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Philosophy Of Being A Musician

And so it shall be, that the myriad of would-be musician-kind will succumb to the trials and tribulations leading to that final plateau of being a musician-a professional. And let the essence of the musician blossom to fruition; with practice and study. And let not the necessary technicalities rein over the promise land of a musician. Rather let it be the soul that guides the executant to produce beauty; and the sonorities will ring, producing the music of the Universe.

At this point, it is not important what form or style of music the musician is beckoned to produce. But what is important, the music must have form, structure, and logic; with these three prevailing elements it brings forth a rendezvous between the musician and energy emanating from his soul.

Lets take a look at cosmic energy, and it's relevancy-connection-to that of a musician. Is cosmic energy abode within the performing artist? The thought process is an integral part of the cosmic energy lying in state within the musician. The energy provokes the intellect into motion, and gives birth to the harmonic and rhythmic structure as the tune takes on form; without intellect, he is just another musician, and not an executant!

What is it about the mind of a musician that puts him in resonance with the cosmic enterprise of musical notation; it's the resonance of the mind, the soul, and a repository of knowledge, technical and otherwise, that builds the musician and his capabilities to a level of nuance. At this point, the cosmos will reflect the potential of a rising star emerging from the composite musician-he has paid his dues.

"To study and learn the principles underlying the nature of music-harmony, melody, and rhythmic structure, is to study the philosophy of being a musician."

"The Ghost Writer"

Why does there have to be a philosophy for being a musician? It cannot be avoided, it's there-like it or not! Here's a definition of philosophy which applies to all we have touched upon as of yet-see if it applies to music:

"The word philosophy is derived from the Greek word, philosophia-sophia for wisdom, and the compound, philosophia-the love of wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge, and knowledge is a body of facts; when we have the facts, we have the truth. In his quest for the truth, the musician develops a hypothesis about the intrinsic phenomena aboding within the piece of music being played by the musician."

Now lets take a look at a few terms used in the above definition; knowledge-without knowledge of your chosen craft, how could you be a musician? A body of facts-the facts represents the tools of the trade-once again we have knowledge-of the composite musical structure used when putting a piece of music together such that it's ready to be played. Now the most important of them all truth! When a musician, actualizing his instrument, finds the right tone, color, meaning, and the over all sonorities, he has arrived at nuance-the truth! The truth can also represent the finest quality of music the musician can produce!

As you read along and see the word musician, what do you think of music? So keep that thought in mind-we can't have one without the other. What is the value of being educated in this international form of entertainment? We will look at this from a philosophical point of view. I think Socrates said it better that anyone; from Plato's Republic, Book III, Socrates had this to say:

Socrates was talking to Glaucon, Plato's brother: "Perhaps music will solve our problem. Musical training is so powerful because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul, bearing grace in their movements and making the soul graceful. Music molds character and therefore shares in determining social and political justice." Plato was ahead of his time when Socrates wrote this one: "Damon tells me-and I can quite believe it-that when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them." The state being society.

For those musicians who will be making a living in their chosen field of endeavor, should heed to Socrates's words relative to the changing modes of music. These changes, which began around the turn of the 1960's, have had, to a significant extent, an adverse impact on the fundamental laws of our state (moral and ethical standards of conduct in society)! Any who are opposed to this philosophy were born at the wrong time, or are graduates from the academy of the musically uneducated. The musician has a great responsibility to keep the moral and ethical standards of conduct at an all time high!

Albert Einstein was a musician who favored Mozart. At age six, his mother introduced him to music. Not long after acquiring a violin, he became a violinist. Einstein was also known as one of the greatest natural philosophers of our time. Einstein gave to the world an abyss of scientific knowledge. However, for our purpose here, he gave us the following meaningful message:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. With knowledge, we have the facts. With imagination, we have the Universe."

Here we have Albert Einstein, a world-renowned physicist, who is a musician and a philosopher. A man who advocates the use of knowledge, facts, and imagination, in their proper perspective. Now Einstein will play an important role in what is to come. So facts come from knowledge; our musician has the knowledge, from which come the facts. With these two elements at hand, then comes the study and practice to mold the musician into a virtuoso; but is this all there is? No! It is imperative that the intellect becomes an integral part on the scene; putting in structure and logic, without which, the composite will not became a part of the whole interlude into musician-hood.

Now that we have addressed Einstein's knowledge and facts, what's next? Why imagination, what else. Well, it goes down something like this; imagination is the artistic format for improvisation; the cosmic wonder of the harmonic and rhythmic interlude that a musician will entertain when he has consummated the structure and logic of the music being played. At this point, we find that the musician has reached a state of nuance. Within his galactic sphere, the musician has mastered the harmonics, the rhythm, implemented the logic, and a composite harmony will prevail as the musician reaches a state of fruition.

The philosophy of being a musician is not complicated; it requires knowledge, understanding, foresight, expertise on the instrument to reach a state of virtuosity, to remain steadfast, and above all, repel any prevailing hieroglyphics should they present themselves within the homologous musical sphere aboding in the musician's universal domain.

Are there any major differences between musicians who play a different style of music lets pick a couple of musicians and see what happens. On one hand, we have a first chair violinist playing in a 90-piece symphony orchestra (not much latitude for improvisation). On the other hand, we have a jazz saxophonist on stage with a trio behind him. Now, in terms of background and training, how does their experience differ? For the violinist, we have study and practice to become a virtuoso. But for the saxophonist, we have study and practice; but in addition, the jazz musician must have an intellect capable of manifesting structure and logic in the music. What is it that abodes within the musical cosmos which give birth to a musician? Is it an attitude-one of trust tempered by criticism; and waiting in the shadows, he shall succumb to the trials and tribulations in an ongoing effort to uphold the traditions, of being a musician, as set forth by the beliefs and forms laid down by our fathers. Criticism-because however valuable the testimony of past experiences may be, it can not deprive the musician of the right to inquire and sift through the evidence. Not only will the musician be righteous, he will constantly be in search of the truth within the fold of music that lays down ready to take on a new form!

In the stage wings of our musical drama we have "What is built forever is forever building." The musician must be cognizant of change; to better himself in his chosen craft, and to keep up with what's going on in the idiom of which he has chosen to be a part of; he must function optimally as he becomes an integral part of a world-wide phenomena music! And so let it be that, the musician has a responsibility to ensure that music, in all it's multitude of forms and styles, is executed to the highest standards as represented by "The Philosophy of Being A Musician."

Is there something special about being a musician you can bet on it. Be it a quartet, a 20 piece jazz orchestra, or a 70 piece symphony orchestra they all have a similar message:

"In music there is harmony, in harmony there is peace, and in peace there is Love."

Were it not for musicians, where would all the various styles and forms of music come from? So yes musicians are special people; trust me, I've been a musician for going on fifty-years, or how about a half a century. During that half a century, I've had the ordained pleasure of being a big band leader and arranger-from a jazz quartet to a 20 piece jazz orchestra; and at this point in my life, my bounty runeth over; for I have worked with the best musicians in the business.

Famed philosopher of Mexico, Ricardo de Vicente D., had this philosophy about being a musician:

"Whoever has a taste for every sort of knowledge, harmony, solfege, tempo, rhythm, and other elements associated with the composite form of music, and desires to learn and never has enough of it, may therefore be named a musician."

Can you possibly imagine a world without music no you can't! It has never been that way. Ever since man first inhabited terra-firma, in one way or another, there were musicians who, in an archetype of forms, made sounds that to them were music. But up through the ages, man has surpassed the primitive sound barrier and has made our planet unfold to the beauty of music; who produces all the music around the world .musicians! And let the primitive and prodigious music from when man first began to produce sounds of one sort or another, to present day music-the sublime.

In his book, "The Art of Philosophizing," British philosopher, Betrand Russell defines philosophy as 'The Art of Rational Conjecture." Now how does this relate to being a musician? Is not the musician in possession of the reason as to why he executes his craft; to take a piece of sheet music and turn it into beauty; the beauty of which can be listened to as the music of the Universe. And conjecture-from the incomplete and uncertainty; applies to the musical passage where the outcome is predicated on the musician and the completed musical text; like an improvised solo.

"I dedicate the contents of this text to all the musicians in the world. And let the cosmos shower you with cosmic dust, in that you will sprinkle the dust as you play your instrument giving forth the music and harmony that will bring peace to the world; and you shall use your artistic freedom unto The Philosophy of Being A Musician."

From his "Power of Myth" video series, Joseph Campbell, who spent his life in the study of comparative religions, transcribed the following from the Sanskrits (the classical Old Indic literary language, cultivated from the fourth-century B.C.):

"The truth is one-the sages speak of it by many names."

For Campbell, the word truth is in reference to God. So how does the phrase above relate to musicians? For musicians, the truth represents the purity of sound; the finest quality that can be produced-if it is to be that which is carried by the cosmic dust that pervades the Universe. And it shall be that, musicians, with all their training-to virtuosity and pureness of sound-will shower our planet with the music embodied within the cosmic dust as it beholds the nature of, and bare testimony of, the truth-life itself!

Musicians must have feelings; feelings that can be elevated and transferred to the music of which is being played; let feelings be of the root; the abyss of all that is brought to the surface and sent on it's way to circumvent the sphere of life; feelings are:


Is there a euphoric experience associated with being a musician? It would depend on the type of music being played and the destination of same; an audience, recording session, radio, and so forth. We can describe this euphoria in a manner by bewilderment of the musicians' relative feelings towards the cosmos:

"With his divine and ordained intellect, the musician can, while infiltrating and sifting through, the galactic elements of the musical sphere, find the truth which lies abode within the musician's cosmic enterprise. For it is not without reward that the musician, as he lay to the responsibility of providing a composite of sonorities, to which, the musician will reap the harvest as he sends out to that galactic wonderment the effervesce of joy!"

Within the realm of mankind, the musician plays a rather significant role, to which, their artistic value should never be underestimated; for the light from the stars shall beckon for when the musicians offer the fruits of their labor; and of the terrestrial bodies, they too shall hear the harmony from the musicians; harmony that emanates from the multitude of talented executants sending out rays of enlightenment as they absorb the power radiating from afar.

The Sun shines through the infinite layers of the uncanny, spreading rays of enlightenment on all musicians; each new day of their existence on this speck of cosmic dust we've come to call home. And let them walk down a righteous path, giving of their musical selves. For without them, there would be no path to walk on; there would be no glassy eyes which show the emotion as they transcend the music that is being played by the instrument to the heart of the Universe.

And let those worldly musicians be respected; they deserve recognition for the ongoing beauty-their global shower that infiltrates the array of cosmic nations, as they gather together in forming a cosmic rendezvous with the Universe; let it be so that, musicians, practicing and performing their art, shall reign as lord and masters of all music emanating from Earth; their music shall filter down and address the inherent souls and emotions of mankind!

This paper goes out to all musicians in various musical endeavors; as we reflect on the past, the present, and that which we can look forward too in the future-reflections-it becomes evident that a tremendous unfoldment of musical knowledge has come to us through the ordained effort of musicians. I here by dedicate the following to all the musicians of the world "ENLIGHTENMENT:"

When I embark upon my reflections of study and practice, it is evident that a tremendous unfoldment of musical knowledge has come unto my form of art. For it is not without reward that I relish and profit at my attainment of musical fruit from the trees of the past. And within that musical forest, there was an abundance of unknowables, which has guided me into a world of potential knowables, such that I will endeavor to open the windows of my intellect; and into my room of acceptance, enter as they may, the glory of life's experiences shall shower unto me-new riches, melody, harmony, and rhythm-as each new dawn unfolds to me, a new path to walk with enlightenment as I shower the world with the music manifested by "The Philosophy of Being A Musician."

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