Musicians are not artists

What’s up with this trend to call musicians “artists”??! I think it needs to end and end right now. Painters are artists and musicians are people who play instruments. Care to prove me wrong?

28 responses to “Musicians are not artists”

  1. No no. Musicians are artists. Music is an ‘art’, I think. Wouldn’t you agree Howard Shore is an artist? That stuff he composed for the LOTR trilogy: golden. Seriously. He’s an artist.

  2. Check out and look up “artist.” Definition #3 is: “One, such as an actor or singer, who works in the performing arts.”

    Artists are people who create art and art takes many forms.

  3. Mark, I think that totally qualifies you. I used to rake the yard. Does that make me an environmental engineer? Gosh, I think I might need to get some extra business cards printed.

  4. So if musicians are not artists, then you can’t really classify music as an art — right? So what is it then, science? technology? culture?

    Music is open to intepretation and creativity. Put those elements into science, and you’re likely to get junk science — so it can’t be science alone

    Music can be made by opening your mouth and using different inflections in tone to create a melody – technology not required

    Music doesn’t need any lyrics or a particular sound, so it could be difficult in some circumstances to identify as part of a specific culture

    So, what is music? You claim it’s not art (or that rather musicians are not artists), can you prove you’re right?

  5. Ok, I admit it. I’m a wanna be rock star musician that likes music nobody else likes. I play Christmas music in the summertime and like playing classical music. But I do like some modern music. Just ask Andrew.

    Question: would you call Bach or Mozart an artist? Why is the term artist more often used to define modern musicians?

    Explain why the term musician isn’t sufficient for todays musicians?

  6. Of course good musicians and composers are artists – their medium is not visual but sonic art.

    However, much of what is sold today as music is more business than art – it’s not intended to communicate anything or cause you to think. There is good art and there is bad art in any medium. Britney Spears is to music as Thomas Kincade is to painting. Is it art? There is some skill in their work (i.e. “pretty” at first exposure), but where is the meaning?

  7. Check out the first part of wikipedia’s entry for “art”. It’s too bad most schools today don’t teach much on art or how to interpret it, which at the very least makes it hard to seperate signal from noise and makes you open to exploitation by the “artist”… you should be able to explain why something should or should not be in a museum, I think.

    logo? you mean the brainfuel header? I have an idea I could whip up…

  8. art is formed in the imagination and it is expression.

    something is created. it may be an idea or object or sound or image or food or dance or symbol. it’s +value+ is formed in the mind. anything that stirs emotional response has artistic qualities. merit is subjective. britney’s tunes stir an emotion, provoking disgust or the urge to dance?

    music composition falls within the relm of creating an emotive experience and is art.

    i think computers are also capabale of creating art but don’t know it, at least not yet.

  9. back to *musicians* – they perform, i think performance is art. even if they play something alone, they get the art out of it (personal emotional connection) and there is an art to making music happen.

  10. I, too, think that musicians are artists. It’s a no-brainer for composers or people that write the music– but I think it’s valid to call the performers artists, too.

    I would not object to calling Bach or Mozart artists…

    However, calling Brittney Spears an artist is a bit of a stretch…

  11. To address your point Chris regarding Bach and Mozart, of course they are artists, they are referred to all the time as classical artists. Why is “artist” more a thrown around term today? Well, welcome to the world of marketing and PR, where the almighty dollar rules the day. “Artist” is a much sexier term than “musician”.

    It’s like the freelancing web designer who likes to be known instead as an entrepreneur. For some it fits, for some it doesn’t. For all, more prestigious however.

  12. Am I going to have to hit Chris Tingom over the head with a bassoon? Music is art. Period. No further debate necessary. I can tell you’re about to argue, but don’t do it. Hey! I see that! Knock it off.

    I’ve been a musician for the majority of my life (since age 4). I certainly consider it art. I consider pushing pixels art as well. Good art? Well, that’s purely subjective. Unless it’s my opinion. Then you can pretty much take it as fact.

  13. Chris,
    Thanks for the walking up and obviously kicking a sleeping bear of an idea. I being a painter had always believed when I was younger that is that all I did was create art and that I was an artist. I would have great objection to folks claiming that the had a friend or an Aunt Mabel that made quilts and they too are artists’. But years later while parking cars as a valet to make ends meet (see, I am a real artist). I had this discussion with a homeless man that passed by me pad of concrete where I waited to fetch – their cars. He as it turns out he used to be a classical basoonist with the Toronto Sympony before he fell for Opium. His name is Dean and he posed to me his theory. Simply art is the umbrella and under its great shield are painters, scultpurers, poets, novelists, film makers, singers, dancers, and musicians. But at the essence of all is a child’s will to create from nothing. So I am not here to tell you how to think, just to tell to Dean’s theory.

  14. “Ouch” do you realize how big a Bassoon is? Those things are big. Good comments Mister Jason and Dean’s Umbrella. I now ask you whether fireworks can be considered commercial art? What about Sears family photography? Is art in the eye of the beholder?

    By the way, Dean’s Umbrella: you have some really good work. I’ve seen it somewhere before. Do you illustrate for any magazines I’ve seen?

  15. Hi,
    I am a painter and have had this conversation with a musician friend many times. My thought for awhile was that art is visual and something created and put forth for people to like or dislike. I know, art has many catagories. I do think that anyone who can create something new; visual, music, dance, writing, acting, etc., is an artist.
    Check out my art –

  16. Anyone who has read about Gardner’s multiple intelligences will know that what we perceive as art is a personal thing. The Naturalist for example, might appreciate gardening as an art. I would consider anyone who can arrange anything (images, sounds, ideas, etc…) in a unique, evocative, and aesthetic manner, to be an artist.

  17. Musicians are musicians and painters are painters and geeks with pcs are geeks with pcs, it will take a high level of creativity, good taste, and performance in any area to deserve be named artist, that’s it.

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