tones and quasi rhythms - Cage's piece was called 4'33" but it could have been called Forever. Certainly it was in Cage's perception.

All a bit of a digression but we probably flogged what was already a dying horse into the ground so we might as well flog some more dying beasts :)
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

Just going to call you on something Grea briefly before I lose my patience with the World and its oysters (not you, just in a bad mood - time for a cigarette).

I wouldn't ever classify 'noise' music as 'atonal'. Sure, there are elements of noise in atonality (and I would argue inherently so - but that's a story for another day) but to try and alleviate the paradox of 'noise music' by calling it 'atonal' suggests that there is a form of tonality to base it on in the first place. If you're really creating 'noise' as bespoke, then you don't have those reference points. Although etymologically calling it 'atonal' is correct (inasmuch as it lacks tonal centering) aesthetically it's not if you trace the lineage - at least of the terminology.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: Should drummers call themselves musicians?

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Just going to call you on something Grea briefly before I lose my patience with the World and its oysters (not you, just in a bad mood - time for a cigarette).

I wouldn't ever classify 'noise' music as 'atonal'. Sure, there are elements of noise in atonality (and I would argue inherently so - but that's a story for another day) but to try and alleviate the paradox of 'noise music' by calling it 'atonal' suggests that there is a form of tonality to base it on in the first place. If you're really creating 'noise' as bespoke, then you don't have those reference points. Although etymologically calling it 'atonal' is correct (inasmuch as it lacks tonal centering) aesthetically it's not if you trace the lineage - at least of the terminology.
Have a ciggie, Duncan :)

Okay, to clarify - while atonality is inherently noise, there is no tonal reference point within itself. My reference point was / is conventional music.

This reminds me of a time when I briefly went out with an experimental music theorist (who'd formerly played in an experimental outfit and was very integrated in the scene).

Early on he called me up and at the time I was listening to Larks Tongues Pt 1 (as one does). He said "Ah, listening to melodic music" to which I went "Whaaaaat??". When he played me some of his music I understood; the only melodic-ish music in his experimental collection (and the only one I could cope with at the time) was David Behrman.

A lot of people would say it's not music in the same way as people claim that a 3-year old could paint a Pollock. Evolution is a painfully slow process ...
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