[cc-community] Is it the Music or the Musician?

David davidpalmer at westnet.com.au
Sun Jan 20 19:41:10 EST 2008

Kevin Phillips (home) wrote:


> This is where we're almost certainly never going to agree.  Or this is
> going to be a very very very long email ;)
> So, I'll reply with an obeservation.  I have a great friend who's retired,
> he conducts an orchestra, composes and arranges music.  He played
> a brass instrument and was a very keen pianist when he was younger.
> I remember first meeting him and noticing he hates any kind of
> modern music, anything post 1930 is a grey area, and everything
> from 1960 onwards you can forget it.  He refuses to use the words
> "popular" and "music" in the same sentence.  Yet a nicer guy you'd
> be hard pressed to find.

I had a similar friend.
He was more into the big band sound.
He was Australian also - lived in Toowong, Brisbane.

He had his own big band in the depression years.
Had a world hit record - this in the days of valve radio.
Backed Nat King Cole on two national tours.
Was better than Tommy Dorsey with mutes on a trombone and guess what 
Tommy's speciality was.
When I met him, at the age of 98 years, his lip was still good enough 
for, at least, third trombone in any orchestra in the country.

I took Queen's first three albums around for him to listen to and when I 
asked him his opinion, he said, "You know, the intervals between their 
voices are exactly the same as the old-time barber shop quartets".

A totally unbiased ear.

> I personally think all elements of delivery are important, be it the
> performance of a virtuoso pianist or the sheer ingenuity of a kid
> having fun with GarageBand in her bedroom.

All self expression is important and in my view the expertise level is 
no more than an indicator of how far along the road someone has 
progressed in their chosen direction.

I threw in conservatorium study in my last year but one, when I 
discovered that concepts such as haemeolas and other polyrhythmic 
concepts that final year students were struggling with, I was already 
playing in a comfort zone with a band at night.

Knowledge I have always seen as more important to me than the 
qualification, especially after I had placed some of my tutors under the 
microscope, and attended some of their 'gigs'.

David Palmer
Linux User - #352034

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