Ever since, music is considered as one of the things that make life worth living. In a world filled with a lot of traumatic miseries, chaotic situations, and unexplainable events, music has certainly played a vital role in making life comfortable despite of all the misfortunes that we face. We appreciate how music tends to set our moods, changing it from an unpleasant one to a more relaxed feeling deep within. But have you ever wondered about the people behind every beautiful melody that we hear and how they produce it?
Long before music turned out to be a rich source of high paying jobs nowadays, this was once part of mankind's lifestyle as shown on the traditions and cultures of diverse human races. There were different musical instruments used for entertainment purposes like festivals, for religious purposes in worshiping God through songs, to name a few. Then, the time came when these people called musicians have come to realize that they will gain financial benefits through utilizing their expertise to the fullest. Now, more than ever, these musicians have captured everybody's attention with their superb performance.
A musician is the one who writes, performs, or makes music. Musicians are generally classified by their roles in creating or performing music. Many people worldwide are hooked into this type of job. A famous line for those opportunists goes, "if you have it, flaunt it". That is why those who are blessed with natural golden voice are taking full advantage of their talent by joining singing contests and eventually choosing it as a career. The same holds true for those who have knowledge in writing songs as well as those skilled in playing various musical instruments. They have certainly capitalized on it.
We have witnessed how these musicians perform their part in the society. And yes, they are living their lives the way they want it to be. Aside from the huge amount of money they get for doing this, they enjoy their being famous in their chosen career path. Even though not all who tried to be musicians are successful, still many want to take part in the glamorous music industry. As a musician, you can be an instrumentalist, a singer, a composer, a conductor or a recording artist for that matter. If you are really a gifted individual, you can be all of these.
Types of Musicians
An instrumentalist, as the name suggests, is a person who is adept in playing a musical instrument. Be it a single reed instrument (saxophone), double reed instrument (oboe), free reed instrument (harmonica), brass instrument (trombone), string instrument (violin), percussion instrument (bass drum), or keyboard instrument (piano), as long as you are truly skilled with it, you definitely have the right to be in the industry if you want to. One of the famous instrumentalists is Wolfgang Mozart, who started to play piano at the age of three and staged a concert at a very young age. Aside from piano, he was also good at playing violin. Later on, he became a prolific and influential composer of Classical era.
The person who gives life to musical composition is known as a singer. These singers are classified according to their voices. For the females, most notable are the soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto and contralto. On the other hand, male voices are countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass. Since there are many people who have naturally good singing voices and not all songs fit to any type of voice, careful selection of singers is done. Luciano Pavarotti was considered as one of the world's most successful tenors of all time. He was an Italian operatic tenor who later on crossed over into popular music and undoubtedly left a significant mark in the history of world music.
The people behind the lyrics of a song are the composers, songwriters and arrangers who deliver a wonderful musical composition out of their imagination and sometimes inspired by their life experiences and point of views on current events. Their outputs are transcribed in music notation to be performed by the singers. Without them, singers are nothing unless they too can write their own songs. As we can see, some the world's famous musical compositions deal with love, hope, and inspiration while other composers lend their writing skills by contributing Gospel compositions. Perhaps everybody knows the theme song of the movie "Titanic" which is "My Heart Will Go On". This was one of the compositions of Will Jennings, a creative lyricist who wrote songs for Barry Manilow, Eric Clapton, Roy Orbison and many others.
Another type of a musician is a conductor who leads a musical ensemble and can also simultaneously act as an instrumentalist. The unity of an ensemble depends on how well the conductor manages to lead everybody toward a beautiful musical show. One mistake of a hand position can have a damaging effect on the ensemble thus a conductor should be focused to avoid it. Austrian Herbert von Karajan was an orchestra and opera conductor who was considered by The New York Times as "probably the world's best-known conductor and one of the most powerful figures in classical music".
A recording artist on the other hand is the one who creates music such as CDs and MP3 files. In today's present scenario in the music industry, recording artists usually get the most attention among all the musicians since they are the front runners in marketing the composer's songs. Therefore, aside from the flawless quality of the voice, pleasing personality is also considered so that the recording artist will be noticed and gain the people's adulation. Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey are just some of the world's most popular recording artists.
To get more information about musicians and their musical contributions in the society, the following books are highly recommended:
- Musical Biography: Towards New Paradigms by Jolanta T. Pekacz, April 2006
- Rhythm Planet: The Great World Music Makers by Tom Schnabel, Nov 1998
- Musical Prodigies: Masters at an Early Age by Renee B. Fisher, Oct 1995
With the world's present unstable economic situation, gone are the days when people are simply waiting to be called for a certain job but they find ways to earn a for living even the unimaginable ones. So if you have music inclination and you believe you can make it, then what's holding you back? Go for the gold, so to speak.