Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Factoid: Musician

Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Are you a musician?

Sorta. If I had to say yes or no, I'd say no.

Which is a weird thing for a person who majored in music to say, yes?

I shall explain.

I know how to play eight instruments to some degree, but it's been a long time so to be honest I've probably forgotten everything on most of them. I know I'd pick it back up immediately if I had to, because I learned these instruments' basics very quickly and it was easy. Instruments I can play:

Except for piano, I learned how to play all of these in school. In college, we had intensive classes for brass, percussion, and woodwinds that I got decent grades in. (I learned violin when I was younger, and I had piano classes in school but my dad also gave me piano lessons when I was a kid.) The one I'm probably best at of the above is piano, but I don't consider myself competent enough to do anything with it, since I couldn't really accompany myself or anyone else without a great deal of difficulty and practice, and I have written a few very limited songs with piano backup. In other words, I know enough about these instruments to know I don't play them well enough to be meaningful.

However, the missing instrument here is a big one: voice.

And I hope you don't doubt that voice is considered an instrument, and one could still be a musician if that was their primary instrument.

I do a lot of hobby-level karaoke, but I performed as a singer throughout my high school years and the first half of college, and I'm sort of "trained" I guess. I took voice lessons for several years and performed at the state level in honor chorales, solo/ensemble festivals, and audition-only choral groups. I know a lot about music theory and I can do some really basic arranging, though mostly I just do by-ear harmony and stuff. I've been doing that for fun since I was in elementary school.

But even though I know more about singing and am better at it than the average bear, I still don't really consider myself adept at it, and I don't use it as a framework to create stuff competently to the point where I would call myself a musician. I might be on the cusp of "music nerd," but I'm really not much of a musician.

That said, I have a LOT of fun with music when I have time. Look below for a couple YouTube examples.

First: A six-part harmony video with all six parts recorded by me, with a music-nerd skit leading up to it. The song is "Butterfly" by Rajaton, and the skit is me arguing with myself about which voice part is most important.


Second: A duet with Tanya, singing "What Is This Feeling" from Wicked. I am playing Galinda and she is playing Elphaba.

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