Login / Register 0 items | $0.00 New @ KVR
User avatar
IncarnateX
KVRAF
 
2931 posts since 25 Jan, 2009, from Forgotten Realms

Postby IncarnateX; Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:47 am Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Hi (TLDR? Just answer the question in the title as you understand it ad hoc)

I was among the first electronic musicians rising in the light of synth-pop, krautrock, industrial (EBM) etc. that entered professional music schools in my small country in the late 1980s. At my school, I was actually the only electronic musician among 80 Debussy, Miles Davis, Coltrane or Chick Corea wannebees. I was sneezed at because at that time there was a huge gab between electronica and so called "real music". To be a "real musician" you had to be some degree of excellent on some instrument; electric or classical guitar, trumpet, saxophone, upright bass, piano or keyboard. I was none of the above. What I went to music school for was to learn to compose the music I wanted to compose, to control notes, to arrange, to harmonize, to master different styles. Sequencers and synths helped me to do just that.

I remember that nobody took me seriously at all but a friendly sax player. I was but a fake musician all the way through. And it did not help that I made the highest grades in composition exercises such as jazz harmonization and counterpoint. That made me even more pathetic, using my skills on stupid electronic music instead of real live music. However, the contempt could be mutual because on my side, I considered many of those "instrumentalists" nothing but self-obsessed masturbationists who turned their instruments into penis enlargements and litterally acted as if anyone else in a group was nothing but personal backing to their oh-so-fast-played improvisations. In my eyes, they lacked sense of wholeness, respect for other musical functions than their own, took composers for granted (all good music are already in "The Real Book" and the rest is derivation) and generally lacked sense of musical structure and order. As if playing as-wierd-as-possible scales in amazing tempi during improvisations was the real core of music.

We didn't talk much.

But these days I take it for granted that we have long passed this former division, now that everyone, may they be composer or instrumentalists, have access to cheap DAWS and easily can make their own home studios and compositions. But then again, I am not really sure. One characteristic of many instrumentalists on my school was that they actually hated music theory and composition class and most of all wished they could survive the whole study by using their ears and improvise.

So now I ask you, do you have any experience in this regard? are there still instrumentalist snobs around or have they become extinct?

Plz write about your take on it and enlighten me on the issue in modern times.

Thanks in advance
Last edited by IncarnateX on Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Aloysius
KVRAF
 
21833 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:03 am Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

To be a "real musician" these days, you still need to play real instruments. Nothing has changed.
Impeach 64. Keep 32-bit Plug-ins alive.
chk071
KVRAF
 
16386 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:07 am Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

How good that i played the drums, 20 years ago.
User avatar
VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
 
7832 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Postby VariKusBrainZ; Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:14 am Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

I see different skills being compared
deastman
KVRAF
 
6744 posts since 6 Aug, 2003, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby deastman; Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:23 am Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

You’re speaking in absolutes, as if it has to be all one or the other. People come from all kinds of backgrounds and orientations. There are still those focused on perfecting their craft on a traditional instrument a classical tradition. There are still avant-garde experimentalists. There are pop musicians. And everything in between. It is true, however, that computers and electronic music have become a far more pervasive part of everyday life, and as such, there would have to be broader acceptance for electronic music and electronic musical instruments. But bigotry and narrow mindedness will always remain alive and well... on both sides of the fence.
Incomplete list of my gear: 110V AC to 12V DC 1.5A power supply (+ tip)
KBSoundSmith
KVRian
 
690 posts since 6 Jul, 2009

Postby KBSoundSmith; Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:28 am Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

I got out of music school just a few years ago. By and large, it's still a time-capsule.

I dared to use -- gasp!!! -- distortion on a sound. I was met with puzzled stares and questions on why I would want to use such ghastly sounds. "They're...part of modern culture?" Go figure.

The thing that gets me is that Jazz musicians are far worse with this crap than the classical musicians -- you'd think it would be the opposite, but nope. Jazz artists are comparatively boring and hyper-conservative, whereas classical musicians in my experience were much more open-minded...they at least have a tradition of trying to find new things and "advance the art form" (even if they cause them to die via over-intellectualizing). Jazzers are very keyed in on doing the same thing over and over again, amen alleluia, oral tradition for ya, don't deviate from the formula or Get Off the A-Train.

There was generally a complete lack of interest and understanding of electronics. Even a lot of the other composers were mostly disinterested. It was basically me and my teachers (great open-minded, intellectually curious bunch, I exclude them from all of the above criticisms) who had any interest in anything outside of the empty concert halls.

Similar to your story, I was head and shoulders above others when it came to my grasp of music theory, past and modern...to the annoyance of many (certainly not all) around me.

Thing is, I still love classical music above all, even more than the electronics (which will have to be pried from my dead hands). But it was clear to me that many of the musicians who were seeking to play that music were culturally illiterate of the modern world, or put too much stock in the words of "authority" figures and their values on culture, and I just can't tolerate it.

All that aside...

I'd argue that the general public still wants to see people physically perform music too. They want to see the fingers moving over a piano keyboard, not hovering sluggishly over a laptop. People admire visible effort. And I don't entirely disagree -- my criticism of many electronic musicians is their lack of understanding of basic musical concepts and their undeveloped physical connection and resulting intuition of music. Many would do themselves some good to take lessons for a bit and try to think like musicians rather than engineers.

But obviously, a balance needs to be had -- electronic music is a different animal and can be harmed by too slavish an attachment to the past. It's why I think it has overall been healthy for most electronic music to have developed among "amateurs" rather than the "learned". Example: EDM sound design is putting academic electronic art to shame. The pendulum of progress has swung to the public and away from schools -- little of cultural worth is happening in the academies in my estimation.
User avatar
fmr
KVRAF
 
7403 posts since 16 Mar, 2003, from Porto - Portugal

Postby fmr; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:02 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Aloysius wrote:To be a "real musician" these days, you still need to play real instruments. Nothing has changed.

Then I guess Brian Eno is not a "real musician" :borg:
Fernando (FMR)
User avatar
Aloysius
KVRAF
 
21833 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:03 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Correct.
Impeach 64. Keep 32-bit Plug-ins alive.
chk071
KVRAF
 
16386 posts since 10 Apr, 2010, from Germany

Postby chk071; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:04 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Depends. Did he ever sample himself playing on a guitar or something? :P

Just one note is enough to make him a true musician...
User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
22626 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:15 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Image
User avatar
donkey tugger
Boss Lovin' DR
 
4523 posts since 14 Mar, 2002, from the grimness of yorkshire

Postby donkey tugger; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:17 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

thecontrolcentre wrote:Image


That's not a real instrument. It's only got 4 strings.
Woodgardens
KVRist
 
185 posts since 18 Oct, 2017

Postby Woodgardens; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:22 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Reinventing the wheel, probably ;)
User avatar
Aloysius
KVRAF
 
21833 posts since 11 Aug, 2008, from a computer

Postby Aloysius; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:26 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Musicians don't play banjos either. Nice try. Nice haircut.
Impeach 64. Keep 32-bit Plug-ins alive.
User avatar
thecontrolcentre
KVRAF
 
22626 posts since 27 Jul, 2005, from the wilds of wanny

Postby thecontrolcentre; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:28 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

donkey tugger wrote:
thecontrolcentre wrote:Image


That's not a real instrument. It's only got 4 strings.

Image
Does a joystick count?
User avatar
Russell Grand
KVRian
 
1117 posts since 22 May, 2017

Postby Russell Grand; Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:30 pm Re: Is there still such a thing like instrumentalist snobbery around?

Aloysius wrote:Correct.


*cough* bullsh*t! *cough*
Next

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Return to Everything Else (Music related)